THREE ON A COUCH—-thinking back on all the comments I have ever heard made from women I can’t recall among them the declaration “I’d like to sleep with Jerry Lewis”. Yet in this 1966 nausea we’re asked to believe his various impersonations of men here (this time he plays four characters) are seductive to Janet Leigh, Gila Golan, Mary Ann Mobley and Leslie Parrish. Find throat, insert finger.
After sixteen years playing some variation of a adolescent cretin in three dozen movies, in 1965 he suddenly switched to playing a semblance of straight comedy via Serious Sexy Jerr in Boeing Boeing, and put that icky mask on for a number of diminishing returns, this among them. Is it worse than Way…Way Out or The Big Mouth? Ponder on.
Suave—hair from Exxon, cigarette signalling maturity—artist (Lewis) has a chance to live in Paris (where he will be ‘appreciated’) but his psychiatrist fiancee (Leigh) won’t go with him as wife unless he dons disguises to cure her three female patients who have trust-men issues. You can imagine those silly mental blocks won’t stand a chance against Jerry’s zany charm.
Falling down stairs and landing in a coil of barbed wire might be more enjoyable. Directed by the star, clocking in at 109 agonizing minutes, with game but wasted supporting work from James Best, Kathleen Freeman, Jesslyn Fax, Buddy Lester, Fritz Feld and Scatman Crothers. It came in 37th for the year.