Rated PG-13 for dark thematic elements and crude humor.
Directed By: Ben Stiller
Written By: Lou Holtz Jr.
Staring: Matthew Broderick, Jim Carrey, Jack Black, Leslie Mann, George Segal, Ben Stiller, Diane Baker, Jeneane Garofalo, Andy Dick, Owen Wilson, and Eric Roberts
You know what the trouble about real life is? There’s no danger music. -Chip
A lonely and disturbed cable guy raised on television just wants a new friend, but his target, a designer, rejects him, with bad consequences.
Cable Guy is definitely not Jim Carrey at his best. He is overzealous and much too far over the top, which would have suited a skit, or a film like Ace Ventura where the character’s and fictional world supported his insanity, but in Cable Guy it’s quite the opposite. He’s entered the world of Matthew Broderick’s character rather than the other way around, and while his lunacy works in the beginning, it looses it’s affect about halfway through.
Matthew Broderick plays a simple and normal guy going threw a “break” with his girlfriend. In a new apartment, attempting to succeed at his job he hire a cable installer named Chip played by JimCarrey . The guy is a little odd, talks with a lisp, and is over anxious, but seemingly harmless. He offers to give Broderick the cable for free, and he thanks him graciously unknowing what thedisastrous consequences for this random act of kindness will actually be.
The first portion of the movie where Chip’s crazy is just foreshadowed is actually quite funny. There are some great Carrey moments, and I was pleased to see Jack Black play the straight character, even though I could feel his crazy bubbling underneath the surface, he kept it under control. The progression of Carrey’s character being unveiled as not just strange, but psychotic hits it’s peak on the morning after a little party when certain things are revealed. From that moment the movie goes downhill. Carrey gets carried away doing the most insane things imaginable, and director Ben Stiller having his own difficulties with restraints couldn’t or didn’t reign Carrey in at all. It just got ridiculous and the comedy felt forced and basically shoved in your face. The funniest part of the movie didn’t even involve Carrey, it was Jeneane Garofalo and Matthew Brodericks banter at Medieval Times.
This movie is constantly referred to as a dark comedy, and I don’t think it is at all. Just because it’s humor is mean spirited doesn’t make it dark. It’s still humor that is in your face, obvious, and at least attempting to be funny. That is a regular comedy. Movies like American Psycho, or American Beauty are true dark comedies. Films that are subtle in their humor and entire feel is a dark or melancholy theme. The Cable Guy never has that feel, it just feels like a hyper ADD movie that was satirizing “evil”. (please note the sarcasm) This film initially had me, but then unfortunately lost me. The Verdict? It’s not a bad movie until it starts to suck.