It’s been nearly two decades since Mr. Jim Carrey has become a giant movie star. In 1994, Carrey capitalized on the promise he showed on the groundbreaking Fox sketch comedy show “In Living Color” by starring in three huge hits: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber.
His impressive box office streak started in ’94 would experience speed bumps in later years, with forgettable comedies like Fun with Dick and Jane and Yes Man. He would also delve into dramatic territory with titles like Man on the Moon and The Majestic.
This Friday, Carrey co-stars with Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi in the comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. With Carrey in the limelight right now, it felt like an appropriate time to name my top five Carrey pictures.
There’s a lot you won’t find on here. I didn’t particularly care for either of the Ace Ventura pictures. Or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. While I liked The Mask and Bruce Almighty (two of his biggest hits), they didn’t make the cut. Same with Me, Myself, and Irene. And while he was an obvious choice to play The Riddler in Batman Forever, the film itself was a mediocre exercise that previewed the disaster that would be its follow-up, Batman and Robin. So what did make the cut? Read on:
5. Liar Liar (1997)
This perfect vehicle for the star has a simple and effective premise: Carrey is incapable of lying after his neglected kid makes a wish. Not an easy task for the fast-talking lawyer Carrey plays. Audiences responded and Liar Liar earned $181 million domestically.
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
This strange mix of romance, comedy, and science fiction from director Michel Gondry (from a clever script by Charlie Kaufman) gave deserved indie cred for Carrey. It features Carrey in a fine performance with the best cast he’s ever worked with, including Kate Winslet, Mark Ruffalo, and Tom Wilkinson.
3. The Cable Guy (1996)
Audiences didn’t know what to make of this dark comedy when it premiered in the summer of 1996. The Cable Guy made $60 million domestic, well below Carrey’s previous five pictures. Since then, it’s become a cult classic. It should be. It’s filled with hilarious moments and a wonderfully out there Carrey performance. It features a terrific supporting cast including Matthew Broderick, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and Leslie Mann. Ben Stiller did directing duties.
2. The Truman Show (1998)
Carrey’s first foray into dramatic territory is still his best. Peter Weir’s The Truman Show is a film as timely today as it was fifteen years ago (maybe more so), focusing on a seemingly normal fellow who has no clue his entire life is being filmed as a reality show. Carrey gives a fantastic performance, as does Ed Harris as the show’s creator.
1. Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Most of us can quote the film endlessly and it’s one of those movies you pretty much have to watch when it’s on. Dumb and Dumber is simply one of the funniest movies ever made. The Farrelly Brothers masterpiece features one of the greatest comedy duos of all time – Mr. Carrey and Mr. Jeff Daniels. Just reading this, you’re probably thinking “Pills are good!!!”, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance…”, and about that poor parakeet Petey.
So there you have it. My personal faves for Jim Carrey.