Has Jim Carrey Evolved?

I just saw Eternal Sunshine a while back and I have to say I enjoyed it immensely. I think Jim Carrey has evolved himself far beyond Ace Ventura and silly roles. He did a fantastic job in The Truman Show, Man on the Moon and Eternal Sunshine. Some may debate his work in The Majestic and Me, Myself and Irene, but I think he did fine work in both.
What do you guys think? Aside from personal preference (I respect a few people who can’t stand the guy), is Jim Carrey an established talent with an acceptable range or a one trick pony who will never escape being the “goofy loner” type?

I’d thought of him as no more than a goofy bastard adept at facial contortions until I saw Eternal Sunshine. Loved him in it. Am still toeing the line on the one-trick-pony side, but leaning heavily in the other direction, if that makes any sense. We’ll just have to wait and see if he takes up any interesting projects that show off what he can do.

That’s been my opinion since he did “The Truman Show” followed by “Man on the Moon”. I also thought he did well as a psycho stalker friend in “The Cable Guy” (though most people I know disliked that film).

I think most people underestimate how hard it is to be funny. It takes a good actor to pull off roles like the ones he had in **Dumb & Dumber ** or Ace Ventura. Many comedians can do drama, but the opposite isn’t usually true. Jim Carey is just like Robin Williams or Jaime Foxx in that regard. I don’t think he’s evolved, I think he’s always been a talented actor. How many actors could pull off a character like Ace Ventura?

Fair enough. Does that make it more impressive that he’s managed to break his own mold then, and find roles that require more subtlety[sp]? I would argue so. I think the Truman Show and Bruce Almighty called for less outright hammishness. But what shocked me about Eternal Sunshine was that it wasn’t “Jim Carey carrying a movie with his oddness,” for lack of better phrasing. He played a part in a more meaningful story. I believe the same could be said for the Truman Show, but Sunshine was more subtle than that. At least, to me.

Damnit it! You said exactly what I was going to say, only better (you did, that is)!

Anyways, I totally agree. I really don’t know how it came to be that people believe its harda to do drama than it is comedy. As you said, I can’t think of anyone else that could have performed the role of Ace Ventura. Jim Carrey was Ace Ventura.

Further expanding on your last statement, righto, how many actors could pull off Andy Kaufman in “Man on the Moon”?!! That was an amazing performance!

Also to answer the OP’s question in a different way, Carrey has won 2 Golden Globes for best actor in a drama (Truman Show and Man on the Moon), even if the Academy Awards won’t recognize him for it.

Oops, I lied… the 2nd Golden Globe was for best actor in a comedy/musical. Turns out “Man on the Moon” was NOT considerd a drama.

Geeze, ISiddiqui, are you following me around tonight? First the Office thread, and now this? :wink:

I’m going to hijack my own thread…but |Siddiqui, is your name common? I went to school with two kids here whose last name was Siddiqui.

I always thought he was a fine actor, simply that he had been doing funny faces for so long that any time he wanted to make even a slight expression it would go waaaay too strong since his facial muscles are just trained to not do “slight” movements.
He does seem to be lessening this.

I saw Ace Ventura 2 on TV the other day, and yeah, he’s even evolved from there in regards to his schtick. In his role in Lemony Snicket he had a much more assured character portrayal, even though it was for a bit of a wacky guy. It felt much more rounded than Ace was.

Mind you, I think Dumb and Dumber is a great movie, and he’s hilariously funny in it. They both are.

Jim Carrey did play a few straight roles before he was in In Living Colour, and from what I’ve seen he was quite good even then. I’m glad he alternates between drama and wacky when he chooses his roles, and that he hasn’t abandoned his roots.

Yes, Earth Girls Are Easy was definitely a classic.

I loved Carrey in Dumb and Dumber and pretty much everything he’d done before that. He immediately jumped the shark with Batman Forever. It was literally heart-breaking for me to see him fail time and again after that.

It was if he was suddenly a star in his own mind, and that changed the way he came accross on screen.

It’s hard to separate bad material from his mediocre performances, but I haven’t liked him in a single thing since D&Der, and my wife and best friend agree with me (meaning, I’m not the only former enthusiast who agrees that BatFor was the transition point). Truman Show? I had high hopes, and it wasn’t rotten, but it just wasn’t a good movie, and Carrey was not impressive in it.

In Liar Liar he almost brings back the magic and has several funny moments. I think the problem there is pretty much the poor material. Screenplay not funny, lots of cheese.

Me Myself and Irene was his last chance to bring back Funny Jim. That film was a disaster. If you want to see the unselfconscious Carrey at his funny best, it’s pre-D&Der or nothing. He’ll never make a truly funny movie again.

As some of you have said, it may indeed be harder to do drama than comedy. But it doesn’t follow that it is harder for everyone. Carrey was a comedy natural. He simply isn’t a good dramatic actor. He never seems like a real guy thinking and feeling what he is seriously portraying. And on the liabilities side of the balance sheet, when he tries to play a part straight the cheese and glurge factors go through the roof! What about his shtick in The Majestic. “Shtick” is the only applicable word.

I saw Endless Sunshine. Like the producers who keep bankrolling his crap, I never seem to be able to shake my hope that I’ll see new Carrey magic someday. But he was not good in that movie. He wore a hat and pretended to be this ordinary guy, but he wasn’t believable. Jim Carrey always seems to be Jim Carrey. And his acting took the form of mostly saying nothing, anyway. (The material, however, once again sucked.)

Jim Carrey has devolved, not evolved. He has painted himself into a corner of megastardom that he should never, for his own good, have occupied in the first place. To me it’s a sad thing.

I’m surprised no-one has mentioned ‘the mask’ yet… it was released in the same year as ‘ace ventura’ and ‘dumb and dumber’, but I think it shows conclusively that his range goes far beyond the goofy facial contortions. I mean, sure the wild sequences where Jim is the mask are a lot of fun, but he also delivered a lot of heart and a wonderfully understated performance as Stanley, the lovable loser who gets the girl in the end. :slight_smile:

So there, I mentioned it, that’s all.

Carrey main strength is not comedy, but the romantic leading man; his romances on film (when he had them) were all quite good. The move to “Eternal Sunshine” is a perfect fit to his strength.

Carrey has charm, which is why he gets away with so much terrible comedy. But when he is put into a role where charm is important – like a romance – he can be very good.

That quality was with him at the start (anyone else remember “The Duck Factory”?), but he got sidetracked into his Klass Klown act (much like Steve Martin got sidetracked as a “Wild and Crazy Guy”*). Now he’s going back to what he does best (and I think he prefers the more serious roles), and he’s excelling.

*Martin was never more than mediocre as a standup act, but he gave the impression he was better than he was – all buildup, but no payoff.

I think Aeschines’ post is more indicative of Aeschines applying his own “filter” to his viewing of Jim Carrey than it is of Jim Carrey’s actual performances.

I think Dumb & Dumber was maybe his best performace. Wacky, yet innocent, with a real believable, heartfelt, bond with Jeff Daniels. That’s due in part to a great script. The Farrely’s always seem capable of walking that fine line.

I haven’t been a great fan of his more dramatic stuff. Eternal Sunshine was a great movie, one of my top few from last year. But when I see Jim Carrey or Robin Williams playing it straight, it always kind of seems to me like their “acting style” is no more than “lack of mugging”. But, that might just be me applying my own filter to their performances.

Still, in such things as Bruce ALmighty (very weak movie) and the previous ones I mentioned, Carrey does always seem to have chemistry with actors around him. That’s not automatic even for well known actors.

A girlfriend of mine used to work at the Comic Strip in NYC and she got to meet a lot of comic before they made the big time. She pretty much met them all, and she even dated two over the course of a few years.

Comedians are an odd bunch, and it is hard to find that “off” button. I would go visit and boyfriend felt obligated to try out new material, and if you didn’t react as hoped, he tried harder. Got to be a strain to visit. And it wasn’t just him…the same went for his other comic friends. A room full of comedians at a party would be enough to have you contemplate how bad the fall would be when you jumped from the balcony.

The point of my comments are that Jim Carrey (and Robin Williams) have that same non-stop intensity and need for attention that is hard to turn it off. This is especially obvious for an audience who knows them as comedians. My bet is that someone who has never seen them as comedians could more easily accept them in the dramatic roles, but for those of us who know them as comedians first, no matter how serious they are, that raised eyebrow or little grin will immediately remind us of that Saturday Night Live bit, or that joke, or the time…

It is a hard profession to leave, and not a whole lot of comedians have been able to cross over into drama. But I have to give Jim Carrey credit for trying his damnedest to break that mold.

Early in his career, Carrey was in a TV movie, “Doing Time on Maple Drive”, in which he played a young alcoholic in a serious role. He was good enough to have received an Emmy nomination.

Hijack away! :wink: Siddiqui is a fairly common last name in Pakistan. It’s not a ‘Smith’ or ‘Jones’, but not super unique over there either.