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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 27.19%
Average: 18.42%
Pretty Bad: 12.28%
Total Crap: 12.28%

5 reviews, 84 user ratings

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Cable Guy, The
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Way underrated Carrey vehicle; I prefer it to 'The Truman Show.'"
5 stars

The guy has a few problems. His childhood reads like a list of suburban despair: abusive dad, oblivious bar-hopping mom, electronic babysitter. His adult life is terribly empty and lonely, and the loneliness expresses itself in anti-social spasms of weird aggression. He's clingy and annoying at best, violent at worst. His basic need is the same as anyone's: to be loved and accepted. Yet, because of who he is and how he behaves, he can't help pushing everyone away.

This sounds like the blueprint for a hefty drama -- something Martin Scorsese might direct in a bad mood. Instead, it's the premise of a Jim Carrey comedy. The reviews were baffled and hostile; The Cable Guy was spanked for being too dark, too creepy, "no fun." Recall, though, that Scorsese's 1983 The King of Comedy got whacked on the same grounds -- mainly because people expected a zany Jerry Lewis comedy. Retrospect has revealed it as a misunderstood gem. I hope The Cable Guy won't have to wait as long.

Carrey, of course, is the Cable Guy, and not just in this movie. His persona has always been plugged into pop culture; he belongs to the postmodern ironist's tradition of Robin Williams and Steve Martin. The Cable Guy, whose entire experience of life is filtered through TV, is a classic postmodern creation -- he channel-surfs through his own head. Speaking with a dopey, insinuating lisp, Carrey seems eager to go all the way into scary neediness. Overall it's a brilliant and fearless performance, a black-comic tour de force, and maybe only the $20 million man can afford this kind of gamble.

Weaned on TV, the Cable Guy takes philosophical and sensual delight in whatever flickers across the tube. He pushes his way into the life of a yuppie customer (Matthew Broderick), offering advice, free cable services and equipment, even a prostitute. In return, he wants only friendship. But the yuppie correctly guesses that the Cable Guy demands a level of devotion that no one could give. Broderick (an excellent straight man) distances himself, but the Cable Guy keeps on coming -- a sociopathic Energizer Bunny.

The Cable Guy resonates with sadness and dread, yet it's also consistently funny (in an intensely uncomfortable way). Much of this, I assume, is due to Lou Holtz Jr.'s sharp script. And director Ben Stiller, rebounding from his freshman effort (the whiny Gen-X piffle Reality Bites), digs into the multi-levelled satire; he gives cameos to himself (as a homicidal twin) and old friend Janeane Garofalo (who effortlessly steals her scene as a jaded waitress at a medieval theme restaurant).

In 'The Cable Guy,' Jim Carrey is as rubber-faced as ever, but this time he shows us the beast behind the mask.

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originally posted: 01/10/07 12:38:52
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User Comments

6/28/19 Anne some was hysterical - to me - and some deep meanings 3 stars
12/17/18 Ajpwales 20 min too long. 3 stars
7/12/12 EARL Hilarious and strange. Best Carrey performance.So talented. 4 stars
3/03/11 chris c A dark comedy with a slight satire on TV somewhat buried by Carrey's performance 4 stars
8/31/10 art I THINK the "CABLE GUY" WAS a WACKO who escaped from a LONNy-BIN! 1 stars
8/09/10 Cable Guy Best Jim Carrey Movie EVER!!! Awesome! So underrated. 5 stars
7/17/10 art A CREEPY FILM ABOUT a NUTCASE!,who need that? 1 stars
7/07/10 Really? This is one of the worst movies ever. There's nothing funny about it. 1 stars
12/29/09 Dane Youssef Carrey turns towards the dark side. Starts out kind of fun, then takes a U-turn. 4 stars
9/08/09 pat Definitly makes you cringe a little, but in a good way 4 stars
8/29/09 Julian So underrated - very funny - Jim at his best 5 stars
6/28/09 Dr Music Very good movie. Good performance from Jim as well as from Jack Black. 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Crude and funny. 3 stars
1/22/07 David A. It stank. They didn't let Jim Carrey do his brand of humor. 1 stars
9/25/06 David Pollastrini boring, dull, etc. 2 stars
7/19/06 Anthony Feor Boring flick with Jim Carrey 1 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer It gets a bad rep, but it truely is a damn funny movie! 4 stars
12/22/05 WISEMAN This is definatly better than Liar liar, Smart plot, "WERE PLAYING PRISON RULES NOW!" 5 stars
11/17/05 Amanda Fletcher this movie is really good 4 stars
9/07/05 ALDO Jim Carrey, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black when they didn't have to be over the top 5 stars
8/30/05 ES Some ok parts, a few mild laughs, not the Jimmy we loved from Ace Ventura or Dumb & Dumber 3 stars
8/06/05 Zack VERY UNDERRATED 5 stars
2/10/05 Jeff Anderson If I were as dumb & moronic as Broderick's character in this film, I WOULDN'T EVER SURVIVE! 1 stars
12/03/04 Emilo estivez you guys suck 1 stars
9/04/04 T.B. A crazy cable guy! 4 stars
8/03/04 Anthony G eh 3 stars
5/01/04 Adam Forget Liar Liar...This is Jim Carrey at his best! 5 stars
3/22/04 Elena This is one of the most hilarious movies I have ever seen. So bad but so FUNNY. 5 stars
3/18/04 Umbrella Corporation. Jim Carrey's finest hour... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
3/01/04 Kev If you love it, you don't get it... it sucks. 2 stars
11/24/03 Samuel In the words of Brian Curran "If you don't love it, you don't get it." 5 stars
8/21/03 Lucifer If you didn't love this movie, it wasn't made for you. 5 stars
6/22/03 InDenZ dull, boring ,who cares 1 stars
4/15/03 Melissa Jim Carrey is truly THE Comedic God and it comes so naturally it's scary. Major props! 4 stars
4/04/03 Jack Sommersby That rare tolerable Carrey film. 3 stars
3/17/03 Peter This movie was an exception(along with the Truman show). It's chilling(but funny)... 5 stars
12/26/02 Brian Curran If you don't love it, you don't get it. 5 stars
10/16/02 Charles Tatum As bland as the Oxygen Channel 3 stars
7/27/02 sdjfsdkjf there's good weird and there's plain fucking bad weird. This film is the latter. 1 stars
6/04/02 David A. Carrey's comic genius is too great to waste on this weird, offbeat dud! It wasn't funny. 2 stars
4/24/02 FUCKING COCKSUCKER according to KMG. Think Carrey better at pure farce The beginning of Carrey shooting for serious, foreshadowing LIAR, TRUMAN & MAJESTIC 2 stars
2/08/02 Jennifleur (Jim Carrey fan) Sadly, Jim's worst. Please do Ace Ventura 3 or Dumb & Dumber 2 instead. 2 stars
1/02/02 Foufie Strange very strange, but interesting... 4 stars
11/29/01 KMG This is Carrey's FUNNIEST movie...if you disagree you're a FUCKING COCKSUCKER! 4 stars
10/25/01 The $1.98 Pyramid Uneven performence and confusing plot over black comedy, is Carrey a friend or an enemy? 3 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk I'm so torn about this movie...ultimately it's weird with seldom comedy, not Carrey's best. 3 stars
8/07/01 Joe Zappa Jim Carrey's $20,000,000 check paid off w/ this amusing black comedy. 4 stars
6/12/01 cinkcool Horrible. There are people like that who need help and we make fun of them? Horrible. 1 stars
4/03/01 Andrew Carden Extremly funny. For Carrey's fans and enemies! 4 stars
2/19/01 The Bomb 69 total mindfuck in some parts, good but not great 4 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog I'll juice ya up! Carrey is hilarious!! Great film! 5 stars
2/05/01 Wafer typical carrey-esque movie, but has some hilarious parts 3 stars
1/31/01 Big Isil Carrey makes any film worth watching, he's perfect for these weird, silly roles. 4 stars
1/20/01 Brian Horribly underrated. Wait & see. Arguably Carrey's best performance,look for Owen Wilson! 5 stars
1/19/01 Syed It's a good movie 3 stars
9/18/00 D SILK E 1 is jim carrey god??? 5 stars
7/29/00 Bender "Hey you guys play here to?" "Weird" 4 stars
6/13/00 DAVID This movie takes a little more viewing than once to think its funny!!! 3 stars
6/01/00 danilo a very funny movie with a great ending! 4 stars
5/12/00 Steve Layne Even though Carrey was funnier in Lair Lair, I still think hes at his most interesting here 4 stars
4/17/00 julie i have no idea why people hated this movie 5 stars
4/13/00 Fishsticks Excellent ideas but in practice annoys and confuses 2 stars
4/13/00 JonnyAngel How did this bomb? What the fuck? 4 stars
3/25/00 Jeff Jim Carry's BEST movie--he is very kreepy 5 stars
3/09/00 David Rogers Confusing, but I can't pretty bad or total crap Jim Carrey or Matthew Broderick. 3 stars
2/29/00 Richard Wright The film has interesting bits,but it assembles them in such a ramshackle way it has to be.. 1 stars
12/19/99 hum hey, jim carrey in a film thats not to bad 3 stars
11/04/99 Mickey "Father Death" MacJohnstmyster It's really not that bad and has some really good parts . It is underated ! 5 stars
9/24/99 KK Jim Carrey is the MAN!!! 5 stars
7/29/99 J. Random Hacker Great, but flawed -- way too silly in spots 4 stars
7/29/99 Chef ADogg Downright cinematic. Unexpectedly good. 4 stars
4/23/99 lucas jackson This movie was down right aweful except for the basketball scene 2 stars
4/07/99 Maniaq This film was deeply disturbing - scared the shit out of me 4 stars
2/15/99 Stephen Reinken terrible plot = terrible movie 1 stars
1/29/99 Scott Stipe A great Movie, Jim Carrey rocks, man 5 stars
12/23/98 Lou Pine, Jr. The most misunderstood, under-rated black comedy of the 90s. 4 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink Quite good... 4 stars
10/25/98 {{{OZ}}} It had some fine moments, but I can't abide by Carrey. 3 stars
10/13/98 jym i wish it said sux all dick 1 stars
9/28/98 Heather Carey makes an attempt to play a dramatic-type role, and is SEVERELY underrated! 4 stars
9/27/98 katherine ugh. Jim Carrey's funny, but im sorry, this movie was pretty pathetic. 2 stars
9/14/98 Chip Taylor Jim Carrey's best. Matthew Broderick though, really is a board, he's nothing. 5 stars
8/28/98 Mister Whoopee Carrey freaks just didn't get it. Funny that his fans aren't as smart as he is. 4 stars
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  14-Jun-1996 (PG-13)


  20-Jun-1996 (M)

Directed by
  Ben Stiller

Written by
  Lou Holtz Jr.
  Judd Apatow

  Jim Carrey
  Matthew Broderick
  Leslie Mann
  Jack Black
  George Segal
  Ben Stiller

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