The Ladies Mani is the sort of atrocity that usually ends up with a "cult following" (as it happens this particular one didn't, but that's most likely because the sort of people that "cult" follow aren't all that cultured and consequently not really informed).
It attempts to bill itself as a comedyii, but the only proper way to classify it would be to say it belongs to the genre of bruteforce. Paramount figured "hey, we have all these handymen, camera crews, grips and gofers, why not build a three story dollhouse-on-set ?". So they did, it's literally an eight meters tall doll house, populated by real girls picked to look like Barbie dolls, and dressed like Barbie dolls ; and then they film their actual crew in the process of importantly doing jack shit, but hey, it's a lot of people! Aren't you impressed ? Well... could you have hired that many people ? Could you have built a pressed cardboard dollhouse cutout ? No ? THEN YOU LEGALLY, TECHNICALLY AND ETCETERATICALLY MUST BE IMPRESSED!
Jerry Lewis on the other hand figured misplacing his glasses and contorting his mug will carry him through -- but sadly it doesn't. He doesn't have nearly the finesse of Jim Carey, in fact he's rather an US version of Doru Octavian Dumitru in his contextless, sociopathic desperation of a relationship with humour. He's rather sad to watch, to be honest.
Oh, and they even resurrected George Raft to do nothing in particular on the set, while uncomfortably lumbering in a tux. Aren't you impressed with how respectable Maddey Owen's runt brother is ? Please don't remember he was actually iliterate, he's got the tux on, that's what it's for! Yes ?
That said the film does have two saving graces. One's the hat scene, which works extremely well, so well in fact it raises to the level of one of the better skits America ever produced. The other's the cello chick. This chick... she's got a sub-17 inch waist, I kid you knot, and an ass like she were one of mine under it. And she's fluent in French.
Anyway, to be honest I wouldn't watch it, but I'd totally keep it around. It's the sort of McGuffin that has no value besides the humiliation in can produce through being properly wielded. It is, after all, more deeply representative of real America than any VHS ever produced, you realise this, yes ?———
- 1961, by Jerry Lewis, with Jerry Lewis and all the singer/dancer/actress/whatever sluts Paramount could scare up before the 60's even began. [↩]
- "The biggest, broadest, funniest production yet" ; "The most hilarious idea since the invention of the belly laugh!"
If for some reason you're thinking "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell" you wouldn't even be all that far off, I don't think. "Unfunny wanna-be sits down to spend an unjustifiable budget on his systematic anticool" will play out about the same in 1961 or 2009, because how could they actually differ. [↩]