A twisted and often nasty black comedy. When naive suburbanite Broderick asks Carrey's over-eager Cable Guy to give him a few extra channels for free, he has no idea he's inviting the wired-up plugster into his life. Newly separated from his girlfriend, Broderick is sucked into his socially inept pal's deranged fantasy world, the result of a lonely boyhood spent watching TV. Carrey's whirlwind comic energy is too spontaneous and elusive to be contained by Lou Holtz Jr's initially unsettling script. Also, Stiller's erratic direction fails to establish a consistent tone, so that obvious, crowd pleasing set-pieces alternate with creepy, disturbing weirdness. Compare, for instance, Carrey's typically berserk karaoke rendition of Jefferson Airplane's 'Somebody to Love?' with the nightmarish sequence in a kitschy Arthurian theme restaurant, where he and Broderick quaff ale and gnaw chicken before fighting, virtually to the death, with swords, axes, maces and jousting lances. Nevertheless, because it dares to expose the dark side of Carrey's persona, and to take chances at this pivotal stage in his meteoric career, Stiller's film ranks as an honourable failure.
Cast and crew
Lou Holtz Jr, Judd Apatow
Jim Carrey Matthew Broderick Leslie Mann Jack Black Diane Baker George Segal Ben Stiller Eric Roberts Janeane Garofalo