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Man on the Moon

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Man on the Moon

Starring: Jim Carrey, Danny Devito
Director: Milos Forman
Rated: R
RunTime: 118 Minutes
Release Date: December 1999
Genres: Comedy, Drama

*Also starring: Courtney Love, Peter Bonerz, Bobby Boriello, Randall Carver, Jeff Conaway, Paul Giamatti, Marilu Henner, Judd Hirsch, Carol Kane

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1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review
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Review by Susan Granger
2½ stars out of 4

Don't miss the beginning - it's the most imaginative and hilarious part. Facing the camera, Jim Carrey establishes immediately that he's completely captured the eye-bulging essence of the late comedian Andy Kaufman. His impersonation is nothing short of brilliant, even Oscar-worthy. That having been acknowledged, the movie itself leaves a lot to be desired. First, it's not really a movie. It's simply the embodiment of an objectionable character whom people either adored or loathed. Director Milos Foreman and screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, the trio who did The People vs. Larry Flynt, don't attempt an analysis or even offer psychological insight into the complex, enigmatic nature of this definitely unhinged, obviously neurotic, and perhaps psychotic performer. Instead, we simply watch his progress from comedy clubs, like the Improv, to Saturday Night Live, to TV's Taxi along with his relentless self-destruction, aided and abetted by his writer/sidekick Bob Zmuda (Paul Giamatti). Danny DeVito's superb as his agent, observing: "You're insane - but you might also be brilliant." Kaufman meets his girlfriend (Courtney Love) in a wrestling challenge but she too is a cipher. They have only one revelatory moment together when he whines, "You don't know the real me." And she replies, "There isn't a real you." And then, at age 35, cancer strikes. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Man on the Moon is a strange, shallow 6. Who was this Andy Kaufman - and why did he love to provoke people? That's never answered in this uneven, two-hour compilation of comedy shtick. Even DeVito asks, "What's the point?"

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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