Monday Face/Off – Jim Carrey

Sarah (still cries when she thinks about Batman Forever):
What the heck happened to Jim Carrey? He used to be so damn cool circa Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and When Nature Calls. Liar Liar is a hilarious film that rightfully bagged him a Golden Globe. Me, Myself and Irene was tolerable. The Cable Guy achieved cult status. He was enjoyably EVIL AS ALL HELL in Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events. Then somewhere along the way it went wrong: The Number 23, the shockingly lame Mr Popper’s Penguins; Yes Man, Fun With Dick and Jane – the list goes on. Carrey was one of the truly funny actors when he was at his peak, now it’s like he just doesn’t care. He just gets his cheque and slithers away. It’s quite sad to see. Seriously, just writing that long list of poor Carrey films is making me weep bitter tears of sorrow onto my keyboard. Whatever is making him pick rubbish films needs to be exorcised out of him by tying him to a chair and slapping him with a wet fish.

Nina (acts out scenes from The Truman Show in the shower):
Sarah, If you slapped Jim Carrey with a wet fish he’d slap you right back with a plethora of wit, genius comic timing and more varieties of facial expressions than is otherwise humanly possible. And, sorry in advance for getting physically threatening, but I’m heading to the fish market right now and we may have to have a little word when I return…  You know what though, you’re right – way back when Jim Carrey was ‘so damn cool’. Let us look further at the facts: his beginnings at Saturday Night Live (where, in the recurring skit ‘The Roxbury Guys’ when he’s coked up and bopping along to ‘Is This Love’, he continually steals the scene from Will Farrell) his iconic portrayal of the kind hearted but moronic Lloyd in Dumb and Dumber (which 90s child can’t quote a million lines from this…) and I defy you to consider him trying desperately hard to lie in Liar Liar and not be amazed by the sheer range and scope of his faces and noises (“bad baby, bad baby!!”). Your main (rather lame) argument is that he was brilliant but that now he’s not as good. Firstly, I’m saying that his iconic comedy moments and unique style is so unquestionable that it doesn’t matter what he’s done recently. He transcends recently. His past work has earned him the right to be stuck in a 90s time warp. Forever. BUT, even saying that, if we were to analyse his most recent performances they’re not even that bad! The Number 23 is one of many examples (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Truman Show, Man on the Moon) that this guy can do serious. Even though it didn’t go well, it was particularly brave of this actor, so associated with his own brand of outrageous comedy, to move genres, despite the fact that he was inevitably going to get jip.  He’s renowned for his highly energetic, slapstick performances. But he can do other things too! He really can!!!

You reckon The Number 23 is proof that “this guy can do serious”? On reading that I laughed so hard I had to take a five minute break to get my heart rate back to normal. Particularly brave? Or did you mean phenomenally stupid? Granted, it was a bad film from the off: bad plot, bad script, bad characterisation. But there are actors out there who can make the most of bad source material. Carrey isn’t one of those actors. Instead he chooses to try and get back the glory he had in the 90s. I was ten years old when Ace Ventura came out. In case it has escaped your attention, I am not ten years old anymore (I just have good skin). I have moved on since then, it’s a shame Carrey can’t do the same. I would love nothing more than to shake him out of his 90s time warp. Him and you, Nina. Possibly with the aid of a wet fish. It’s on like Donkey Kong when you get back from the market.

Before that, I hereby put to you the notion that Jim Carrey is overrated. In fact overrated is an understatement when it comes to Jim Carrey. He used to scream his way through his performances, hoping that a raised voice would equal comedy. IT DOESN’T. His rubbery facial expressions and silly voices irritate more than entertain, yet somehow he keeps getting given roles. Not only is he overrated but a he’s a MASSIVE PERV. His video from 2011 confessing how attracted he is to Emma Stone was nothing short of creepy. “If I were a lot younger I would marry you, and have chubby little freckle-faced kids. And every day for the rest of your life you would thank God that I was the appropriate age for you”. Now, if this video was made by the random man on the street, everyone would be cussing him out as – indeed – a “massive perv”. But this is Jim Carrey –star of the SHOCKINGLY LAME Mr Popper’s Penguins – so it’s alright. Is it?

You oh-so-observantly pointed out that Jim Carrey is shouty and rubbery faced… Well DUH!  No one’s denying this, least of all me and least of all Jim. He knows what he’s doing  when it comes down to it he does what he does and he does it better than everyone else. I mean, as the Joker in Batman Begins he prances around in a tight glittery cat suit and screams “was that over the top! I can never tell!” – oh, he can tell, he’s self-aware to say the least. You’re saying he should stick to what he’s good at. Well he’s just REALLY GOOD AT BEING SHOUTY AND RUBBERY FACED. And you’ve gotta love him for taking it as far as he can possibly take it.

Oh, and he’s pretty darn good at being serious too. Take The Truman Show; it depicts Jim Carrey’s range beautifully. He gets his classic shouty, rubbery faced moments but his performance has a subtlety and calmness makes it genuinely touching and memorable.  At the end, when he sails out to the ocean and hits the studio wall with his boat and realises that EVERYTHING IS FAKE! Mate. Tell me that bit is not serious and I’ll get seriously worried about your ability to empathise with others. You say Jim Carey is not an actor! In Man on the Moon he seamlessly juggles hilarity and sentimentality as a stand-up comedian coping with a terminal illness. Another sentimental performance was his love confession to Emma Stone on YouTube – and I won’t hear any more about it. HE SHOULD NEVER BE PUT IN THE SAME CATEGORY AS JENNIFER LOPEZ! Primed and ready with that fish, primed and ready…

I completely agree with you about The Truman Show. That film is a classic for a reason. So what’s happened? He went from The Truman Show to The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Perhaps it’s not entirely Carrey’s fault that he sucks now. Comparing Jim Carrey’s comedic performances then and now, it’s clear he’s become pants over the last eight years or so. His stints on In Living Colour, stand-up comedy gigs and his early work in the 80s/90s were stellar, because there was no one else around quite like him. He starred in a sketch show with the abominable Wayans brothers back in the day and became the biggest break out star from the show. He won two Golden Globes and a slew of other awards. And what does he do now? Turn up to showbiz parties wearing stupid footwear. Is it because your man’s getting old? Maybe. If that’s the case though he should bow out GRACEFULLY.

Good. You agree with me about The Truman Show – that makes 8-1 to me and counting (I’ve been keeping score – you get one for your The Number 23 comment). Erm, Sarah, you’ve just repeated your first point about how he’s gone downhill since his glory days. YOU’VE ALREADY SAID THIS and, I can’t help but notice that you can’t help elaborating about these said glory days, because there is just so much to say! If Jim Carrey bowed out now then there would be a massive empty void where he once was. The guy’s a legend. And his recent films aren’t even THAT BAD. He stole the show in Mr Popper’s Penguins (I don’t care if the rest of the cast was CGI penguins… ) and he was well cast in Lemony Snicket’s a series of Unfortunate Events, which was well received by kids and adults alike I’ll have you know! Oh, and Sarah, have you EVEN SEEN THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE?? I don’t think so. You’re just relying on your judgmental pre-conceptions for that comment I think. Jim Carrey is an important part of mine, and yours (traitor!) childhood. And I’m done with this conversation now. I’ll not hear another bad word about him. Because Jim Carrey is not the only one who’s good at SLAP stick if you get my meaning.

Right Nina. You asked for it. LET THE FISH FIGHT BEGIN! I pick trout.


What do you think of Jim Carrey? Let us know below!


By Sarah Deen and Nina Scott

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