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By Susannah Breslin | June 25, 2000

I loved it and it’s great! The Farrelly brothers are wild! Jim Carrey’s physical comedy is hilarious! The part with the midget is fantastic! The part where someone poops on someone’s lawn is genius! The part where the three black brothers say m**********r all the time while speaking German is brilliant! Go and see it! These are all the things I’m supposed to say about “Me, Myself & Irene.” Unluckily, I don’t feel any of them. I laughed once during “There’s Something About Mary,” and that was at the Brett Favre joke. Me, Myself & The Farrelly Brothers…I just don’t get it.
The premise of “Me, Myself & Irene” is wouldn’t it be funny to team up Jim Carrey’s unique brand of physical comedy with Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s naughty brand of politically incorrect humor in a movie not called “Dumb and Dumber.” It sounds like a good idea and, might I add in an unusual act of generosity on my part, it will be a good idea for most movie-goers. Carrey here plays Charlie Baileygates, a Rhode Island (joke of a state) policeman (joke of a profession), who spends lots of time trying to do the right thing even if it means repressing a lot of frustration. For starters, his wife, Layla (Traylor Howard), runs off with a black midget limo driver, leaving Charlie on his own to raise three African-American triplet sons spawned from Layla’s philandering ways. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
Charlie, eventually pushed by the world to the mental limit, gives birth to his own alter ego and the product of his Split Personality Disorder, Hank Baileygates. Bad Hank, unlike Nice Charlie, is a stinky f****r who likes to menace kids, play with dildos, and kick the crap out of Charlie. Enter Irene Waters (Renee Zellweger) on the scene, a blonde in sort of trouble with the law who Charlie/Hank must return CHiPs-style to upstate New York where some goons are waiting to get her. Good thing Charlie’s got those pills to control his problem, until…well, you can guess what happens. The two boys battle for the affections of Irene on a road trip that spells lots of abuse and wacky times for all.
“Me, Myself & Irene” is chock full of the kind of humor I expect to like. Toilet jokes, acts of cruelty, midgets getting mad. The problem, for me, is the Farrelly brothers never seem to wed these staples of modern humor to anything approaching clever. Politically incorrect yes, smart no. There’s a fine line in modern gags between gross and funny-gross. Gross: Tom Green conducting interviews with feces on the end of his microphone. Funny-Gross: Mr. Hanky the Flying, Talking Piece of Christmas Poo. To me, bodily secretions jokes aren’t inherently funny; they’re only made funny through acts of twisted and comedic intelligence, and, for me, the Farrelly brothers never rise beyond the late-night tittering of kids at summer camp.
Therefore, for the first time, I sat watching Jim Carrey in a comedy, and, well, sort of cringed. He’s gotten better than this. You seem him, nevertheless, sometimes here really acting in a dramatic sense in spite of it all, as “Me, Myself & Irene” is at times more serious and romantic than “There’s Something About Mary.” (Ironically, this fact will, in the end, probably make it less appealing than “Dumb and Dumber” or “There’s Something About Mary” to dollar-holding fans.) Renee Zellweger is her usual cute and spunky self, but also a bit of an over-qualified thespian to be trading in defecation jokes for box-office bonanzas. And, while Anthony Anderson as Jamaal, Mongo Brownlee as Lee Harvey, and Jerod Mixon as Shonte Jr. are wonderfully adept at illustrating just how much of a joke the idea blacks could be geniuses is to the Farrellys, you gotta wonder if any of them had qualms about the task.
Whatever. No matter what I say, people will love “Me, Myself & Irene,” as they should. Just remember, if you see it, if nothing else, you’ll never eat a Softie with the same s**t-eating grin again.

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