Though once a performer who infiltrated almost every aspect of popular culture, health issues have kept the great Jerry Lewis out of commission for, essentially, this entire millennium. (His last live-action work was in 1995’s Funny Bones.) For whatever reason I could even imagine — something improving in his health, a script so good he fought off any debilitation, concessions from the filmmakers — he’s back at it, and as a dramatic lead.
Deadline have first word on the film, telling us Lewis is currently shooting with a titular part in Max Rose, the second feature from writer-director Daniel Noah. The picture revolves around a recently-widowed jazz pianist, who had only learned mere days before the end of their five-decade-plus marriage that something was not as it seemed. Once on his own, Max Rose “embarks on an exploration of his own past that brings him face to face with a menagerie of characters from a bygone era.” Kevin Pollak, Kerry Bishé (Argo, Red State), Claire Bloom (The King’s Speech), and an old comedic partner of Lewis‘, Mort Sahl.
All of this sounds like a meatier part than what Lewis must have been offered as of late — old age and poor physical conditions have a way of doing that — so, right away, you can understand where an attraction stemmed from. (That Max Rose doesn’t sound, on paper, like a bad drama helps matters.) Naturally, there’s a question of whether or not Jerry Lewis still has enough energy in him to deliver a worthwhile performance; not even, necessarily, something with as much energy as The Nutty Professor, but simply a turn worthy of what his name used to carry. I’m not fully convinced that that can happen, but it doesn’t prevent me from holding out some hope.
Are you keen to see Lewis back onscreen?
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