If there's one thing we've come to expect from Jim Carrey, it's physical comedy genius. His signature schtick flaunts a manic, frenetic portrayal of characters; he's arguably the founder of his own genre. His latest film, Yes Man, inspires us to take a look back at his top 5 hits--and 5 he should have said no to. Starting with the worst...
Worst of Jim Carrey #5 - Fun with Dick and Jane
Let's be honest. This goofball parody on Enron wasn't that bad—just forgettable. It seems the characters were created for the robbery scenes rather than the story itself. Remember the Sonny (Tea Leoni) and Cher (Carrey) costumes? How about Carrey’s robotic dance number accompanied by sound effects from his voice changer? Yep, the film had its moments.
Worst of Jim Carrey #4 - Me, Myself & Irene
Critics threw Carrey another mixed bag for this Farrelly brothers-directed film about a state trooper with a split personality disorder. Carrey couldn’t save the film with his outlandish physical humor, nor could he quite convincingly pull off the personality changes. The outrageous gags and humor are sporadically spread, but the overall movie lacks the novelty of Farrelly fare.
Worst of Jim Carrey #3 - Batman Forever
Easy on the eyes there, buddy! Why Carrey would don a green leotard with question marks and dye his hair red to further his career is beyond me. He definitely let loose with the boisterous role; however, his co-stars weren’t as well-received. After getting over the glitz of the colorful costumes, the film runs through the superhero formula with no real suspense. With so many other better Batman films to boot, this one remains Forever low on the totem pole.
Worst of Jim Carrey #2 - The Cable Guy
This black comedy—like Carrey’s character—tried too hard to be liked. Then newbie director Ben Stiller took a nice shot at risk, but missed the mark. Moviegoers thought they’d be getting Carrey in a good-guy, likeable role. Instead, his cable guy persona comes off as incessantly needy, annoying and deranged.
Worst of Jim Carrey #1 - The Number 23
Kudos to you if you sat this one through. Just last year, an intriguing marketing campaign shrouded Carrey's film in mystery. What was so compelling about the number 23? Apparently, not much, since the film garnered a pathetic 8% rating on RottenTomatoes.com; the critics agreed. They called it a convoluted, inept thriller, and found more ways to bash it with puns on the title. Ouch!
Now, on to better days...
Best of Jim Carrey #5 - The Truman Show
A man's life is broadcast around the world without him knowing. Leave it to the media to do anything for high ratings. What Truman does in what he believes is the privacy of his own home make for some funny and tender moments. As he figures out his world is a giant studio set, Carrey's determination to break free has us cheering for him the whole way through.
Best of Jim Carrey #4 - The Mask
Imagine a mask that can bring out the crazy alter ego in anyone's personality. Carrey plays a wimp who happens upon the mask when he's on the verge of committing suicide. It transforms him into a cartoony character with green face paint and Chiclets-sized teeth. What’s truly amazing is Carrey himself. No need for a magical mask when he's got a plastic face and a flair for zaniness.
Best of Jim Carrey #3 - Bruce Almighty
Carrey flexes his comedic muscles in this laugh-inducing film about a TV reporter aspiring to make it big. With endowed omnipotence, he can part his red soup, walk on water and answer prayers—when he's not busy fulfilling his own requests. He just can't make people love him. Carrey struck a balance between thought-provoking and funny. Auds liked it so much it spawned the sequel Evan Almighty, but its lackluster performance at the box office is a testament to its missing variable: Jim Carrey.
Best of Jim Carrey #2 - Dumb and Dumber
This runner-up spot was a close call. Harry and Lloyd antics live on in the annals of buddy film history for producing gut-busting, cry-your-eyes-out laughs. Carrey perfected Lloyd Christmas’ gormless, chip-toothed grin and carried out absurd, implausibly stupid humor, putting a stamp on the Farrelly bros' directorial debut. We dare you to keep a straight face through the scene with the dead bird and scotch tape, or the Turbo Lax scene!
Best of Jim Carrey #1 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Carrey superbly plays Joel, a heartbroken man who undergoes a procedure to erase memories of his wild and impulsive ex Clementine (Kate Winslet). While reliving his memories before they fade, his desire to remember her is rekindled and he attempts to foil the procedure. Carrey’s over-the-top physical humor is downplayed for a more poignant and endearing performance. Charlie Kaufman and Michael Gondry’s script couldn’t have had a more effective vehicle for telling a fresh and visually arresting story. Carrey runs the gamut of emotions, pulling us through heartache, bitterness, happiness and, finally, hope.