A jazz pianist makes a discovery days before the death of his wife that causes him to believe his sixty-five year marriage was a lie. He embarks on an exploration of his own past that brings him face to face with a menagerie of characters from a bygone era.
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A jazz pianist makes a discovery days before the death of his wife that causes him to believe his sixty-five year marriage was a lie. He embarks on an exploration of his own past that brings him face to face with a menagerie of characters from a bygone era.Written by
Max Rose (Jerry Lewis) is a former jazz pianist who at the age of eight-one must deal with the death of his wife. Her death takes an even worse turn for Max who discovers that she might have had an affair on him years earlier when he was away from home.
MAX ROSE is a film that barely got a theatrical release, which really is a shame. The film made the rounds for a while and people were screaming in hopes that Lewis would get one final Oscar-nomination but that wasn't to be. The film hardly got noticed by anyone and the critics who did see it pretty much ripped it apart. The reviews were quite bad and I must admit that I went into the film with low expectations and was pleasantly shocked at how entertaining it was. Yes, there are certainly flaws in the picture but it was meant to give Lewis a find curtain call and in my opinion it did so perfectly.
The story itself is fairly simple and on a stylish level there's nothing extraordinary here. If you're expecting some sort of grade A picture then this isn't that. In fact, I guess one could argue that this is almost on a Lifetime type of level but what makes the film so entertaining is the fact that the cast is so excellent but more on that in a bit. I thought writer-director Daniel Noah did a nice job with the material as it really did a good job at looking at someone at the end of their life who is now having to make dramatic changes while also wondering if his entire life was a lie.
I thought the story was good enough to keep you glued to what was going on and the film was actually pretty darn depressing at times. What made all of this possible was the wonderful cast and the performances that they brought. Kerry Bishe deserves a lot of credit as she plays the granddaughter and delivers a very good performance. You've got Kevin Pollack playing the son who battles with his father. You've get great performances from the likes of Fred Willard, Claire Bloom and Lee Weaver. Then there's Dean Stockwell who shows up late and really delivers a powerful performance.
Finally, there's Jerry Lewis. I've always thought he was a highly underrated dramatic actor and that his greatest performance was THE KING OF COMEDY. He's excellent here and even though he doesn't have much dialogue he does a lot of physical acting with his eyes and just his body movements. I thought his performance was extremely good and it showed what he was capable of doing. As I said, the film is flawed and has its issues. It clocks in at just 83-minutes with the credits but what makes this so special is the fact that it gave Lewis a final lead role and one he did wonders with.
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