Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Whither Jim Carrey?

Today's release of Yes Man (which, in full disclosure, I did not see; the whole "say YES to everything" thing is a stupid concept) brings up one major question:

How did this guy ...

... become such a joke?

OK, so he's not actually a joke ... although The Number 23 certainly was considered laughable (complete with a dubious nomination for Mr. Carrey*).

*In an attempt to class up the joint, I'm going New York Times on everyone and put titles in front of last names, every once in a while. Or maybe not.

But seriously ... was it really five whole years ago that we were gushing over his performance in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind -- and later wondering what was wrong with the Academy for not recognizing this former goofball who had so clearly become a capital-A Actor?

And that was years after Carrey won back-to-back Golden Globes (granted, in the less-competitive Musical or Comedy category), first for his surprisingly serious turn in The Truman Show, then for his spot-on work as twisted comedian Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon.

AND, let's not forget, he already had shown range and promise with his creepy role in The Cable Guy (one I've mentioned previously), proving to us back then that he's a whole lot more than just a slapstick actor (albeit a great one).

This isn't to say Carrey -- er, Mr. Carrey -- is done or anything, because asserting such a thing would be ridiculous. Even low-talent actors* land great roles, and Carrey clearly has chops, even when he's reined in. OK, so maybe he won't be doing Hamlet**, but there's enough diversity of film out there that the man once known as Ace can find at least one more great role that doesn't involve facial contortions.


**Which is fine, because the whole Shakespeare thing is played*** anyway.

***Get it? Shakespeare? Played? Hahahahaha.

What's next, then, for Carrey? This one, which reportedly is having release troubles ... then a turn as the one-and-only Curly of The Three Stooges.

Yes. As Curly -- alongside Benicio Del Toro (Moe) and Sean Penn (Larry), as directed by the Farrelly Brothers.

What was that I said about facial contortions?

So, as oddly intriguing as the Benny/Sean/Jimmy trio sounds, I guess we'll have to wait a little longer for another Joel Barish.

Let's just hope that if such an offer surfaces, Carrey will give that script an immediate, emphatic "YES!"

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