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ME MYSELF AND IRENE

SYNOPSIS:
Mild mannered, hard-working and devoted loving father of three, Charlie Baileygates (Jim Carrey) is a 17 year veteran of the Rhode Island police force. But Charlie has developed a condition for which he needs medication. But if he forgets to take it, his personality changes as he becomes Hank (Jim Carrey), who has a filthy mouth and a filthy temper, breaks skulls and loves dirty sex. The only thing Charlie and Hank have in common is Irene Waters (Renee Zellweger), a beautiful woman on the lam with whom he and himself have both fallen in love. Hank/Charlie must wage war – with himself – for the confused Irene's affections, while evading a criminal conman and his fellow cops.

"Excelling at the offensive rather than the inventive, Me Myself and Irene is an off-the-wall fable with too few funny moments. And a fable it is obviously intended to be with no true reflection or representation of schizophrenia, but a wacky Farrelly Brothers vehicle for Jim Carrey. Of course there are the politically incorrect jokes – from racist to little people and minority groups – as well as a truckload of toilet humour and sex gags. In fact you don't have to look too closely to find just about every gag in the book, plus a host of derivatives and a few welcome new ones. There's even a cow gag that could give Gary Larson a new idea for his card series. It's sick, outrageous and could be very funny, but somehow the Farrelly Brothers have stumbled and stopped short of the resourceful and creative craziness that endeared us all in There's Something About Mary. It just seems to run out of creative puff. Remember that hilarious scene in Liar, Liar when Carrey beats up Carrey? It worked then, but not this time – the scene when Charlie beats up Hank just kinda fizzles. The set up works, as does the ridiculous sub plot with Charlie's three sons. In fact, this is my favourite part of the film – it's stupid, clever and very visual. But essentially, it's not the gags, but the reactions that give Me Myself and Irene its entertainment value, and Jim Carrey, Renee Zellweger and the cast do well. Carrey is amusing to watch, while Zellweger displays a fine comedic touch, as she pouts, poses and plays it straight. The biggest disappointment though, is that the film suffers occasional tedium disease, which for comedy writers is the kiss of death. But the fans may not care. Perhaps in its own vile, offensive way, Me Myself and Irene captures some of the duality in us all."
Louise Keller

"Louise is fairly kind to this misadventure by comedy, a pratfall affair that is neither gross enough for long enough, nor far-out funny enough for most of its running time - which seems longer than the minutes suggest - to really catch fire. Great cast, but the script seems laboured, the situations strung together with little of the dynamic or the humanity that distinguished There's Something About Mary. Bad taste can be very funny, but only if you know exactly what you're doing with it. In the first 50 minutes there were three or four genuine comedic laughs, like the dying cow joke, Carrey pulling faces and his neighbour's dog's feces, and the joke around the birth of his wife's triplets - who continue as a weak running gag for the whole film. I expected more from this team and was a little disappointed in all of it - including one protracted scene in which Carrey reprises his fighting with himself from Liar, Liar - only less successfully. It's patchy as comedy, weeny as romance and slight as slapstick. As for the controversy about its mistreatment of the mental condition it purports to portray, it is way too silly to be taken seriously but the filmmakers could have been better informed than to inaccurately use real labels such as schizophrenia: it would have added to the humour if they had invented a special condition for Carrey's character. Carrey and Zellwegger are not to blame - they work well. So does Rhode Island. Those Farrelly brothers need to hire a tougher script editor and/or producer who is not so in awe of them as to lose their sense of judgement. But then, comedy is darned hard."
Andrew L. Urban

"As critics around the world are bound to observe, this isn't as funny as There's Something About Mary, the last film by the Farrelly brothers. It's not hard, either, to list the problems: a slack 'road-movie' plot that doesn't really go anywhere, heavy reliance on a few repeated gags, choppy editing that suggests key scenes were deleted, a no-sweat approach to characterisation. But the film is funny nonetheless, and the awkward moments are part and parcel of the Farrellys' hotch-potch, anything-goes style of humour. As in: yeah, let's give Jim Carrey three chubby, jive-talkin' black sons, who are also academic geniuses who debate whether to attend Yale or Princeton! The distinctiveness of the Farrellys' films is the way they combine this kind of messy, large-scale invention with self-consciously off-colour gags and a genuinely sunny, cheerful tone. What did irritate me was Reneé Zellweger - maybe it's a personal thing, but I'm really put off by those cloying little-girl mannerisms, the furrowed brow and twangy Lisa Simpson voice. I hoped the Farrellys might loosen her up, but I should have remembered how chivalrous they are - as in There's Something About Mary, a woman can only be viewed as an object of total adoration (or, as with Lin Shaye, a total grotesque). Indeed, if there's a consistent theme to the Farrellys' films, it's the idea that men are doomed to behave like jerks (Carrey's gift for psychosis makes his two personalities equally obnoxious) while women, goddess-like, forgive them everything. Those who see this as a perceptive, forward-looking take on relations between the sexes may want to think again. So there's a big soggy streak in the middle of the movie - but if you like Carrey or the Farrellys this is worth seeing."
Jake Wilson

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 2

TRAILER

Dick Niro reports on THE MAKING OF Me Myself & Irene

ME MYSELF AND IRENE (M15+)
(US)

CAST: Jim Carrey, Renée Zellweger, Chris Cooper, Robert Forster, Richard Jenkins

DIRECTOR: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

PRODUCERS: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Bradley Thomas

SCRIPT: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Mike Cerrone

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mark Irwin CSC, ASC

EDITOR: Christopher Greenbury

MUSIC: Pete Yorn & Lee Scott

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Sidney J. Bartholomew jnr

RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: 20th Century Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: June 22, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment

VIDEO RELEASE: December 13, 2000







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