Retro Review: Me, Myself and Irene

Written: June 23, 2000

Is the latest Farrelly brothers movie an “Outside Providence” or a “There’s Something About Mary”?

Jim Carrey re-teams with the Farrelly Brothers for their second collaboration. Carrey stars as Charlie Baileygates who happens to be a 17-year veteran of the Rhode Island police force. Unfortunately Charlie suffers from “Split Personality Disorder” when he doesn’t take his medication.

When the medication runs out Charlie’s hyper-aggressive alter ego Hank is unleashed. Hank loves everything the good-natured Charlie hates.

He has a filthy mouth, drinks like a fish, breaks skulls and loves dirty, dirty sex. The only thing that Hank and Charlie may have in common is a beautiful woman named Irene (Renee Zellweger).

Irene is on the run from some crooked cops who want her dead. Her only salvation maybe the cop within Charlie but for that to happen Charlie must make sure Hank doesn’t emerge. Irene could be Charlie’s salvation too.

Sound confusing?

I know I was a little confused until the film began and a rather humorous narrator seemed to tell Charlie’s story and how Hank actually arrived in his life. I liked that part of the film and the whole family mix-up angle.

The film has a beautiful premise and tries really hard. Another thing early on that made me scratch my head was the casting of a great character like Chris Cooper is in this film. What was Cooper thinking?

But as soon as Charlie meets Irene I became disturbed and irritated about how the film seems to lose its story and just be retarded joke after retarded joke.

Were they going for a Guinness Record on how many different kinds of people they could offend within one film?

I can’t think of any kind they didn’t insult with a joke. Come on was the whole cow on the highway necessary?

I was appalled at that scene. PETA, where are you?

What I have found with previous Farrelly films is that a heart filled feeling the audience has with the central character makes us connect to him or her. Every central character was such a loser we really wanted him to finally get that break.

I never found this connection with Jim Carrey because I think the film explored Hank more than Charlie. How can we feel for Charlie if we never fully seem to see him except during the first 20 minutes?

Every time we begin to hear from Charlie, Carrey twitches his neck and squints one eye thus unleashing Hank to do something absurd. I loved the trashing of mistaken handicap guys parking space and Carrey throwing himself out of a car as struggles with his split personality. Carrey really tries here but I truly believe the Farrelly’s never let Carrey unleash his comedic skills we have loved in the past.

I am sorry but I truly believe that the Farrelly’s are heading down the “Matt Stone and Trey Parker” road. Irene reminded me more of “BASEketball” then the Farrelly’s big film “There’s Something About Mary”. It was just that bad.

(1.5 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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