The Jerk (1979)

Universal Pictures

Steve Martin’s character in The Jerk isn’t really a jerk at all — sweet-natured and naive Navin Johnson is one of the most lovable protagonists we’ve ever seen, even when he becomes a bigshot.

One could argue that all of The Jerk is just a setup to the kung-fu smackdown that occurs when some nefarious real estate developers loop Navin into their racist business plan. His screamed reaction is politically incorrect and passionately anti-racist at the same time — totally cathartic and naive and beautiful. We love this movie.

We also love The Jerk for finding room for an extended, pointless stretch that features the line, “I’ve heard about this — cat juggling!”