Movies are an art form. Now, some people might disagree. They may say that it isn't an art form at all, or that at the very most, it's the weakest form of art out there. But the truth of the matter is, films are probably one of the strongest art forms ever made. How else could you explain how in love with them we are?
To this day, we're quoting movies like Billy Madison—a movie that came out 20 years ago! We're still in love with films like The Terminator, Jurassic Park and The Godfather, and we don't just love them because they're entertaining. We love them for several reasons. The dialogue, the stories, the characters, it's this stuff and more that makes a movie good, and sometimes timeless.
We talk about these films as if they're pieces of art on display. We break them apart, taking a look at all of their elements and discussing them desperately. We determine the best film and the worst film, and those who make them are always trying to change the game in new and creative ways. There have been more than a few films worthy of 'Sistine Chapel' level status.
But just like there's bad actual art (you know, the one that involves paint brushes and/or models), there are also bad films. But also like art, there are some films that are bad when they first come out, but over time start to develop praise. The classic Greek statues you see in art museums today used to look absolutely colorful and ridiculous, like a rainbow threw up on them! But after time and paint chipping altered their appearance, they became masterpieces. Unfortunately for movies, they can't really change the way they look to gain more fame. But there have been cases of older movies being looked at differently today, like Jim Carrey's The Cable Guy.
Largely considered to have been a box office flop, The Cable Guy was panned by audiences and critics alike for one major reason; Jim Carrey was too dark. It might not seem like it today, but back in the 90's, Jim Carrey was a superstar!
Films like Ace Ventura, Dumb and Dumber and The Mask secured Carrey's spot as a comedic legend. So when The Cable Guy came out - in which, Jim Carrey plays a TV loving sociopath with an unhealthy obsession with Matthew Broderick - people weren't too pleased. It was just strange seeing such a funny and usually lighthearted guy in a role so...grim.
Now the movie wasn't super dark., it was mostly comedy, but there were some moments where things got downright scary. And you could argue that panning a movie simply because the lead actor was "too dark" is really ridiculous. But think of it this way, Jim Carrey is an alumni of a live comedy show (In Living Color). He practically built his career with his comedic personality. When in the history of ever has a comedian successfully been in a non-comedic (or less comedic) role?
The point is this was the 90's, it was Jim Carrey, and nobody was used to seeing him in such a frightening stalker-type role. Thankfully, I was born 2 years after this movie came out. So while everyone else was still criticizing it, I was wearing diapers and getting sucked into the world of Sesame Street. Meaning that my opinion on it was unbiased as it could get!
It wasn't until 2011, when the movie was the ripe old age of 15 years old, that I finally sat down to watch it. Funnily enough, I had no idea what the movie was or why we had it on DVD and VHS ("What's that? said all the kids). The only reason I watched it was because I'm a huge Jim Carrey fan. But I'm so glad that I did.
After seeing it, and enjoying it quite a bit, I decided to add The Cable Guy to my list of 'Films I'll Probably End Up Watching 40 Times'. And sure enough, I'm still watching it to this day! Which is why I was honestly shocked when I found out that this movie was a box office failure.
Now, this movie obviously isn't Jim Carrey's greatest, not by a long shot. But it's definitely not his worst, and I'm truly surprised at how much hate it's gotten. Recently, The Cable Guy has been getting a bit more buzz surrounding it, with many asking the question: "Is it worth watching?" To that, I say absolutely!
Like I said, this isn't Jim Carrey's best. But on a scale of Mr. Popper's Penguins to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, this movie ranks pretty high. It's dark, it's clever, and it's funny. Jim Carrey still acts how you'd expect him to act; goofy, random, and downright hilarious. But his character also has a dark and somewhat serious side, something that a lot of people didn't expect from him at the time.
Not to mention, the character of a psychotic cable repairman who stalks his clients and has an unnatural affinity for popular television shows was just way too odd at the time. But now - and I know I'm stealing a bit from the Nostalgia Critic when I say this - the character actually works, reflecting the stalker loner type you've either heard about or interacted with on the internet.
In a day and age where we spend 90% of our lives on the internet, and there are people on it like that - who stalk and strangely interact with others on the web (some of them having an affinity for shows, games, movies etc.), Carrey's role is a perfect representation of that.
So if you haven't seen The Cable Guy, I'd highly suggest watching it now, when it unintentionally provides perfect social commentary. If you did see it around the time it came out, try giving it another look today, you might change your mind on how you feel about it. And who knows? It may end up on your re-watch list as well! If not, oh well, I'll still enjoy it.
That's it for Day 4 of My 5 Day Movie Challenge! Come back tomorrow for the last post: A Movie To Pass On To Your Kids! Until then...