Sunday, November 26, 2006

be thankful for Jim Carrey

Ted & Ta came up for Thanksgiving, and since by their own admission they don't see many movies, and don't know which ones are worth watching, we watched two that I consider among the best of recent years: "Motorcycle Diaries" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Both are definitely worth second viewings, especially the latter.

I have always liked the actor Jim Carrey, from day one. In a world of cookie cutter thespians Carrey is fresh, energetic, and original.

I've observed that many people have some kind of a block against liking him. They say "I don't like Jim Carrey, but I admit that he was good in Eternal Sunshine". Or they'll say "I don't like Jim Carrey, but he was quite good in The Truman Show". Or they'll say "I don't like Jim Carrey, but his performance in Man on the Moon was exceptional". Or they'll say "I don't like Jim Carrey, but I admit he was really good in The Majestic". So what the heck is going on here?

Then these people will explain to you that they are put off by Carrey's goofy, over-the-top antics, but that in ... (enter the Carrey film of your choice), "he was subdued and toned down", "he stopped overacting", "he showed another side of himself", or "he showed that he can be a serious actor".

These people can rationalize their strained warm/cold relationship to the man in any number of ways. All I know is that I don't have that problem. The early, silly movies made me laugh, and the more recent serious material is first rate. "The Eternal Sunshine" is one of the most original films I've ever seen (along with "Being John Malkovich"). And unlike so many lesser comedians that pull out all the stops for a laugh, Jim Carrey is one of the few that can pull it off in a way that is not embarassing.


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