Saturday, March 15, 2014

Me Myself and Irene


There was a disastrous accident on the set of Slaughterhouse Live!, my musical version of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, my latest film which is currently in principal photography. Apparently one of the grips forgot to close the gate on the pen holding the cattle extras and there was a minor stampede through several of the chief sets. The dream abbatoir in particular has suffered substantial damage.  Cracks in all the black marble paneling and unbelievable stains on the ersatz aubusson carpets.  Production has had to shut down for a week so I’ve been able to extend my stay here at Chateau Maine with my darling Norman.

Norman, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be terribly excited by my unexpected company and has been taking off in our new Daewoo motors Mu-Tang for parts unknown. I was finally forced to send Nurse Tameka after him. Fortunately, there aren't that many magenta cars with chartreuse upholstery and she quickly found him out at the racetrack again, bingeing on one too many Manhattans with a twist. I was a tad upset and told him that he had to keep me happy by taking me to a movie matinee, even though it was midweek. He complained that he would miss his afternoon swimming lesson. I was not moved – as if one missed lesson could lead to his drowning.

Norman decided he wanted to laugh so we headed off to the local cineplex for Me, Myself and Irene with Jim Carrey and Renee Zellweger. Usually, we are big fans of the oeuvre of the Farrelly brothers, the masters of gross out gag comedy. We consider There’s Something About Mary to be one of the funniest movies ever committed to celluloid and both Kingpin and Dumb and Dumber have wonderful characters and performances that lift them way beyond the gags. Unfortunately, this time the brothers from Rhode Island have come a cropper.

The set up is promising enough; Jim Carrey is a highway patrolman who tends to suppress his rage, no matter what the provocation. One day, after more life disasters than usual, all of that pent up hostility comes boiling over as an alternate personality. Both halves, his normal self, Charlie, and the nasty new kid on the block, Hank, end up competing for the affections of Renee Zellweger, a prisoner he is escorting from Rhode Island to New York. Carrey’s initial manifestation of the nefarious Hank from the sweet Charlie is pretty good but I can't help remember how much better Steve Martin did the two people sharing one body thing in All of Me back in the eighties. The movie then drifts into standard road movie sequences mixed up with a lot of plot about corrupt police and the EPA that neither makes much sense nor is of any real interest.

There are some inspired bits involving an albino waiter, a black midget, three street-wise genius black triplets and a cow that doesn’t want to die. Unfortunately, most of the jokes both feel and look like afterthoughts tacked on to raise the humor quotient, rather than growing organically out of humor and situation. A lot of the Farrelly's usual gang of supporting players show up in small bits but Lin Shaye (Magda of the extreme tan from There’s Something About Mary ), an actress who is often one of the best things in their movies, seems to have ended up on the cutting room floor. We know this, as there are clips from cut sequences worked into the credits and these seem to be her only appearance.

Despite the old college try from the leads, the film is disappointing and is only worth the investment if you are a Farelly Brothers completist.

Misplaced body fluids. Misplaced chicken. Animal cruelty. Naked middle-aged police bottoms. Gratuitous lawn darts. Breast-feeding. Daring water rescues.

No comments:

Post a Comment