The man who once had a green face and begged through sarcastic teeth for somebody to “stop him” is still on a roll. James Eugene Carrey, as we all know as Jim Carrey, was born in Newmarket, Ontario on January 17th, 1962. He is of French, Scottish and Irish descent. At the age of 19, Carrey already started working as a stand up comedian, and now at 50 he’s one of the world’s best. What makes Carrey a genius of his craft is that he will make literally anything he is in watchable, even if it is absolute trash. When his movies are good, however, they are unforgettable. Let’s have a look at the top five movies Jim Carrey has been in that I feel are his absolute best (but why listen to me? I got more than half my Golden Globe predictions wrong). One movie for every decade he’s lived (yikes, that sounds old).
I bet you’re (not) wondering why this blog is called “who cares REVIEWS”, and well, you’re in luck. There are going to be many reviews, but I felt like starting off with news as opposed to just blurting out ratings from the start. This entry will contain my first form of actually rated reviews. My ratings go from 0-10 and work by every tenth decimal point.
5. Man on the Moon (1999)
The movie is somewhat disjointed and works as an “Andy Kaufman by numbers”, but what ultimately saves the movie is Carrey’s spot on, and sympathetic, portrayal of legendary showman, well, Andy Kaufman. This is easily one of Carrey’s best roles because it was one of his most layered. Usually with Carrey his roles are dramatic or comedic, but usually not both at any balanced rate. This film, however, has Carrey providing what every scene needs, while paying a tremendous tribute to one of the most innovative “comedians”. This film won’t be the most insightful look into the life of Kaufman, but it’s great for its acting work.
4. Liar Liar (1997)
Carrey’s comedic roles are often clownish in nature, and so is his character as Fletcher Reed. What makes this clownish performance all the more funnier and, somehow, likable is the fact that he is a lawyer and a terrible father, so his bizarre behavior somehow comes from his explosive guilt. Once he is unable to lie, Reed uncorks like a bottle of champagne and he immediately bounces off the walls. This is a wonderful comedy and much of that is because of Carrey himself. The movie had to have a charismatic and flexible lead because it could have very well have been your usual straight-to-video snoozefest if it had anyone else. It’s a clichéd concept done in somewhat of a new way, and it could have been so very very stale. Somehow this ended up being Carrey’s best collaboration with director Tom Shadyac.
3. Dumb and Dumber (1994)
I don’t get where the sour ratings for this film came from. It’s not the best comedy ever made, but it’s still a good one in my opinion. First off, Carrey as Lloyd is phenomenal. You feel that Lloyd is truly an idiot and not just an act. His stupidity calls for laughs and a slight bit of pathos (but mostly laughs, as we are all evil). The story is convoluted for such a basic premise but, hey, it somehow works because the plot relies on the mistakes of its two leading morons. The humor may be dark at times (I never want to own a parrot after this) but looking at the events that unfold through the eyes of the two that unfolds them makes this film a curious series of mishaps. If the two lead actors (the other played by Jeff Daniels, another fine actor) were different, then this film may have easily collapsed under its own stupidity, but with these guys at the wheel, what more can you say than “drive that sheepdog!”?
2. The Truman Show (1998)
Where Carrey’s hidden talents lie are with his dramatic performances (since we all know how good he is at pulling off comedic ones). Carrey has been wrongfully snubbed by the Academy a few times, and the biggest of them all was his role as Truman Burbank. In this existential satire, Truman is the star of a 24 hour reality show and has been since the very second he was born. The catch is, he has no idea. It would have been so easy to have played Truman as a bumbling imbecile and a whiney runt, but Carrey makes Truman have a reason to be the biggest reality star in the world. Carrey makes Truman curious and mysterious, which adds a whole new meaning to this story. Even if we watch a man literally his entire life, will we truly know everything about him? Carrey pulls off the sadder moments with great ease and is the perfect cherry on top for a film that was already superb on its own.
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
This spectacle of a film needed to have everything just right, so, while Carrey’s performance wasn’t the one that saved the day or the one that the whole movie needed to rely on, his role was still a very necessary one in the grand scheme of things. Giving us one of his best performances yet (and another one that got snubbed for whatever stupid reason) Carrey as Joel Barish is relatable. This is probably the first and only time we’ve ever been able to see ourselves in his shoes, despite the science fiction plot. We’ve all had people we want to forget or events we want to never think of again, but none of us had the power. Instead of being silly about it, Carrey is reserved and unsure just like we would be. His emotions get the better of him, but his brain insists on moving forward, and, even with the brainwashing devices and the surreal worlds he visits in his mind, we can follow where he is going without a problem. Easily one of the best films of the last decade, and Jim Carrey was the anchor that made this imaginative concept a reality.
Jim Carrey doesn’t have much on his plate at the moment, apart from being a villain in Burt Wonderstone; A comedy about magicians (starring Steve Carrell) in 2013. Even with that in mind, this isn’t the last of him. Until we see him again, however, here’s a picture I’m sure will haunt you in your sleep for years on end.