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Me, Myself and Irene

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Me, Myself and Irene

Starring: Jim Carrey, Renee Zellweger
Director: Bobby Farrelly
Rated: R
RunTime: 116 Minutes
Release Date: June 2000
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Chris Cooper, Robert Forster, James Gandolfini, Lin Shaye, Anthony Anderson, Richard Jenkins, Jerod Mixon, Mongo Brownlee, Traylor Howard

Review by John Beachem
3 stars out of 4

Charlie Baileygates (Jim Carrey back in comic form) is a member of the greatest police force in the US, the Rhode Island state police. He's got three children (Anthony Anderson, Mongo Brownlee, Jerod Mixon) who he loves with all his heart, even though they clearly aren't his (as one character says, they seem to have a year round tan); a wife who loved him till she ran off with a midget limo driver; and another personality named Hank. Charlie's life now consists of backing down from everything resembling a confrontation, or allowing Hank to take over and confront everything. His captain (a sadly underused Robert Forster) is giving him one last assignment before he may have to let Charlie go. Charlie's last assignment is to drive young Irene (Renee Zellweger) upstate to another precinct so she can settle a ticket her boss, Dickie (Danny Green), got while driving her car. After a short trip, the two arrive at the precinct and meet Lt. Gerke (Chris Cooper) and EPA Agent Boshane (Richard Jenkins). The two have questions for Irene about Dickie, and things get more than a little complicated from here.

I've always been a fan of Jim Carrey, even back when he was known as the white guy on "In Living Color". The man's an absolute master of physical comedy and over-the-top facial expressions, and he displays even more of this ability in "Me, Myself, and Irene". In fact, during those all too brief moments when Carrey is allowed to do his thing with complete abandon, the movie is absolutely hilarious. The problems are with the rest of its running time, filled with the Farrellys' trademark gross out jokes, which I have never cared for. For example, one scene showed a dog doing its business on Charlie's lawn while his neighbor watched. Half the audience exploded into laughter, while the other half (this was the half I was in) stared at the screen in silence - obviously missing the joke. Perhaps watching something like this is just too high-brow for me, and I'll always lack the intelligence to understand. The scenes I did find funny were ones where Carrey beat himself up far worse than what was done to him in "Liar, Liar" and one where Charlie and Hank argue about jumping over a bridge. These were the kinds of scenes that have made Carrey famous, and I wish the Farrellys had thought to include more of them.

"Me, Myself, and Irene" does boast a great supporting cast, but everyone in it is sadly underused. Robert Forster, who was terrific in "Jackie Brown", is given a total of about five minutes screen time. Chris Cooper, who turned in a stellar performance in "American Beauty" as the ex-marine father, is given one of the most useless characters in the film (and there are quite a few of them). Then we have Anthony Anderson, who is making quite a name for himself with hilarious performances in both "Romeo Must Die" and "Big Momma's House". Anderson is given one of the funniest parts, along with newcomers Brownlee and Mixon as the three beyond intelligent but also incredibly vulgar children of Charlie. I've heard the three might get there own movie, and I personally look forward to it. Last we have Renee Zellweger ("Empire Records") as the only relatively normal person in a film full of crazies. Zellweger does an excellent job moving back and forth from being infuriated with Hank to crazy over Charlie and treating it like it makes perfect sense.

So, now that I've gotten through saying what wonderful performances were given by some of the cast members and how hilarious Carrey was, you're probably wondering why I rated the movie like I did. Well, there are two reasons besides the abundant use of gross-out gags. First, the plot is useless, cliched, boring, predictable, and a lot more complicated than it needed to be (that probably sounded like five reasons, didn't it?); Second, I hate movies that run past the point where they're welcome and "Me, Myself, and Irene" wears out its welcome with nearly a half hour to go. The movie runs a ridiculous 116 minutes, and it should have been only 90. There are actually three or four scenes that could be taken as climaxes when I promise one would have sufficed. There is one other redeeming quality thankfully, which is the nice, quiet soundtrack. It's full of older songs, which play softly in the background rather than covering up what the characters are saying (as seems to be the current trend). If you enjoyed "There's Something About Mary", there's a good chance you'll get a kick out of "Me, Myself, and Irene" since it does contain some of the same sexual humor. I'd recommend the movie to fans of the Farrellys and give it a slightly generous three out of five stars.

Copyright 2000 John Beachem

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