Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

30 November 2008

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Director: Tom Shadyac
Writers: Jack Bernstein, Tom Shadyac, Jim Carrey
Released: 1994
Cast: Jim Carrey, Courtney Cox, Sean Young, Tone Loc, Udo Kier

STEVE says: Roger Ebert pointed out, in his July 1999 review of Dr. Strangelove, "[The film's] humor is generated by a basic comic principle: People trying to be funny are never as funny as people trying to be serious and failing. The laughs have to seem forced on unwilling characters by the logic of events. A man wearing a funny hat is not funny. But a man who doesn't know he's wearing a funny hat... ah, now you've got something."

Jim Carrey is not only aware of his funny hat, he wants to make damn sure you're aware that he's aware of it. Which is why I hate him.

It took me 14 years to finally sit and watch this movie from beginning to end (having seen bits and pieces through the years, whether because the characters I worked with in the video store when it was released would play it on an endless loop, or because my former roommate - coincidentally, one of those video store characters - was obsessed with it), and I have to admit, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The plot was largely ridiculous, but that was to be expected. And it did make me laugh several times throughout - but only, I argue, where there was a joke and not simply Carrey being Carrey.

Early in the piece, Ace liberates a dog from a nasty owner, played by Randall "Tex" Cobb, who comes after him with a baseball bat. Ace manages a narrow escape, but not before Cobb smashes his windshield to hell and back. Consequently, Ace has to drive for the duration of the movie with his head out the window. Cute. Not, you know, "fall-down-hilarious", but cute. The scene where Ace and Courney Cox are going to a swanky party at Udo Kier's mansion, and she says to him before they enter, "Don't do anything to embarrass me," and he says, "Like this?" and starts dancing around like a spastic: also cute. Even mildly funny. Because it's been set up. Minutes later, though, Ace sneaks out a bathroom window, climbs along a railing and pretends to scale a wall while looking for clues - all without anyone watching but us. The humor just don't work because there's no one there to see his antics. Nikki - herself a fan of the movie - turned to me and said, "You have to wonder why he doesn't just do his job."

Thing is, Ace isn't like this all the time. There's a rare moment where he shows an almost human side toward Courtney Cox that just feels wrong and awkward because it comes out of nowhere (much like their romance), and goes against the behavior of the character as he's been developed.

I survived, though, that's the point. The movie wasn't as lame as I'd expected. Carrey, on the other hand, was.


NIKKI says:
Top 10 Best and Most Re-Used Quotes from Ace Ventura

1. Got a package, people!
2. Well... I have kissed a man.
3. Poor guy with a motive, baby!
4. Tonight on Miami Vice, Crockett gets the boss a coffee!
5. Obsess much?!?
6. Why? So you can beat him?
7. Lovely party. Pity I wasn't invited.
8. Had I been drinking out of the toilet, I might have been killed.
9. For God's sake, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a pool man!
10. They're little footballs!


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