Cinema: Half Laugh

The Nutty Professor is half a funny movie. As long as Jerry Lewis is minding his myopic business as Professor Kelp, an earnest idiot of a chemistry teacher, the laughs bubble up like soda dumped into acid. But Lewis never knows when to stop fiddling with the formula, and suddenly the comedy blows up in his face.

Professor is a manic switcheroo on the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde theme. Kelp, with his chipmunk teeth, soup-bowl haircut, horn-rimmed half glasses and Neanderthal lope, is fed up with himself. One night in his laboratory he stirs up and quaffs a concoction that will...

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