Martin and Lewis (2002 TV Movie)
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I also was disappointed that Jeremy Northam had to lip sync Dean Martin's recording. Wouldn't it be better if he at least tried it out regardless if he was a singer or not? Seriously it made me lose interest in him as Martin!
It was great idea doing a drama documentary film about the comedy duo but they needed to have better actors in order that this film would make sense. No wonder this one didn't win awards because it didn't give much input on the characters! I see way better documentary drama films then!
Their movies and act was just fun.
Jerry Lewis made his name by being (as he would call himself) a "monkey". A zany man of comedy. He was terrific, unless you hate zany comics.
Dean Martin was a A-level singer with incredible comic sensibilities. Both went on after their historic break up and had even more success.
Break-up? This movie gives us their glorious 10 years together... but it is all leading up to that Great Divide. I can't call this a spoiler alert when the movie case clues us in from the get go.
But WHY did they break up? Who did what? Why couldn't they keep the most popular and most profitable comedy duo of all time together. Yes, the movie quite adeptly walks us down that path... all the while entertaining us with the two legends. Enjoy!
UPDATE: Still love this movie. However, it is now nearly impossible to find. One place indicated that Jerry Lewis bought the rights to the movie to deep six it all. That doesn't make much sense, though, as Jerry Lewis is the one who worked with Sean Hayes to get his imitation of Jerry almost perfect. If he hated the script, you would think he wouldn't have helped out so much.
The Picture Image for the MOVIE "Martin and Lewis" on IMDb is the wrong picture for the movie. It shows a Colgate Television image of the real Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. This seems odd. there are lots of pictures of the two actors portraying their roles in this movie... they should update this to avoid the confusion.
Good luck finding this wonderful film. If you do find it somewhere (either online or in disc form) please post it here for others. I think I originally rented it from Netflix in DVD form... but perhaps it was something I saw on Amazon??? Unsure. It was good, however. I have recommended several times over the year and a half and people have loved it too. But now, now it is impossible to find. JJ
A 100% flop. I even switched the sound track to Spanish, hoping that the move would improve. A long shot that didn't work.
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Made-for-TV bio shows the rise and fall of Dean Martin (Jerry Northam) and Jerry Lewis' (Sean Hayes) working relationship, which made them a hit in movies and clubs but soon the two soured and their careers together ended. MARTIN AND LEWIS is a pretty entertaining film, all things considered. I'm sure a theatrical film could be even better as this here does seemed watered down at times but for the most part I think fans of the duo should enjoy this. One thing that greatly helps the film are the performances by the two leads. While it's impossible for anyone to actually do a Martin and Lewis performance, both Northam and Hayes at least get into the roles and deliver something that the viewer can at least accept as being the real people. It's hard to perform as someone so well known as these two men but I was still impressed with what we got. Northam really did a good job when it came time to show some of the demons that were haunting Martin. Hayes manages to do that maniac-style madness that Lewis has always been known for. The two of them also share some nice chemistry, which certainly comes across during the scenes where they're working together. I think the film works better when we're seeing the two off the stage as this is where most of the drama comes from. The stage acts are good but these here are certainly far away from the quality that the real Martin and Lewis delivered. The setting, costume and set designs and the atmosphere of the clubs are all right on the mark however.
I agree with other reviewers who said Dean was made out to be the "bad guy" - this is upsetting to me, because I loved Dean Martin and think (as Elke Summer said many years ago, I believe on Carson, that Jerry Lewis is only really funny to kids and Frenchmen).
That said, Sean Hayes was absolutely magnificent in this - he couldn't have been better! I loved him in Will & Grace and after seeing him in this, I only love him more. I'm looking to seeing more of him.
Jeremy Northam played Dean (according to my memory of Dean) very well,too. My only problem with the casting of him is - although he is plenty good looking & did an excellent job of portraying Dean, he doesn't even approach Dean's handsome good looks & complete hotness. (You can probably tell I adored Dean Martin.)
It's on Netflix streaming - I encourage you to watch it!
Sean Hayes does not look like Jerry Lewis but made a good stab at recreating his manic energy and routines. Only in the dramatic scenes did I feel a lack of insight in his performance.
Jeremy Northam convinced admirably with his laid back Dean Martin, unfortunately he had little material to work with script wise but got across Dino's couldn't care less attitude which rolled along for years with Lewis until he could take no more.
I think the fault with the movie was that it was made when only one of the duo has passed on, so perhaps there were Lewis traits that had to be down graded at the expense of Martin. However to be fair they did show some of Lewis's control freakery and joke stealing that led to the final breakup.
Still for a TV movie it was definitely above average, these 2 stars were huge successes in their partnership days, and each went on to show their own brand of showbiz genius as they went their separate ways afterwards. In the end a rather sad story.
Either way they should of gotten Joe Montegna for Dean, being that he's portrayed Dino in a movie already and Brad Garrett should of done that little appearance by Jackie Gleason, also being that he played Jackie Gleason on "Gleason" that CBS movie. Casting, with the exception of Jerry Lewis, wasn't that good.
The movie itself was good though. I especially like how they portrayed last show. The way that slowed everything down a bit and had "Oh Marie" playing, which is good song too.
And I like that song "Side by side" they sung at the end as well.
It's no surprise that Lewis said he loved this film. At the same time, I'm sure if Martin were alive today, he would feel he had just been roasted, in a bad way.
It seems as though this film was actually written by Jerry Lewis or by fans of Lewis angry at Dean Martin. The portrayal of Dean Martin in this film as an alcoholic, philandering, friend of mobsters is wholly inaccurate. This TV-movie would have you believe that without Lewis, Martin would have gone down in flames early in his career. Again, this is simply not true. Dean Martin was already a success when Lewis came along with sole comic routine. Further proof against this fallacy is the fact that Martin went on, after the dissolution of the partnership, to a very successful career in films and music.
The real story as to why this partnership broke-up? Jerry Lewis was an insecure, money-grubbing, control-freak that would steal Martin's lines and would be jealous of any attention Martin would get. Does this TV-film allude to any of this? To its' credit, yes, it does, but the films' writers dire need to try and show a balanced reason for why the comedy team broke up moves past these issues far too fast and attacks Martin in ways that have no connection to reality.
The worst part of all this is that I didn't even find myself laughing at any of the "comic" bits that were in this film. I think if you're going to make a film about one of the most successful comedy teams in history, you should at least make some of it funny.
I was never able to stop seeing Sean Hayes as `Jack' (from `Will and Grace') instead of as Lewis, although that is not to say that he did a particularly bad job in this role. Jeremy Northam used a very strange accent as Dean Martin, which I found particularly distracting; he did a lousy job lip-synching to the songs, and for some reason, most of the remaining dialogue seemed dubbed, too.
I never would have guessed that pre-Martin Lewis was `doing Andy Kaufman' -- 25 years before Andy Kaufman did it.
Overall, the energy and the mood was well maintained, and we got to see inside the lives of two wonderful talents from the past.