October 29, 2008

On the Horizon: Liar Liar 2?

Look familiar?

This is the first "On the Horizon"-featured movie that I haven't actually seen, but it's a fun feature and this situation is a little weird, so I'm going with it. You might have seen the trailers for Yes Man start a full promotional campaign in theaters and on TV in recent weeks.

I know others have also noticed that Yes Man appears to be an alternate version of either Bruce Almighty or Liar Liar - witness:

Jim Carrey plays a self-absorbed jerk who receives his comeuppance after some kind of psychological switch turns his life upside down. All of his past decisions and habits are reversed; hilarity and hijinx ensue with a sex joke or embarrassing freak-out every keeping the pace every five minutes. The jerk learns his lesson and everybody goes home happy.

Which movie did I just describe?

Tough to say, but regardless, I'm not really complaining since I kind of like this Jim Carrey. You see, there
are actually five Jim Carreys:
  • the "funny straight guy" Yes Man/Liar Liar/Bruce Almighty Jim Carrey
  • the "ultra dramatic" Eternal Sunshine/The Majestic/Simon Birch Jim Carrey
  • the "creepy" Me, Myself and Irene/The Cable Guy/The Number 23 Jim Carrey
  • the " wacky" In Loving Color/Ace Ventura/The Mask Jim Carrey
  • the "costumed" Grinch/Lemony Snicket/Christmas Carol Jim Carrey
With few exceptions, I'm not a huge fan of the "costumed" or the "creepy" Jim Carreys, but I mostly enjoy the other three. In fact, I think his "wacky" performance in Dumb and Dumber deserves to be considered one of the most impressive roles of the 90's, and no, I'm not joking. Comedy is not as easy as it seems, and no one could have pulled off that role like Carrey did. Anyway, I think he's a great comedic talent who's had a few recent missteps (Fun With Dick and Jane, The Number 23), so if Yes Man is a return to one of his better personas, well that's fine with me.


  1. As far as Carrey is concerned, The Truman Show is his most underrated films and he's excellent in it. I've enjoyed growing up with his career changes. Young me loved Dumb and Dumber, The Mask, etc. Teenage me loved Liar Liar and Adult me loved Eternal Sunshine, etc.

    But the real question here is: Will I see "The Yes Man?" Yes.

  2. Love the Dumb and Dumber love. That movie's a damn masterpiece and needs to be regarded as such. The Farrelly's first three films, in fact, are loads better than all their others combined (Kingpin doesn't get enough love, either).

    Yes Man first made me think of the recent Ryan Reynolds flick Chaos Theory (that just about no one but me saw), but it's awfully reminiscent of the other "funny straight guy" roles he's played as well. I wouldn't have a problem with those prior FSG roles if it weren't for the fact that I don't consider any of them to be all that good. They're funny at times, but just aren't all that well-written. Hopefully, Yes Man will chart a different path, but I doubt it.

  3. I'm with Fletch on thinking of Chaos Theory when I saw the trailer for this. It's VERY much like that film, it seems, but much more... I don't know... flamboyant in that Carrey way.

    In my book, Carrey should have won an Oscar for Me, Myself, and Irene. I think it's one of the best perfomances of the 00's

  4. I'm with you in that progression, Scott, and while I agree Truman may be one of the better films of the bunch, D&D is still his most underrated performance, in my opinion.

    Speaking of which, Fletch, I wonder if it speaks to the Farrelly's talent that they have pulled out such memorable performances from the casts of Kingpin, Something About Mary, etc. Oh wait, Stuck on You - forget it...

    Carrey as FSG doesn't use his best talents, but I've found myself watching those FSG movies just to see him balance the line between normal and crazy. All of them would be total disasters without him (Evan Almighty, anybody?), so I would agree that they each have real structural weaknesses.

    What does it say about me that I know absolutely zero about Chaos Theory? Looking it up, it sounds vaguely, vaguely familiar, but I guess it went completely by me this year.

    Well I'm in no place to judge you for liking Carrey in Irene, Fox, especially not with my serious appreciation for him in D&D. I just didn't like Irene for some reason - maybe Zellweger, maybe the story, I don't know. It's just one that I'd skip over if it was on TV.


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