‘The Cable Guy’ (1996)



Dave’s 3-Word Review:
almost completely aimless

I’m afraid the good Jim Carrey movies are wearing thin and I am forced to watch some…well…worse movies. When I first saw “The Cable Guy“, I did like it, though it was quite a bit different than I was used to seeing from a Jim Carrey performance. Watching it again to review it made me realize just how many flaws the movie had.

This movie is not only about Jim Carrey’s character, but also equally about Steven (Matthew Broderick) as he is trying to rekindle lost love between himself and his ex, Robin (Leslie Mann). When he orders cable, cable guy Chip Douglas (Jim Carrey) agrees to install all the movie channels for free. In return, all that Chip wanted was Steven’s friendship. That would prove more sinister than originally thought, as Chip becomes obsessed with Steven, and trying to impress him, going at any length to succeed in this. He was a deranged stalker, people, that’s without a doubt.

It really isn’t that difficult to understand what message the film was attempting to convey. The movie was about a cable guy that almost always made pop culture references. It was about the effects of TV and what it can have on a person, in the most extreme of ways. Chip grew up alone, with abandonment issues with only a TV to raise him. It kind of makes sense of how he grew up, but at the same time…come on. That may be the message it was going for, but it was so bad at getting that point across. You are instead focusing on what more Chip will do to drive Steven insane? There’s even this clip on the TV they keep cutting to with Ben Stiller’s character on trial for killing his brother. It serves the same purpose as mentioned above, but again….because it doesn’t feel like that in the end, it feels out of place. Something here wasn’t done right.

The story is jumbled up, it needed clarification. Where was it going? Was it about Chip, about Steven, about Robin? Was it secretly about the case they kept showing? What was the goal? There was way too many unanswered questions that came up, and Jim Carrey wasn’t even playing the Riddler in this one. The thing is, I understood it where many others probably wouldn’t. I grew up watching television myself, still do, and it has also affected me. I too have an unhealthy obsession with the tube, but I’m not going around stalking people looking for that kind of affection that the TV can’t give me. That’s because I am sane, and realize that a TV is just a TV.  Not a lot of people are like this, and if they are, it isn’t the TV’s fault.

So let’s stop and think. Story kind of sucks…okay…so what is good? The comedy is rude and crude, and Jim Carrey does a phenomenal job as the cable guy. Let’s face it, the movie is over 15 years old, and you can still recognize who the Cable Guy is and who he is played by just as much as Ace Ventura when you hear him say “Cable GUUY!”. It may not be that great of a movie, but it has that memorable factor. This was another one of Carrey’s roles that seemed to be written exclusively for him, and another role that he had great chemistry with everyone on screen. It was one of the earliest roles he has played where he played a creepy guy, but it still held that classic silly factor that always seems to accompany Jim wherever he goes. That’s okay though, this movie WAS a comedy.

It’s not his best, and it’s not his worst, but it’s down there to be honest. If this were a school test, it would be a D if not a D-. A dangerous score for any movie. It just skims by because Jim Carrey is a God at comedy, and carrying a movie, no matter how good or bad it is. Check it out!


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