film reel image

film reel image

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Cable Guy 1996 * * * Stars

Picture is of the title image of the film The Cable Guy
Director: Ben Stiller
Year: 1996
Rating: PG-13
Rating: * * * Stars
Cast: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Lesile Mann, George Segal, Jack Black

The Cable Guy is the type of dark comedy that may have been overlooked by many critics and a host of moviegoers. When it was released in the mid-90's, Jim Carrey's fans were expecting another Ace Ventura or Dumb and Dumber. When they were taken down a different road, they kind of stayed away (a rare weak box office take for the Gumby-like funnyman). I, however, embraced the darkness and relentless mischief that his character displayed. Make no doubt about it; he earned his paycheck ($20 million I believe). And yes Jim sometimes goes over the top (the lisp thing got a little tiring), but he finds common ground with the addition of Matthew Broderick playing "straight man" to his lonely, desperate soul (Carrey's character has 3-4 names which I won't reveal).

The film is not really about cable installment. It's about the need for friendship and the measures taken to achieve it. With each viewing (if you decide to view it more than once), you realize more and more that The Cable Guy is vastly underrated. Look for funny cameos from young unknowns Owen Wilson, Lesile Mann and star in the making Jack Black (pre Hi-Fidelity). Ben Stiller's direction is risky but it pays off showcasing a flick you can laugh at while feeling a tiny speck of empathy at the same time. Oh and watch for a side plot involving Stiller. Just think the 1993 murder trial of the Menendez brothers. Remember it's a parody so there is no need to take it too seriously.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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