Is Jim Carrey okay?

Posted by · 4:10 pm · April 25th, 2010

I asked that, sincerely, via Twitter yesterday after seeing Tweet after Tweet packed with sentiments such as:

ETERNITY IS NOT A MEASURE OF TIME!IT’S THE DEPTH OF THIS MOMENT!HEAVEN IS HERE,NOW!FIND IT!FEEL IT!BOING BOING, EVERYBODY!BOING BOING!!! ;^)

Obviously a number of Carrey’s projects have crashed and burned as of late, most recently the indefinitely stalled release of “I Love You Phillip Morris,” but the guy also broke up with his lady, Jenny McCarthy (confession: all-time favorite Hollywood couple). On the whole, he just seems to be having some weird public breakdown.

Well, in sizing up Carrey’s career crossroads in a recent Moviefone column, Anne Thompson pegs the star’s professional conundrum thusly…

Carrey is too old to play the goofy adolescent and seems loathe to abandon big-budget star vehicles, even though stars aren’t driving the gravy train anymore.

This, I think, is a major issue facing a guy like Carrey, who has always survived on popular rather than critical reception. It dovetails with my thesis at the end of last year, that 2009 seemed to be the definitive moment when movie stars were rendered irrelevant, or at the very least, that the industry is no longer dependent upon them as in the past.

Of course, it’s not to say that Carrey doesn’t have the talent to flash. His award-winning work in “The Truman Show” and “Man on the Moon” presented seeds of promise. His best work to date came in Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and that was a top tier performance by anyone’s gauge.

I find it curious that Thompson doesn’t mention the fact that Carrey’s career has dwindled ever since he abandoned a 15-year stint with agency UTA in favor of CAA, but I think it’s worth discussing.  In any case, a couple of people go on the record with Thompson to offer Carrey some career advice, the best ideas being:

He could also take notes from George Clooney: play his own age, look for strong comedy scripts and stop worrying about star vehicles with a big payday. (Because Clooney takes $1.5 million upfront in exchange for a piece of the gross, he can take more risks on a wide range of movies of varying budgets.)

And:

“Jim is very funny,” says one talent agent, “without being juvenile and making the crazy faces. He should look for smarter stuff with a bit of edge, with appeal to both teens and adults. Let him go do his thing and have a great second act to his career being brilliant at what he’s brilliant at doing.”

I quite liked what Carrey brought to Robert Zemeckis’s “A Christmas Carol,” and I imagine he’s got plenty more to offer, but I don’t know.  Something’s holding the poor guy back, and as a long-time supporter, I hope he turns the corner soon.  You?

Check out the rest of Thompson’s assessment at Moviefone.




→ 19 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

19 responses so far

  • 1 4-25-2010 at 4:30 pm

    Jake D said...

    I think he needs to start taking supporting roles. Looking through his IMDb page, it seems he’s only been doing leads for a long, long time (save A Series of Unfortunate Events, it seems). Maybe he’d be better off in smaller roles and reminding people how well he can really act. He can’t necessarily be a leading man forever- some branching out can’t hurt.

  • 2 4-25-2010 at 5:12 pm

    mark kratina said...

    Loved him in his two dramatic roles in The Truman Show and the underrated The Majestic. He has an everyman, Jimmy Stewart quality in those performances, but the studios didn’t seem to know what to make of him in those roles.

  • 3 4-25-2010 at 5:38 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    THEY were your favorite Hollywood couple? The same couple who went on that idiotic anti-vaccine crusade?

  • 4 4-25-2010 at 6:09 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***His best work to date came in Charlie Kaufman’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,”***

    Why isn’t it Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?”

  • 5 4-25-2010 at 6:14 pm

    Maxim said...

    Probably because when Gondry works with Kaufman his works are extra good.

    I really really love “Human Nature”.

  • 6 4-25-2010 at 6:30 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yes, Robert.

    English: Ha. Totally a slip on my part.

  • 7 4-25-2010 at 6:33 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Carrey has always been an insufferable twitterer

  • 8 4-25-2010 at 7:17 pm

    Josh said...

    I’d love to see him do more work a la Eternal Sunshine; he’s obviously a talented actor, but his last few movies have just…not been good. Christmas Carol was OK, but Yes Man was pretty bad; 2004 was his last good year, what with Eternal Sunshine and Lemony Snicket (certainly a goofy role, but very entertaining).

    That said, as much as I realize your sincere sentiment, Kris, that tweet made me laugh very, very hard. Not for the right reasons, but….yeah.

  • 9 4-25-2010 at 7:30 pm

    Bing147 said...

    He just had a hit with Yes Man.

    The problem is, the only times he’s tried branching out into serious roles, the films have flopped. Eternal Sunshine, Man in the Moon, The Majestic, they’ve all bombed. Even darker comedies like Cable Guy and now Phillip Morris haven’t done anything. He’s a very talented actor in any way but the public only seems to want to watch him in full on goofy mode. They just won’t show up for anything else, regardless of quality.

  • 10 4-25-2010 at 7:33 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Did everyone see the clip of him singing on stage with Conan dressed as Superman? Was posted today on Youtube…

  • 11 4-25-2010 at 7:47 pm

    Suzanne said...

    I, too, saw this outburst on Twitter. I think he’s completely losing it…

  • 12 4-26-2010 at 4:32 am

    Aleksis said...

    Look up his interview with Ruby Wax (it’s ok, he overwhelms her). The man has always been insane – wonderfully so.

  • 13 4-26-2010 at 6:36 am

    RJNeb2 said...

    He gives some of the best work he’s ever done in Philip Morris, including a Method actor style dramatic loss of weight. Doubt you Americans will get much of a chance to see the film, due to general nervousness over its subject matter. (It is pretty outrageous in parts.)

  • 14 4-26-2010 at 9:24 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    I’m…wow, okay. I just find it odd that those two, who embarrassed themselves time and time again with their anti-science, anti-modern medicine bullshit on Bill Maher’s stupid show were more endearing to you than:

    Joel Coen and Frances McDormand

    Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith

    Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi

    Rachel Weisz and Darren Aronofsky

  • 15 4-26-2010 at 10:04 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I’m a child of the 90s. Not that this is worth an argument in the slightest…

  • 16 4-26-2010 at 6:51 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    Note to Anne Tompson: the word is “loath,” not “loathe.” The word “loathe” is a transitive verb that means to detest: “I loathe pickles.” The word “loath” is an adjective that means reluctant: “I am loath to seem ungrateful.” How do I know this? I once got it wrong in a book I published — VERY EMBARRASSING!

  • 17 4-27-2010 at 3:48 am

    John said...

    I really think that it’s a stretch to say that in a year of Sandra Bullock as The Movie Star Comeback (in two films only a star could carry) that we say it was the year where stars don’t matter. I know Avatar obviously didn’t need the stars, but wasn’t the movie star in that really Jim Cameron?

  • 18 4-27-2010 at 8:46 pm

    arjay said...

    He’s better off without McCarthy – my alltime most hated Hollywood person because she supports the ridiculous and extremely dangerous idea that kids shouldn’t be vaccinated. Someone needs to stop giving this woman a platform to speak on.

    Ultimately, Carrey will be better off away from the crazy lady.

  • 19 4-28-2010 at 8:32 pm

    Tyler said...

    That’s not really true, Bing. Eternal Sunshine did reasonably well with a small budget and The Truman Show was a big hit and probably a 90s classic even in the eyes of the public.