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May 23, 2005

Carrey Poll Results

Fifty-six votes on my semi-scientific Jim Carrey poll and i'm ready to call it. the question was this: "The best Jim Carrey film was..." And the results, in order of the vote totals was:

The Truman Show 25%
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 18%
Dumb & Dumber 14%
Bruce Almighty 11%
The Mask 7%
Me, Myself & Irene 7%
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective 5%
Liar Liar 5%
The Cable Guy 4%
The Dead Pool 4%

First of all, it was kind of a trick question. Or at least a question subject to dual interpretations. What was the best "Jim Carrey movie" or what was the best "movie in which Jim Carrey appeared." If you ask me, each interpretation of the question should get a different answer.

If you're talking about "best movie in which Jim Carrey appeared," in my opinion that's clearly Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which is one of the best movies to come out in recent years. But it's not a typical Jim Carrey movie. Sure, his performance was great, and there were flashes of the madcap, but Carrey wasn't the star. The script was the star and i was more blown away by Kate Winslet's complex performance.

The fact that 25% voted for The Truman Show is interesting. That's the movie that broke the Carrey typecast mold. Not a great film. Interesting enough to chat about for fifteen or twenty minutes during the obligatory post-movie Panda Express run, but no more than that. Still, without The Truman Show, we would have seen Nick Cage in the lead role of Eternal Sunshine. And what a mistake that would have been. i like Nick, but he couldn't have pulled off the baby under the table scene.

Funniest "Jim Carrey" Jim Carrey movie? i'm appalled that the comedy classic Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was so low on the list. Too many lines from that movie are worth memorizing and sprinkling into everyday conversation. It's also the only comedy movie i can think of with an offbeat hero, where the hero is not a bumbler of some kind. Think of the Pink Panther movies (also classics), when you have a wacky lead, he usually succeeds despite himself. In Ace Ventura, the lead is not a stereotypical lovable loser, instead he's the only one smart enough to crack the case.

Dumb and Dumber is hilarious, but except for the scene where the two of them are squirting ketchup and mustard into their mouths, i don't laugh as hard throughout as i did when i first saw it.

The Mask was just bad, never funny, and too reliant on special effects. Bruce Almighty is a one punch line movie, and i think it came in fourth on the strength of Jennifer Aniston's titties. Finally, by all rights The Dead Pool should have scored higher than The Cable Guy. Jim Carrey was great in that final installment to the Dirty Harry franchise. He played a strung out Axl Rose type rock star named Johnny Squares. This was a couple of years before In Living Color.

i was interested in that poll question not because i'm a huge Jim Carrey fan, because i'm not. i like him well enough, but what fascinates me is how a guy who everyone was so hot on in the nineties suddenly lost favor when everybody realized that he only had one act, and it got old rather quickly. He career kind of mirrored the dot-com boom/bust cycle of the nineties. Suddenly Hollywood realized he was obscenely overvalued and his career went through a "market correction." Carrey has dramatic talent and it's been interesting watching him try to re-invent himself for his last few movies.

Posted by annika, May. 23, 2005 |
Rubric: Let's Go To Hollywood


I'm pretty much alone in this opinion, but I think The Cable Guy was Jim Carrey's best work. It was both dark and funny. Didn't know whether to laugh or be creeped out.

Posted by: Ron on May. 23, 2005

Why does every comic actor feel the need to do at least one "seemingly innocent guy who's really a creepy axe murderer" movie? For instance: Robin Williams in that one hour photo movie, Michael Keaton in Pacific Heights. i'm sure there are more examples.

Posted by: annika on May. 23, 2005

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a guilty pleasure along with Dumb and Dumber. But I have an elegant persona to maintain so I will not admit I like those movies.

Posted by: Jake on May. 23, 2005

Sorry, I didn't vote in your pool, and truthfully, I don't know how I would have answered. I probably would have had to vote twice: Once for Dumb and Dumber, because that is my all time favorite stupid comedy -- Jim Carrey at his finest being typical Jim Carrey. Another vote would have gone to Eternal Sunshine, because his performance in that is just heartbreaking -- one of my favorite performances, by anyone, in any movie, ever.

Posted by: ginger on May. 23, 2005


1. Dumb & Dumber
2. Ace Ventura
3. The Mask (which really was good no matter what some skinny-assed blond thinks)
4. and all the rest which are unremarkable.

Posted by: Casca on May. 23, 2005

Oh yeah, "Laces OUT!!!"

Posted by: Casca on May. 23, 2005

Well, I liked Liar, Liar!

Secretary: Joe Shmoe is on line 1. He just robbed another liquor store and needs your legal advice.

Carrey (into the phone at arms length): STOP BREAKIN' THE LAW, ASSHOLE!!!

Posted by: Tuning Spork on May. 23, 2005

Casca, my brother loves The Mask too.

No surprise, you're both freaks.

Posted by: annika on May. 23, 2005

Excuse me, but The Mask is augmented with effects like Cameron Diaz when she still looked good.

Posted by: Casca on May. 23, 2005

eternal sunshine was the best, but nothing beats the scene at Medieval Times in cable guy. i start to cry when i watch that...

Posted by: scof on May. 23, 2005

Nobody mentioned The Majestic, which is admittedly overwrought and painfully sentimental, but I still liked most of it.

Posted by: DBrooks on May. 24, 2005

Scof - "Down, down, down! Red knight is goin' down!" That just happens to be one of my fave scenes from that movie too. :)

I loved Eternal Sunshine, but I have to say my all-time fave would be Dumb & Dumber. It's guaranteed when I need to put something on that will make me laugh. :)

Posted by: Amy Bo Bamy on May. 24, 2005

i've been trying to get "the most annoying sound in the world" to use as my ringtone, no luck so far. nothing like a bunch of good laughs, and carrey is always reliable for that.

Posted by: scof on May. 24, 2005

Who was the better idiot? Jim Carrey or Jerry Lewis? Hmmm. Wait. Better review some Three Stooges, Buster Keaton and . . . wait . . . this IS a trick question. THERE ARE NO GOOD JIM CARREY MOVIES!!!

You almost had me for a minute there. :-)

Posted by: Hawkeye on May. 30, 2005

I am shocked, shocked [!] that Man on the Moon did not get any votes. Carrey channeled Andy Kaufman and was jobbed when he didn't get an Oscar nomination. (The biggest travesty since the Academy ignored Val Kilmer's performance as Doc Holliday in Tombstone.)

Posted by: Ralph Kostant on Jun. 1, 2005