Jim Carrey has one of his more serious offerings releasing on DVD this week with Number 23. Looking at the film's box office intake, it seems poor Mr. Carrey still hasn't completely convinced Joe Public that he can do more than talk out of his bum. But that doesn't make Joe Public right, now does it? Here's a look at some of Carrey's more successful serious turns.
I hated this movie when I first saw it. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the fact that my theater had no AC. But I caught it on cable a year or so ago and I enjoyed it so much I went out and purchased it. It has a Capra-like quality that really works. It isn't an exceptional film but it's a fine, entertaining one and Carrey is as natural here as he's ever been.
It is here -- in Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry's bizarre, brilliant and beautiful film -- that Carrey gives his very best performance. This was a perfect role for him because he's able to emote the pain and suffering of a man in a relationship gone sour while delivering some quintessential Carrey laughs here and there.
Andy Kaufman was an idol of mine growing up and I've been told time and time again that it is not, in fact, Andy Kaufman who appears in this movie but rather some bloke named James Eugene Carrey. I know the credits mention the same gentlemen as having starred as Mr. Kaufman, but isn't that exactly what Andy would want us to believe? In all seriousness, I hardly consider Carrey acting in this movie. It's a performance, but it's more of a carbon copy experiment than anything else. I understand Milos Forman was not interested in peeking behind the curtain when dealing with Kaufman and that isn't Carrey's fault, but it reduces the actor to the great art of imitation.
This was Jimbo's first foray into the dramatic world (aside from some pre-Ace Ventura detours). It was a meld of Carrey's superficial comic tendencies and director Peter Weir's rein pulling. It's a tough choice, but this just might be the best film Carrey's ever been in. I love Eternal Sunshine, and that film has the better performance, but this film is almost perfect.
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Dre writes three times a week for Film.com when he isn't talking out of his bum. Email him!