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3/11/14

ME, MYSELF & IRENE - REVIEW


Back in 2000, Jim Carrey reunited with the Farrelly Brothers to work on post-Dumb & Dumber comedy Me, Myself & Irene, a movie which certainly made the most of Carrey's Jerry Lewis-esque rubber-faced antics.

Carrey stars as mild-mannered Rhode Island cop Charlie, whose wife leaves him unexpectedly to raise the three children she had with a short genius limo driver by himself. Charlie is way too nice for his own good, bottling up all his anger and other, darker emotions deep inside as the whole town steps on him daily, from old-timers to even little girls. This is until, one day, Charlie loses it and develops another personality, Hank, who takes over every so often, bringing out an infinitely more mean-spirited side of his personality. He starts taking medication to contain Hank but while he's giving Renee Zelwegger's incidental outlaw Irene a ride to another town, he forgets his pills as it turns out that Irene is in the middle of a rather dodgy plot. Unfortunately, this means that she's about to deal with both Charlie and Hank. On their travels, they encounter an immortal cow, a dodgy cop (played by Chris Cooper), an albino waiter called Whitey and Hank comes out to cause mayhem for as little as a dude smoking a cigarette in a petrol station or a young kid looking at him wrong. The humour throughout is reliably gross-out, of course, so the sight of chickens being stuffed up someone's butt and Carrey peeing sideways isn't too jarring seeing as this is a road movie in the same vein as Dumb & Dumber.

It's juvenile stuff but it's done well.

The reason Me, Myself & Irene works as well as it does, though, is thanks to how much you feel for the Charlie character early on and the underlying heart the film tries so very hard to hide and keep in the background of all the boner and poo jokes. After all, this is a film about a guy having a mental breakdown after being treated like crap all his life in various cruel ways so making it all a wacky, jokey, heartless cartoon would have been missing the point. Kind of like how the directors did with Stuck On You, actually. This movie is closer to There's Something About Mary in that respect since there is an odd sweetness to parts of it: the romance, Charlie's swallowed heartbreak, his relationship with his three sons. The film never takes itself too seriously, obviously, but it has enough heart to give it a third dimension of sorts. As a whole, it's a clever take on the old Nutty Professor idea of having someone develop another, completely different personality and getting into all sorts of crazy situations. The film culminates in a fun fight between Charlie and Hank as Jim Carrey finally gets to go full-on and show-off his physical and vocal versatility. Armed with a cool soundtrack, a solid cast including the likes of Richard Jenkins and Tony Cox, and loads of memorable jokes and random moments, this is arguably Jim Carrey's last great gross-out comedy (until Dumb & Dumber To, hopefully) and it's definitely worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of the actor.

While not exactly the classiest flick around, or even the best comedy you'll ever see, it's still very much a Farrelly Brothers movie and if you've enjoyed their unique brand of humour in the past, then chances are you'll enjoy this one. It's hugely entertaining, very funny and it does have some sort of heart to it so it definitely gets the job done.

A good, appropriately silly time.

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