Max Rose

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One of the worst movies of the year is Daniel Noah’s Max Rose. It follows a jazz pianist (Jerry Lewis) as he questions the integrity of his 65-year marriage after discovering an incriminating inscription in his deceased wife’s compact case. While the question of his wife’s fidelity looms over Max, moping is what dominates this B-movie melodrama. Of a piece with the gooey sentimentality, exacerbated by the score, is the movie’s lack of shape. Noah fills Max Rose with flashbacks, tantrums, and not much else, making us desperate to get off his train. There is the occasional bright spot: a quip here and there; warm banter among nursing home denizens, one of whom is played by Mort Sahl—yes, he’s still alive; Kerry Bishé illuminates some scenes; and Dean Stockwell offers some edge. But it’s not enough. Not even close.

By Alec Julian & Carrie White

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