Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Cable Guy (1996)

George Segal Film Fest Movie #4

Halloween Movie #1 

Synopsis: Deranged lunatic enters the life of a nice guy, and um…. fixes his damaged relationship, hires him a hooker, offers his friendship, provides free cable and a home entertainment centre, and… wait, how is Jim Carrey the villain, exactly? 

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Jim Carrey is Chip Douglas, cable installer. Raised on television sitcoms, he wants life to look just like My Three Sons. And when he meets single-guy Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick), he sees his chance for some serious male bonding.” 

What Did I Learn?: Medieval Times isn’t  terribly authentic. 

You Might Like This Movie If: You'll watch anything - and I mean anything - that involves a cable guy. [No, I'm not linking to a porn site!]
Really?: 1) So wait… Chip was basically raised as a couch potato, and yet he’s somehow athletic enough to play a game of “prison rules” basketball? 2) I had a hard time believing Medieval Times would ever allow a couple of patrons to not only hit each other with bladed weapons, but participate in an actual joust. 3) I’ve seen a lot of friendships die on the vine, and none of them ever ended with a “breakup” speech. Couldn’t Steven have just given Chip the old “sorry dude, but I gotta work” routine a few times until he got the hint? 4) There’s absolutely no way Steven would sit through a family get-together with Chip in attendance after his brief stay in the county lock-up. 5) I realize Ben Stiller directed this film, and originally wanted to star in it, but those scenes of him as the Sweet brothers seem a bit unnecessary. 

Rating: I have to admit that I’ve never been a big Jim Carrey fan – or at the very least, I've never enjoyed his manic-energy performances, and this is a prime example. The Cable Guy isn’t a bad film, but it often looks as though Carrey and Broderick are performing in two completely different movies (the funniest line for me is actually a throwaway moment: Broderick mentioning to Janeane Garofalo that it’s odd Medieval Times offers Pepsi, but not utensils), and the story stops making sense somewhere in the second act. 6/10 stars.

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