Even at the start of his singing career, Dean Martin is an impressive gentleman, big, tall, handsome, exquisitely dressed, fitting his nightingale voice and naturally classy appeal, even though his womanizing costs him enough in alimony to declare bankruptcy. Jerry Lewis on the other hand is an unsightly schmuck, whose buffoon version of stand-up comedy is an agent's nightmare. When he accepts playing MC in a show with Dean, he tries interacting with him, and they hit gold judging by the audience's reactions. Initially Dean wants to walk off and stay a solo act, but success as a duo is irresistible, and they rocket together, even in Hollywood. However in time they fall out of friendship as their characters and lifestyle clash, and Dean still dreams of solo success.Written by
I think a better title for "Martin & Lewis" would have been, "Dean Martin was nothing without Jerry Lewis". Sadly, this was not true.
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.
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