Directed By: Ben Stiller
Written By: Lou Holtz Jr.
Ben Stiller doesn’t get behind the camera very often but when he does he gets it right. He isn’t for everybody and I say this because most of his attempts are considered failures but I have enjoyed them all. A couple of years ago when Tropic Thunder was coming out it was really hyped and a lot of people were excited about it. I remember telling people to brace themselves because Ben Stiller movies weren’t for everybody. I know some people like Amber and I who love Zoolander but there are far more people who thought it was crap. The Cable Guy is the same way, it was a love it or hate it movie and I do love it. I think it shows how visionary and intelligent Ben Stiller is as a filmmaker too. This movie made a statement early during a change in our society, when media started taking over. That’s just not what people expected when going to see this movie in 1996. They had seen Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura and The Mask and had a certain comedic expectation from him. That’s not really what this movie was about though, it made a statement, and the humor Carrey brings to the role was simply a good bi-product of the film.
This movie takes place before the internet really took off and television and film were one of the main sources of media in our society and they were taking over. I myself have been heavily influenced by film and can find a semi connection with the Carrey character because of that. I may not be crazy like the cable guy but I am a product of the generation raised by film and tv. We are weird people who see our lives in a theatrical sense that drives us to make things more dramatic. The cable guy takes his new friend to a medieval restaurant and references Star Trek in the same scene for crying out loud, it’s like Ben Stiller is literally mind fucking me. Amber and I just finished reading a giant medieval fantasy epic by George R.R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire. The irony in my personal life is just really bizarre.
There are many small cameos of significance in this movie by the director and many of his friends. Janeane Garofalo, Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Andy Dick all play small roles. There is even a really young David Cross in the movie. Judd Apatow’s wife Leslie Mann plays the female lead, Apatow served as a writer and producer on the film. Matthew Broderick plays the lead but he has never really been able to rise to the potential he showed as Ferris Bueller and I think his performance is part of the reason this movie isn’t given higher regard. Jim Carrey is an entertaining machine and his performance is incredible in this film. Chris Farley was originally cast in the role and while I love the guy it would have been a very different movie and probably not for the better. Long before I even knew who Jefferson Airplane was, or what happened at the Altamont Speedway I remember watching Jim Carrey’s video for the song “Want Somebody to Love” on MTV. He was really hitting on all cylinders in 1996 and you can really see the range of his talent in this film.
This movie wasn’t appreciated when it came out but some movies are like fine wines, and they grow better with time. The Cable Guy is a movie that I have always enjoyed and still consider relevant today, I would reccomend it to anyone, it is definitely worth your time.
Ryan likes to go on and on, and I like to keep it simple, I think you guys are aware of that by now. This is one of my favorite movies. Jim Carrey was one of the only guys in Hollywood that my dad let us watch growing up. We must have watched this one a million times. My brother and step sister never liked it too much, but for some reason I really got it. I connected with it. The story is somewhat psychotic, which I love. The movie itself is very dark and mysterious. It keeps you wondering what the hell is going on with this guy?
This film keeps you on your toes and makes you wonder what is going to come next. My favorite scene, of course, is the Medieval Times scene which also, by the way, contains a hilarious cameo by Andy Dick. When I was younger I liked it, but I didn’t really get it. It’s a long story, and I am sure we will get there one day, but Ryan made me watch every last Star Trek movie. I now have a new-found love for the scene that I originally didn’t have. Everything in this movie is related to television and movies and that is one of the things that I love most about this film. A must see if you have never seen it.
NEXT MOVIE: Caddyshack (1980)