Jerry Lewis‘s Persona, and in some ways a more honest film (1963). Lewis is Dr. Julius Kelp, an absentminded chemist who invents a potion that turns him into the irresistible Buddy Love, a character bearing a not wholly coincidental resemblance to Dean Martin. Even if you don’t find Lewis funny (strangely enough, I sometimes do), The Nutty Professor has to stand as one of the most intense investigations of self ever put on film, a technically impeccable work of inspired megalomania. 107 min.
John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star as two white boys who love nuns, blacks, and the blues. But for all of the dramatic focus on poverty, the subject of John Landis‘s mise-en-scene is money—making it, spending it, blowing it away. The humor is predicated on underplaying in overscaled situations, which is sporadically funny in a Keaton-esque way but soon sputters out through sheer, uninspired repetition. With Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, James Brown, Cab Calloway, and Aretha Franklin, who steals the show singing a song in a diner.