When I joined the Daily Arts staff, I made a promise to myself that I would never dedicate an entire post to Jim Carrey.
Well, self. I am sorry.
As a little boy, I revered Jim Carrey as one of the funniest comedians out there. He hit the big time in 1994’s “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” which is the landmark film where I shall start and end this post. I have never laughed so hard in my life as I did when I was a young boy watching Ace Ventura, whether he was conversing with his houseful of animals or using chloroform to anesthetize an unwitting Miami Dolphins star, I thought Ace Ventura was hilarious. Carrey used his over-the-top comedy to ham it up as Ventura in two hilarious films, thus sparking his rise to stardom.
In 1994 alone, Carrey also starred in two of his other vintage roles, as Stanley Ipkiss, the bashful bank clerk, in “The Mask” and Lloyd Christmas, the idiotic buddy of Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) in the Farrely Brothers’ “Dumb and Dumber.” In fact, all the way up until 2003, Carrey made comedy classics like “Liar Liar” (1997), “Me, Myself and Irene” (2000) and “Bruce Almighty” (2003).
So, yes, people do give Jim Carrey a lot of flack for being an over-actor. But the truth is, he’s got more awards than can be counted on one hand. Sure, they’re mostly MTV Movie Awards and Teen Choice Awards, but Carrey has got two Golden Globes as well. Not bad for a gawky, Canadian goofball.
Yet, 2004 seemingly marked the end of the glory days of Jim Carrey.
In 2004, Carrey starred in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004). Although this movie was deliciously twisted and critically-acclaimed, it marked the demise of Carrey. Upon taking the role of the unstable Joel Barish, a man who has his memories of his former lover surgically erased, Carrey entered new film territory. He had played somewhat dramatic characters before like Truman Burbank, a man who is shocked to find out that his whole life is a TV series, in “The Truman Show” (1998), yet he always held roles with comedy at their cores. With “Sunshine,” Carrey came to the unfortunate epiphany that there was more to film than comedy as he went on to the dark comedy “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (2004) and the horror/suspense flick “The Number 23″ (2007).
Though Carrey did indeed stick mainly to the comedy genre, he has not made a good comedy film since “Bruce Almighty.” As a viewer, I am disappointed. I watched a little of the first “Ace Ventura” on TBS this morning and laughed just as hard as I did when I was younger. Of course, I am a sap for stupid humor, but I miss the good ol’ days of Jim Carrey. Hopefully he can pick things up again with some of his upcoming films, like 2011’s “Where’s Waldo?” Carrey will star as the smiling striped protagonist and, if he can’t get back on the funny horse, I can move on to harassing Adam Sandler about his dwindling career. ”The Longest Yard” (2005), Adam? Really?