Tag Archives: jim carrey

Jim Carrey, Part 1

By RF

[Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of personal essays about Jim Carrey written by RF, a friend of Pussy Goes Grrr.]

I was probably five or six years old when I first saw Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and I haven’t rewatched it – or any other Tom Shadyac movies – for about fifteen years, not until this week in fact, when I watched several of them in a row. I watched the DVD specials, too, and saw Shadyac behind the scenes: he looks like a bearish, wide-faced version of Howard Stern, and his directions are always gentle and mildly self-deprecatory – I would do the scene this way, but then what do I know?

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Link Dump: #29

I found The Man with Two Brains pretty disappointing and unfunny overall, but I did like the kitty in the operating room. So there you go. I also liked Sissy Spacek voicing a disembodied brain… but then again, I’d like Sissy Spacek voicing a disembodied anything.

On an unrelated note, you may have noticed a dearth of material on Pussy Goes Grrr lately. This is not a coincidence. We’ve been secretly preparing for the following kick-ass, action-packed week, to be topped off by a special celebration. Seriously, start reading for real on Monday, because it’ll blow your mind. And now, links:

In search term territory, all we have for you this week is “fuck yes” (because, uh, “fuck yes”!) and “are you dense? i am the goddamn walrus.” I just really like the fact that someone mixed up Batman and John Lennon.

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Love Behind Bars

“Stone walls do not a prison make, / Nor iron bars a cage…” —Richard Lovelace, “To Althea, from Prison”

Aww, isn’t Ewan McGregor cute! Here he is, seated opposite co-star Jim Carrey, in their soon-to-be-released romantic comedy I Love You, Phillip Morris. Although Carrey, as real-life pathological liar and repeat offender Stephen Russell, drives the movie forward with his zany con games – some of which work, but most of which land him back in prison – it’s McGregor who anchors it with his adorable smile and misplaced loyalty. His Phillip Morris is the magnetic north to Russell’s emotional compass. And when you look into those oft-betrayed puppy dog eyes of his, you just want to give him a hug (and then some).

But that’s not to diminish Carrey’s brazen lead performance. While he’s occasionally redeemed himself in relatively mellow, pensive roles (like those in The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), he’s as over-the-top and manic here as he ever was in infantile vehicles like Ace Ventura or Dumb & Dumber. But his mugging and silliness in Phillip Morris – whether he’s impersonating a lawyer, defrauding a corporation, or trying to get out of jail yet again – actually aid the film’s very real drama, and never go beyond the very real hijinks perpetrated by Russell himself (who, as the film’s epilogue reveals, is still in jail). Carrey’s clowning finally has some maturity behind it.

In I Love You, Phillip Morris, goofiness and seriousness go hand in hand. Yes, Stephen and Phillip meet in jail, with plausible threats of abuse from guards and fellow inmates hovering around them. But that never stops Stephen’s good-natured verbal humor (“…or you can suck his cock”), nor the all-too-sincere romance that flourishes between the two of them. And it’s Stephen’s never-ending wacky schemes that later destroy their domestic bliss, and shatter poor Phillip’s trust. This is a fast-paced Jim Carrey comedy where the stakes are high: despite his knack for improvisation, our anti-heroic funnyman can’t talk his way out of a ruined relationship.

All of this back-and-forth comes to a delirious (and tearful) climax that proves both Carrey’s unquestionable versatility and the talents of co-writer/directors Glen Ficarra and John Requa for melding comedy and drama. Carrey and McGregor’s Texan accents may strain credibility, and the pacing of the film’s earlier scenes may make your head spin, but still, it’s refreshing to see how Carrey’s career has come full-circle – and to see gay characters played as nuanced human beings, flirting only occasionally with stereotype. And, of course, you should watch I Love You, Phillip Morris to be entranced by McGregor’s beautiful blue eyes. Sigh.

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