Me, Myself & Irene

Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Cast: Jim Carrey, Renee Zellweger
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Featurettes, Music Video, Trailers & TV Spots and more

In a recent interview with MTV, mega-star Jim Carrey said he still has people come up to him and explain how they just can’t get enough of "Dumb & Dumber", the film that was a surprise hit for he and directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly. I shamelessly admit I am one of those fanatics of that film and thus was highly excited about the re-teaming of star and directors in last summer’s "Me, Myself, & Irene". While the film would not be the most successful vehicle for either Carrey or the Farrelly Bros., who were coming off the heels of the universally praised "There’s Something About Mary," it is a film that does not deserve to be unfairly dismissed as unfunny or disappointing.

"Me, Myself, & Irene" tells the story of young Charlie Baileygates (Carrey) as a Rhode Island State Trooper who has found the love of his life. The girl becomes his bride and the two soon find themselves in a hospital delivery room where Charlie’s Caucasian wife gives birth to not one, but THREE baby boys…. three baby African American boys. Charlie’s shocked but turns his doubts inward and loves the boys without a shred of concern that they are not his own, and even retains custody of them when his wife leaves him for a vertically challenged limo driver and the boys’ obvious father. Years pass and Charlie becomes the meekest officer to ever wear a badge, until one day a man named Hank shows up to cover Charlie’s slack and then some. The problem is, Hank shows up IN Charlie, who soon makes it painfully obvious that he’s a schizo with involuntary narcissistic rage. In other words, Hank is everything Charlie is afraid to be.

It’s soon after Hank’s vulgar introduction to the world that we meet Irene (Renee Zellweger), who has been picked up by the police on an outstanding warrant in upstate New York. Charlie, who along with his new medication is determined to be in serious need of a getaway, is handed the job of escorting Irene into the hands of the New York law. Their journey begins short, sidetracked only by a poor dying cow, but takes a turn into adventure when Irene is taken into custody and witnesses the murder of two officers, by an assailant who is looking for her. Fortunately, she escapes and immediately seeks out Charlie for assistance. The two go on the lam as Irene struggles to keep ahead of the corrupt men who are out to get her, and Charlie struggles to remain Charlie. Unfortunately, his pills go missing and Hank comes calling, making it even more difficult for Irene to stay alive and stay sane.

The final act of "Me, Myself, & Irene" suffers in the similar way that "Dumb & Dumber" suffers, having to ultimately deal plot-wise with enemies the audience knows very little about. But also like "Dumb & Dumber" (and any Farrelly Bros. Movie for that matter), I didn’t really care about that. I was there to laugh. And I laughed a whole bunch.

Jim Carrey as Charlie Baileygates has his funny, innocent, and protective moments in this film, but Jim Carrey as Hank is a comedic icon. The man has the mouth of an incarcerated truck driver and speaks with the low, hushed, brazenly confident voice of Dirty Harry. He consistently does his worst to get into the pants of Irene and has a strange, yet appropriate, beef with little kids. Carrey completely transforms himself within the body of another character and makes it look simple, again proving that there is no need for anyone else in the world to attempt physical comedy. I found myself skipping backwards just to watch Hank’s arms move, endlessly amused by one of the little things that he does.

It’s these little things that make "Me, Myself, & Irene" enjoyable in the same way that Dumb and Dumber tickled so many. Following the success of There’s Something About Mary, it seems the market has been full of films all pushing the envelope of gross out humor and showing us things we thought we would never see in a comedy. In this film, however, it seems that the Farrelly’s have been beaten at their own game. Some of the more offensively intended jokes come across like old news. The big jokes didn’t give me the biggest laughs and I can relate to why people were disappointed with this movie along those lines. But watch Jim Carrey work, watch him interact with Whitey the albino kid, watch him adore his three huge brilliant potty-mouthed sons (who steal many a scene, I should mention), and don’t be surprised if ten years from now you find that you just can’t get enough of "Me, Myself, & Irene".

Although it wasn’t always the way, everyone now knows that Fox delivers some of the best looking video transfers on the market, and this DVD is no exception. Color saturation is extremely well done and though there are moments in the film (the opening credits) that seem somewhat dull to me, this is exactly how I remember seeing it in the theater. Presented in anarmorphic <$PS,widescreen> (1.85:1), the video is as crisp as Charlie’s crew cut and as sharp as his three genius sons. Check out the scene where Hank confronts a litterbug and notice the scale of grays in the sky, where you can almost feel it’s going to rain. The print is immaculately clean with no articles of dust or grain, an outstanding job by Fox.

The audio is presented in <$DD,Dolby Digital> 5.1 in English, and <$DS,Dolby Surround> 2.0 in both French and English. As you might expect with most comedies, the surround and LFE channels are somewhat limited to the moments where the soundtrack rings in, letting the front channels do the majority of the work handling the dialogue. Having said that, the audio track sounds excellent throughout and gets a little workout from a scene with a helicopter and two different scenes with running trains. A good listen overall.

There is a wealth of exciting bonus features on this DVD that make for entertaining viewing. A <$commentary,commentary track> from the Farrelly Bros. is entertaining and particularly helpful if you were ever curious about who the extras in the film were and how they were related to the two directors. Also on board are a number of production vignettes, a featurette and deleted scenes, which can be viewed while watching the movie in its entirety, via the extended branching format. The deleted scenes were more often than not, extended versions of existing scenes and are a bit rough in the sound and visual departments. I found the vignettes, however, to be quite entertaining and nice as they provide a simple and unedited look into some of the filming, that is a nice companion to the typical featurette provided. No cheesy interviews or voice-overs, just someone with a camera on set.

Along with this, come two trailers and two TV spots, a great music video from the Foo Fighters, and a stills gallery. Finally, there’s the DVD-ROM content, which sadly consists of nothing more than a game that is only accessible, online. The biggest crime with this disc in my opinion is the lack of a gag reel of some sorts, which is a true shame because it is impossible to imagine there weren’t loads of gags on this film.

"Me, Myself, & Irene" isn’t the best movie Jim Carrey or the Farrelly Brothers have made or probably will make. Some of the jokes are a bit flat, it runs a little long towards the end, and I still can’t explain exactly what the bad guys did or why they’re after Irene. But when the movie hits the right notes, it plays terrifically. And Carrey as Hank, never hits a wrong note the whole time. Fox has done a very nice job in creating a DVD that is worth repeat viewings.