When Jim Carrey Ruled the World

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When Jim Carrey Ruled the World

Once upon a time in the 90s, a little-known comedian took the box office by storm.

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Do people really think Dumb & Dumber is one of the best comedies of the 90's? I thought it was awful when I was 13 and I didn't think any film was awful when I was 13.

It's Matthew Broderick in The Cable Guy, not Ben Stiller.
And I love that movie, a dark look at pop-culture obsessed superfan weirdos is even more relevant today than it was in the 90s.

There's Something About Mary is probably the first instance of me going 'Why is everybody liking this?!' At the time nobody could shut up about it, hailing it as the greatest comedy masterpiece ever conceived, and I could not give a toss. It was actually on TV a few days ago (to coincide with Dumb and Dumber 2 being released), and boy, age has not done this movie well. The fucking end credits are nauseating, where it's this obviously staged 'Ooh, look how much fun we had making this movie'.

I remember it being a big deal around this time when Carrey became the first actor to get paid $20 million a movie. Immediately, every A-lister's agent was demanding the same.

You forgot some of his major blockbuster movies at the time, all the way up to the turn of the century... though I can't exactly blame you.

I mean, he was a huge sell on The Grinch (2000):
image
Quality of the film be damned, he was THE huge draw.

Sure, Man on the Moon and The Truman Show were between it (and Me, Myself, and Irene was also in 2000 as mentioned), but his "hot streak" kept going all the way to 2000, since Man on the Moon was highly acclaimed and The Truman Show was still marketed as a comedy (and it partially was) and was a major financial and critical hit.
image

The Carrey Fever didn't end until after the turn of the century. Even that, afterwards, gave us comedy gold with Bruce Almighty, Yes Man, and a few other surprising turns.

And his turn in A Series of Unfortunate Events was ... interesting.

Trishbot:
You forgot some of his major blockbuster movies at the time, all the way up to the turn of the century... though I can't exactly blame you.

I mean, he was a huge sell on The Grinch (2000):
...
Quality of the film be damned, he was THE huge draw.

Sure, Man on the Moon and The Truman Show were between it (and Me, Myself, and Irene was also in 2000 as mentioned), but his "hot streak" kept going all the way to 2000, since Man on the Moon was highly acclaimed and The Truman Show was still marketed as a comedy (and it partially was) and was a major financial and critical hit.
...

The Carrey Fever didn't end until after the turn of the century. Even that, afterwards, gave us comedy gold with Bruce Almighty, Yes Man, and a few other surprising turns.

He didn't retire after his first hit, if that is what you mean, but by the time of "Me, Myself & Irene", he was not the star power that once was (capable of carrying a movie on his own). In fact, I would argue he had lost quite a lot of star power by the time he made "Liar, Liar"...

That doesn't mean he was out of our lives, though... After all, once great stars of the 80s like Eddie Murphy are still around and kicking...

Pretty incredible stuff. Historians will find it especially so in a few hundred years, Carrey is the closest to a court jester in the 20th century (sorry Mark, you were almost right).

When did Ben Stiller have facial reconstruction done to look so much like Matthew Broderick? :P

I've always found The Mask to be severely under-rated for, if nothing else, containing a fantastically done subversion:

Also, the dog. Perhaps animals are a key element to a Carrey comedy success. Although I think both The Truman Show and Man on the Moon were fantastic, but I literally grew up as a Kaufman fan....

(My mother once bought a used car from a Jim Carrey. Was a great car, too.)

Dumb and Dumber couldn't elicit a laugh from me even when i was stoned.

I'm not much of a Jim Carrey fan (or comedy in general for that matter) but even I thought Liar Liar was hilarious.

His more recent performance as Colonel Stars and Stripes in Kick Ass 2 was pretty good even if the movie as a whole wasn't that great. But when said movie failed to do well and I heard that Carrey suddenly took the moral high ground and refused to promote it because of the Sandy Hook shooting, I ended up hating both him and his character for it even though I later learned the movie was among the most pirated that year.

I thought dumb and dumber was terrible

The only movie of Jim Carey's I ever liked was Eternal Sunshine on a Spotless Mind

P-89 Scorpion:
Do people really think Dumb & Dumber is one of the best comedies of the 90's? I thought it was awful when I was 13 and I didn't think any film was awful when I was 13.

I know I liked it at the time, but it's not something I could ever watch again, no way.

Liar, Liar is probably the only Carrey movie from that period I can watch and enjoy these days. Ace and The Mask just don't have enough meat around the slapstick, so to speak.

Jupiter065:
It's Matthew Broderick in The Cable Guy, not Ben Stiller.
And I love that movie, a dark look at pop-culture obsessed superfan weirdos is even more relevant today than it was in the 90s.

Well, technically, Ben Stiller is in the movie as a b-story where he's on trial for the murder of his brother (which was poking fun at America's obsession with courtroom dramas like the O.J. trial). As for Bob mistaking Broderick for Stiller, that's kinda understandable since Broderick feels like a forgettable character merely there to drive the plot. But that's just me.

I'll admit, I enjoyed most of those movies growing up in the 90s but they haven't aged well. The only ones that still remain good, to me at least, is The Mask, Liar Liar, and later movies like The Truman Show. As for why he's not longer the top draw, it goes back to the same problems 80s & 90s action movie stars fell victim to - the passing of time and the ever-evolving tastes of moviegoers.

I'm glad that Jim Carrey has branched out into other roles but the day of being the #1 comedic box office draw are sadly over. And trying to recapture the magic with Dumb and Dumber To is not going to happen.

In terms of Jim Carrey movies, I prefer The Mask, Ace Ventura 1 and 2, and Bruce Allmighty. The rest I could take or leave, honestly.

Its funny the way critics will declare an actor done just because they choose not to make films at all for a while and like with Jim carrey hes been a massive hit several times. naw naw naw hes done..

Bob hes consistently had big hits every couple years since is career started
Bruce Almighty (2003)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)

Yes Man (2008)
Budget $70 million
Box office $225,990,976

I think youre doing the selective memory thing again. Even the penguin movie did fine.

I think The Trueman Show was what did Carrey in. It was a great movie, but it kind of showed he could be better when he wasn't doing comedy, but maybe the reason he didn't continue after that is he felt himself slipping into Nick Cage territory of acting.

Oh, these bring me back. Thanks Bob, for making me fell 9 - 12 again. I did not notice any "transphobia" from Sean Young's character in Ace Ventura, because I was 9 at the time, I didn't know that was a thing. I just thought she was just a really crazy dude who got surgery to assume a woman's identity, just to get back at Dan Marino. As for his take on the Riddler, he was aping Frank Gorshin's performance from Adam West's show, which actually saved The Riddler from disappearing from the comics. Turns out, writing riddles like that is hard. Who knew?

We've had Jerry Lewis and Jim Carrey, is there a new kid on the block for facial contortion comedy?

Am I missing anyone? A lot of actors with strong theater and vaudeville backgrounds can certainly exaggerate, but it doesn't come close to what these two have managed.

I will totally forgive Something About Mary for being a bad movie simply because, as in The Mask, the world needed more Cameron Diaz.

Then her career imploded...

She was good in that recent lawyer drama movie, but that's about it.

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

I've always respected Carrey's work, being a fan of his on In Living Color before anyone really knew of him (and I actually liked Once Bitten though admittedly it was fairly cheesy). I don't think I've seen a bad performance out of Carrey and his post Ace Ventura flicks have all been good IMO. Even that Number 23 movie. And shame on you Bob for mistaking Ben Stiller and Matthew Broderick. I realize Stiller directed the movie, but the way you wrote it doesn't make that distinction. Bad critic, BAD!
And also no mention of the prediction of Cable Guy coming true? Because now we can play Mortal Kombat with a friend in Vietnam for reals.

Only one mention of Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind? That director is beautiful. Actually i chose to study Jim Carrey for a film studies assignment a few years ago. It really increased my respect for the man. No one else can do what he can do. He is like the american version of Rowan Atkinson with their brilliant kinetic humour. I await the day a fresh comedian can do better.

Lastly...what? AV 2 was totally better! Shikaka!

edit: I never knew jim carrey was so popular back in the day. I was a british child, so is it more an American thing? I understand its cool to hate whats popular automatically. I am victim to the same cynicism ;)

P-89 Scorpion:
Do people really think Dumb & Dumber is one of the best comedies of the 90's? I thought it was awful when I was 13 and I didn't think any film was awful when I was 13.

So glad I'm not the only kid from the 90's who thinks this. Though, to be honest, I never cared for Jim Carey.

OT: Of what was mentioned in this list, I liked Batman Forever (ill-suited, but fun) and The Truman Show. The rest I either avoided like the plague or just didn't like.

I like The Grinch and Bruce Almighty. Those two movies made me laugh, and I watch The Grinch every year for Christmas.

I thought he did okay in the Batman movie "Ah! You sank my battleship!" but yeah, now that you mention it, he would have been much, much better as The Mad Hatter.

Only one mention of Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind? That director is beautiful. Actually i chose to study Jim Carrey for a film studies assignment a few years ago. It really increased my respect for the man. No one else can do what he can do. He is like the american version of Rowan Atkinson with their brilliant kinetic humour. I await the day a fresh comedian can do better.

Lastly...what? AV 2 was totally better! Shikaka!

edit: I never knew jim carrey was so popular back in the day. I was a british child, so is it more an American thing? I understand its cool to hate whats popular automatically. I am victim to the same cynicism ;)

Carrey just had that special touch that he could make stuff like talking out your ass actually funny where so many others would have just made us groan. While some of his movies have fared better than others he is still a good funny guy and I'll always fondly remember watching stuff like The Mask and Liar Liar growing up. Thanks for the laughs, Jim. ^w^

While I generally enjoyed The Truman Show, and haven't seen any of Carrey's other dramas, I wonder if it has come to Bob's attention that Yahtzee, in his Psychonauts review of so long ago, cited Jim Carrey as the main symptom of the Stupid Virus epidemic of the late Nineties (when people stopped buying adventure games.)

Jupiter065:
It's Matthew Broderick in The Cable Guy, not Ben Stiller...

That's a serious example of exactly how forgettable a film is when the professional movie columnist can't cite the name of one of the stars correctly.

Oh, and in the Capcha! box, it asks "which one is math?" and I wanted to pick "cabbage" because it rhymes with Babbage.

SilverUchiha:

P-89 Scorpion:
Do people really think Dumb & Dumber is one of the best comedies of the 90's? I thought it was awful when I was 13 and I didn't think any film was awful when I was 13.

So glad I'm not the only kid from the 90's who thinks this. Though, to be honest, I never cared for Jim Carey.

Yes, many people think Dumb & Dumber is one of the greatest comedies of the 90s. That includes me. Very odd. My brother in law is probably less discerning about movies than me and he walked out on this movie! He hated it that much.

I don't think those that love the movie are mean, enjoying watching dumb people. To me, these characters were like Bugs Bunny. Just about no matter what was going on, they were having a great time and I found their joy infectious.

The first Jim Carrey movie I saw as a wee lad was the second Ace Ventura. It fricking traumatized me, mostly because of the raccoon. When we sat down to watch it my friend told me "don't worry, the raccoon survives." Then...it didn't.

Hey, don't look at me like that. I was 8 or 9 at the time.

He's also responsible for the success of one of my favorite songs, I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

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