I love Jerry Lewis, I really do, but....
He has always been an acquired taste has Jerry Lewis. For many he is a comic genius, to others he's a buffoon who got lucky by playing the idiot. I fall into the former camp, from childhood memories of laughing hysterically, right into middle age where I still find myself chortling away with much of his work, he's an artist who owes me nothing on the entertainment front. But being a devout fan doesn't mean I'm ignorant of his weaker efforts, and he does have many, of which Cinderfella is one of the bottom dwellers.
It's on the premise surface a fresh and interesting spin on the Cinderella story, the sexes are reversed and this is the modern world in setting. However, that's where the freshness ends, for Cinderfella is a stale old offering, ponderously paced by the normally astute Frank Tashlin and the few jokes within fall agonisingly flat. No amount of high energy mugging from Jerry can lift the picture out of its stupor, the songs from Harry Warren & Jack Brooks are weak, while poor Anna Maria Alberghetti (Princess Charmein) is reduced to being nothing but a pretty and well dressed up prop!
Ed Wynn as the Fairy Godfather comes out with credibility still intact, and Count Basie's input into the production is like a ray of sunshine on a darkly bleak winter's day. There's also one great sequence as Lewis goes panto playing various musical instruments, but the irony there is that the best scene in the film has nothing to do with the plot! No, this is not close to being a good Jerry Lewis movie, and those stalwart fans who insist it is are sadly leading the uninitiated down the wrong path. 4/10