Tag Archives: Jim Carrey

The Set of 400: #48 – My Favorite Soundstage Visible from Space

Today! Because we accept the reality of the world with which we’re presented. It’s as simple as that –

The Truman Show (1998)

Directed by Peter Weir

Starring Jim Carrey (x4), Ed Harris (x3), Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Paul Giamatti, Holland Taylor (x2), Philip Baker Hall (x5), Harry Shearer (x4), Peter Krause, O-Lan Jones (x2), Joel McKinnon Miller, Tom Simmons, Brian Delate

I’m not sure at the time if we saw this movie as just a bit of science fiction or as a prescient blueprint, but either way, The Truman Show either accurately predicted what much of cable and network television would become over the next two decades, or it inspired the transformation. Sure, EDtv covered the same ground the following year (and the ’80s rebooted Twilight Zone episode “Special Service” some distance before), and was technically a little closer to the ultimate reality of reality television, plus it’s not like there had never been some version of this in actual practice – the 1973 PBS docu-series An American Family and MTV’s The Real World, most notably – but it wasn’t an omnipresent phenomenon like it would become in the 21st century. Within three years of Truman Show‘s release, the Emmys had a category for Outstanding Reality Program and in four years we had The Osbournes, popularly acknowledged as the beginning of the people having their lives filmed for entertainment craze. YouTube came along three years later, and now anyone could theoretically have their whole existence broadcast for consumption. Ah, what a time this has been to be alive!

Maybe it’s these jackasses who deserve all the blame

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The Set of 400: #228 – My Favorite Alexander Pope

Today! Because, technically speaking, the operation is brain damage –

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Directed Michel Gondry (x2)

Starring Jim Carrey (x3), Kate Winslet (x2), Tom Wilkinson (x2), Mark Ruffalo (x3), Kirsten Dunst (x3), Elijah Wood (x3), Jane Adams, David Cross (x2), Thomas Jay Ryan

A movie of raw emotion and ceaseless, crackling creativity, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is quite simply one of the best movies ever made. Look back at other posts – this isn’t something I throw around a lot. Yes, okay, I did say this about Fritz Lang’s M in #247, I think, but it’s not something I’ve said in the last week or two! And I know there’s sort of a knee jerk pessimistic reaction to anyone referring to anything even remotely recent as an all-time great (except apparently when it comes to NFL quarterbacks), but this movie is so different, so wildly inventive, and of such amazing depth that yes, I think if I ever get the balls to compile a 400 Best Movies list, this will have a place there as well. (But will Rocky IV still be #400?? Time will tell!)

I mean, probably, right?

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The Set of 400: #286 – My Favorite Dropped Milkshake

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.

Terrific!

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The Set of 400: #351 – My Favorite Blue Pen

Today! Because the fact that my client has been ridden more than Seattle Slew is irrelevant –

Liar Liar (1997)

Directed by Tom Shadyac

Starring Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Cary Elwes (x2), Jennifer Tilly, Swoosie Kurtz, Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb, Cheri Oteri, Justin Cooper, Anne Haney, Jason Bernard, Amanda Donohoe, Krista Allen (x2), Christopher Mayer

So look, I know ’90s era Jim Carrey comedies aren’t really holding up. Hell, for the most part they didn’t hold up a few months after they were released. I was never the world’s biggest Ace Ventura or Dumb and Dumber fan, but yeah, I liked them in ’94. Still, one movie that is basically as funny now as it was then is Liar Liar. Sure, it has all the wacky antics typical of the man’s work, but given the conceit of the film, it somehow doesn’t feel as over the top as, say, The Mask. And while it’s not my favorite of his pure comedies (see you on July 31st!), I still really enjoy Liar Liar.

A lawyer being forced to tell the truth? Classic American comeuppance! And the script is basically wall-to-wall awkward truth jokes, which I firmly believe could’ve been pulled off by almost any competent comedian. However, couple this already generically funny concept with Carrey, at the height of his fame and just down the hill a bit from his manic zenith, and you have a perfect vehicle for what he was doing in ’97. Ah, the summer of ’97! Have we talked about this before? I feel like we did (see #376’s Men in Black). I had just graduated from high school and the Clinton impeachment was still a good year away! That was some kind of year!

It was a simpler time of sex scandal fun!

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