Today! He may have advanced delusionary schizophrenia with involuntary narcissistic rage, but he’s a very gentle person –
Me, Myself, and Irene (2000)
Directed by the Farrelly Brothers
Starring Jim Carrey (x2), Renee Zellweger (x2), Robert Forster, Chris Cooper, Anthony Anderson, Jerod Mixon, Tony Cox, Richard Jenkins (x2), Mongo Brownlee, Traylor Howard, Anna Kournikova, Shannon Whirry, Cam Neely, Lenny Clarke (x2), Googy Gress
The second and last of the all-out comedies of Jim Carrey to appear on this list, Me, Myself, and Irene came along mid-college for me, and solidly connected, with its brand of hyper-aggressive vulgarity and over-the-top absurdism. Carrey is never better than in his rampant split personality portrayal of good-guy cop Charlie Baileygates and his psychotic alter ego Hank. And yes, Hank is a lot, but the movie manages to parcel him out well, so as not to overwhelm the audience with that intensity – it would almost certainly have led to weariness, and jokes not really landing.
But my favorite part of this movie has always been his sons – at the beginning of the movie, we see his wife run off with a black genius dwarf limo driver, Shonte (played by the always great Tony Cox), but not before leaving Charlie with the triplets he fully convinces himself are his, biologically: Jamal, Lee Harvey, and Shonte Jr. And as grown men, his kids have the best lines in the movie – with genius inherited from their father, they spout “Enrico Fermi’d roll over in his motherfucking grave if he heard that stupid shit,” “I can’t figure out the atomic mass of this motherfuckin’ deuteron!” and “You think polypeptide’s a motherfuckin’ toothpaste!” Anthony Anderson, Jamal Mixon, and Mongo Brownlee – my MVPs of this movie.
I mean, the movie’s ridiculous, and there’s more than a little comedic pseudo-rape going on, depending on how you view those multiple personality antics, but pound-for-pound this still has more and better jokes than virtually any Carrey film of the era. I liked his early stuff when I was 14, too, but come on, when’s the last time you threw on Ace Ventura or The Mask just for the hell of it? Those things are not holding up well. I feel like twenty years from – outside of Carrey’s solid forays into dramedy in this later stretch – #351 Liar, Liar and Me, Myself, and Irene will be the ones that last. If any one is still watching 2000-ish movies in 2040. If any of us are still alive. Taking it dark!
No awards! But honestly, this movie features one of the great comedic jump edits ever – as Hank drops trou to do his business on his neighbors lawn (after much complaining about the neighbor’s dog doing the same), the movie cuts right to soft serve chocolate ice cream being dispensed into a cone. It’s a crass masterpiece of film editing. So, Best Chocolate Ice Cream Gag?
A four pack of Two-Timers, plus the Farrellys entering the Directors wing, following their helming of the Red Sox classic Fever Pitch back at #313 – Carrey for Liar, Liar, Zellweger’s voice work in #385 Bee Movie (the sixth Bee Movie cast member in the Two-Timers), Lenny Clarke – Boston comic legend – also on Fever Pitch, and Richard Jenkins from #292’s Cabin in the Woods.
Coming tomorrow! If you want to sing out, sing out/And if you want to be free, be free –