MAX ROSE, the (sort of) new film from writer/director Daniel Noah, is not very good. But as it stars one of the most famous comedians of all time, Jerry Lewis, who is very good but who has not appeared onscreen in a theatrically-released movie in some 21 years (although his voice has), this may be enough to coax you into a theater for this movie's very limited release. Made in 2013 and making a kind of splash at that year's Cannes festival, the film is only now hitting theaters in the U.S.
Claire Bloom, as the late wife we see only in flashback and in Max's mind, and especially the wonderful Dean Stockwell as the wife's lover, very nearly making as deep and surprising an impression here as he did in Blue Velvet.
Kerry Bishé (above, left) and Kevin Pollack (in profile, above right) -- as, respectively, Max's granddaughter and son -- are also fine, though their characters must bend to the exigencies of a too manufacturer-for-resolution screenplay. It is odd to be recommending a viewing of a film as finally flawed as this one. Yet for these excellent performances alone -- and the opportunity to see Mr. Lewis in action so quietly and spectacularly once again -- it's worth our time.
Paladin and running a mere 83 minutes, Max Rose opens this Friday, September 2, in New York City at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema and in Los Angeles next Friday, September 9, at Laemmle's Royal, Playhouse 7 and Town Center 5. Elsewhere? Yes: Here in South Florida, the movie opens on Friday, September 23, in Miami at Regal's South Beach 18 and at AMC's Sunset Place 24, and Aventura 24; in Fort Lauderdale at The Classic Gateway, The Last Picture Show, and the Silverspot Coconut Creek; in Boca Raton at the Living Room Theaters and Regal's Shadowood 16.