Steve Martin is a comedy genius. Not only is Martin a talented comedian, but he's also an equally talented writer, director and musician. Certainly, Martin has been criticized in the recent years for his move away from the wild and crazy guy he had once played in movies in the early 1980s, but every artist must grow and transcend. With that being said, damn, we miss the classic Steve Martin of the early 1980s, which is why we've assembled this list of our favorite Steve Martin movies.
The Jerk (1979)
Quite possibly the greatest comedy of the last 30 years, The Jerk, directed by Carl Reiner and written by Martin and his former Smothers Brothers buddy Carl Gottlieb. They crafted this comic masterpiece about a ne'er-do-well named "Navin Johnson" who sets out on his own naive odyssey to make something of himself. What follows are hilarious encounters with a random assassin, a inventor who makes him rich, and a punk rock biker chick who utilizes his "special purpose" and takes his virginity in a trailer at a carnival. The Jerk is perfect through and through, too bad we can't say the same thing about the Mark Blankenship attempt to make a sequel a few years later called The Jerk Too. You need Steve Martin to be the jerk, otherwise you're missing the most important element in the mixture.
The Man With Two Brains (1983)
Re-teaming with director of The Jerk, Carl Reiner, the two issued The Man With Two Brains in 1983. The movie is an out-there, funny, odd to science fiction that sees Martin in the role of "Dr. Michael Hfuhruhrr," a brain surgeon who once invented a special type of brain surgery procedure. He saves the life of a gold-digging woman, the two marry and what follows are some unforgettable hi-jinks.
Martin is in peak form with Roxanne, another script penned by him which is his take on the 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac, which finds the lead character hindered by a gigantic elongated nose. Martin plays "C.D." a small-town fire department chief whose heart is bigger than his nose. Playing cupid he sets out to help one of his new fireman win the heart of a local beauty, all the while, falling in love with her himself. Roxanne is a great movie, and one only need to realize that after witnessing Martin quip and beat up some thugs with a tennis racket.
All of Me (1984)
Martin re-teams, yet again, with the great Carl Reiner for this fun, very under-rated supernatural comedy which co-stars Lily Tomlin. Martin plays a jazz pianist who befriends a dying woman who had made a deal with a mystic to have her soul transferred into the body of a beautiful woman. The plan goes all haywire when a vase holding her soul falls on the head of Martin and he becomes the inhabitant. Martin and Tomlin are amazing together.
Directed by Ron Howard, Parenthood features an all-star cast that is lead Steven Martin. The film perhaps marks the start of Martin's move into more serious characters in the movies that he appears in, but none the less, Martin's performance in Parenthood is nothing short of brilliant. Parenthood was a great box office success. The film grossed three times its initial budget and likely proved to be the influence for the 1990 television series of the same name and format as well as the most recent NBC series of the same name as well that featured actor Dax Shepard and Craig T. Nelson.