By Ron Wells | June 24, 2000

Ladies and gentlemen, what we have here is the “Citizen Kane” of a*s-comedy. Co-directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly have crafted an a*s-terpiece that entails more things coming in and out of the characters’ butts than any other film to have garnered an “R” rating. What’s the point of this batty, booty-busting bonanza? Aside from determining if Fox could pull a usable pull-quote out of this paragraph, it’s all just a metaphor for how a character named Charlie must pull his head out of his own a*s before he can move on with his life.
Charlie (Jim Carrey) is a Rhode Island State Trooper who married the love of his life Layla (Traylor Howard), 18 years ago. On the limousine ride to their new home, the new bride falls for the angry, black midget genius limo driver, Shonte (Tony Cox). Soon after giving birth to a set of black triplet geniuses, Layla leaves Charlie and the kids for her new love.
The errant mother is not the only one to give birth to something unexpected. From the day his wife left him, Charlie bottled up all of his rage and confusion until it grew large enough to take form as a new personality, Hank. As he adjusts to new medication to keep Hank in line, Charlie encounters Irene (Renee Zellweger), he must be escorted back to upstate New York to speak to federal authorities about the shenanigans of her ex-boyfriend developer. Along the way, not everything goes as planned, but with some (bad) luck, this hero’s journey will end with Hank and Charlie pulling themselves together.
The first question you will ask is, ‘Is this as good as “There’s Something About Mary”?’ The answer is, yes and no. Some people will like “Me, Myself, and Irene” better, others will like it less. The last Farrelly Bros. movie was probably more consistent. The new film has more bits that aren’t necessarily as thought out or as funny. There’s a scene where Hank and Charlie duke it out for control of their body. You can appreciate them for Carrey’s physical dexterity and precision, but they aren’t really that funny. The folksy narrator here lacks the demented charm of Jonathan Richman’s loopy songs. The villains here, led by Chris Cooper, aren’t really amusing either, but they’re only the tram to get you around the park to the fun rides.
“Me, Myself, and Irene” has three more things going for it. First, it has a lot more heart. In “Mary”, it seemed as if the only reward for Ben Stiller’s Ted as the punching bag of the whole film was to get the girl who had been messing with everyone’s heads the whole movie. With “Irene”, Hank brings a jumbo bucket of comeuppance to share with every person who torments the hapless Charlie. The relationship between Charlie and Irene is far more balanced than that of Mary (Cameron Diaz) and Ted.
The second distinction of “Irene” is the supporting cast. Aside from Whitey (Michæl Bowman), the albino nerd and the movie’s angry little man, Shonte, I really can’t say enough about the entertainment value of Charlie’s three large, street-talking, black genius sons: Jamaal (Anthony Anderson), Lee Harvey (Mongo Brownlee), and Shonte Jr. (Jerod Mixon). This group can, and according to recent reports will, carry their own movie. Their love for their dad may only surpassed by their inability to take any s**t from anyone.
Speaking of s**t, the third great thing about “Irene” would be all the a*s jokes. They’re killer.

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