96 Min. | Comedy – Drama – Thriller | July 1996
IMDB Rating: 6.0
Director: Ben Stiller
Staring: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann
The Cable Guy Review: When first released, The Cable Guy was such an unusual departure for Jim Carrey and his usual slapstick, manic, goofy comedies that people just didn’t understand it or like it. When word of Carrey’s enormous $20 million paycheck for this film spread, hopes were high that The Cable Guy would be smothered in Carrey’s slice of hilarious dementia to the extreme. Carrey certainly brought an air of craziness to Chip Douglas, a lonely, TV-addicted, and creepy cable installer who befriends the unwilling Matthew Broderick (here, looking just nervous and bewildered for the entire film). But something was missing from this Carrey vehicle from the others, he was not all fun and games. In fact, he was downright funny weird, not funny haha.
So here lies one of the major problems people have with The Cable Guy, it veers from dark comedy into darkness, period. Carrey isn’t making an ass of himself in every scene. No. Instead, Carrey’s Chip Douglas is an obsessive, extreme, two-faced sociopath. The result? What would be Jim Carrey’s best performance to date, surpassed only by his Truman Burbank in The Truman Show. Sure, it’s got a story that’s been done to death, normal guy meets psycho and is stalked. But oh, what fun it is to see Jim drag Matthew Broderick into such uncomfortable situations as playing Porno Password with his parents.
The movie was directed by Ben Stiller, who carefully balances the neurotic against the sweet. The movie has its fair share of cameos, and in a great sequence Owen Wilson stars as a confident jerk who takes out Steven’s girlfriend on a date. The Cable Guy finds out and, thinking he’s doing Steven a favor, assaults Wilson in the bathroom of a fancy restaurant. The Cable Guy is definitely not for fans who want to see Jim Carrey do what created his career, that is, silly, goofy, and flailing comedy. However, avid fans of black comedies will love seeing Carrey’s first step in his evolution as a gifted, serious, and undeniably interesting actor.