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"Me, Myself and Irene"

Directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly.
Written by Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly and Mike Cerrone.
Starring Jim Carrey and Renee Zellweger.
Release Year:  2000 
Review Date:  7/4/00 

Folks--

Ahh, the Farrelly Brothers!  Back in '98, the first summer of the SMRs (Summer Movie Reviews) which has since been renamed Bellview, "There's Something About Mary"--one of the Farrelly Brothers' ridiculous creations--won the SMR's top prize as the best movie of the summer.  (It somehow places 27th on AFI's list of the funniest movies of all time.  This, friends, is one of the worst lists that has ever been created.  But, I digress.)  So, you can imagine my excitement when I found out that the geniuses behind "Dumb and Dumber" and I believe "Kingpin" were at it again.

Libby "Logo" Hiller and I went over to the local Regal to check out the flick, and unfortunately, this movie is probably the worst of the four mentioned above.  Jim Carrey--taking time off from more serious acting to go back into "In Living Color"-mode--stars as a Rhode Island bike cop named Charlie that has got things pretty fucked up.  18 years ago, he married his sweetheart only to have her cheat on him with a midget black super-intelligent limo driver the very next day after they are married.  So, imagine the shock on Charlie's face when he is in the delivery room after his new wife gets pregnant and all three of his baby boys are...black!  Soon after the children are born, Charlie's wife finally leaves him for the limo driver, and Charlie spends the next few years churning over the pain that his rift has caused him.

In the present day, Charlie finds himself walking around the small town that he presides over wondering why no one respects his authority.  Being the easy-going type, all of the locals step on him when it comes to obeying the law.  Finally, Charlie loses it...and, he unleashes a split personality named Hank that, unlike Charlie, is as rude, impolite and violent as they come.  This split causes his police boss (Robert Forster, falling fast from the Hollywood radar) to send Charlie/Hank on a vacation...as soon as he delivers a police suspect named Irene (Renee Zellweger, "Jerry Maguire") to upstate New York's Messina police department.

In my mind, if you are going to see this movie, you know that it will include a lot of Carrey's physical comedy.  You ALSO know, after seeing "There's Something About Mary", that these guys can come up with some pretty sick shit.  On these two points, the movie delivers.  For the first, say, 45 minutes of the movie--before Hank starts to show up--I thought that Carrey wasn't even that good, being upstaged by every other character in the movie.  In particular, the black limo driver and Charlie's three black kids have much more to do than John Doe-like Charlie.  But, during Hank's first tirade, when he loses it inside the grocery store and chastises a mother of two about her vaginal cream, the movie kicks it into high gear, and I was dying as he announces a price check on that cream, breastfeeds himself with the help of a well-endowed mom, and, with milk-mustache in place, plows through a barber shop with a patron's vehicle.  It seemed like, from that point on, all of the Charlie scenes got better and featured Carrey working his comedic magic...like when he suffers from cottonmouth or when he is trying to use the bathroom late in the movie.  Hilarious...and, I think after one scene that involved a chicken, I may never want to eat poultry again!

But, that was just it...no consistently funny sequences, just some really funny moments.  If Carrey has made any bad movies, those would have to be "Cable Guy" and "Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls."  With "Ace 2", there was a similar problem:  just some funny scenes with a lot of unfunny things going on in between.  As funny as the scene was, the bit where Charlie—upon telling his kids that he will be out of town for a few days escorting Irene to New York--tells them "Now remember, no bitches after 11!" are scattered amongst some dumb bits with Chris Cooper as a New York police officer that is on the take and trying to take down Irene before she can blab her knowledge of drug trafficking and money laundering to the feds.  Or, the scene where Charlie wants to put a dying cow out of her misery, which I thought would be funny when it started...but, I found that both the audience and myself were not laughing by the time Carrey is on the ground mock-choking the damned thing.

And, there were a couple other things too.  Even though Charlie and Irene have lost their wallets at one point, why do they seem to always have money for gas, food, and hotel rooms?  I wouldn't have noticed, but in two scenes during the movie, they claim to have less than $10 between them.  Did they rob a convenience store, or maybe beat up some kids?  Eventually, they do steal some cash from a travel mate named Casper (his in-movie nickname, amongst many other things, is "Whitey"), but this was near the end of the film.  And, Zellweger--who looks almost exactly like Joey Lauren Adams ("Chasing Amy") without the annoying voice--seems to be wearing the same expression the entire film; this may have been to contrast Carrey's antics and play the straight man, but perpetually pouting for the entire movie just didn't do it for me.  Ironically, I was hoping that Carrey would have to escort around that well-endowed mom the entire movie; she was much hotter than Irene.  And, this film features some of the most random cameos in history:  Anna Kournikova, who plays tennis in-between bra billboards and movies like this, not the other way around; Cam Neely, retired but still busy; and, the old guy who played Scooter from "The Dukes of Hazzard!"

This movie does nothing to enhance or detract from Carrey's profile; it fits right in the middle of the other films that he has made.  I, for one, am hoping that Carrey does more stuff like "The Truman Show" because I think he is becoming such a great film actor that he could combine his comedic skills with a serious part and make a truly special film.  "Me, Myself, and Irene" is not that movie.

Rating:  Matinee

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09