The Cable Guy

Director: Ben Stiller
Year Released: 1996
Rating: 3.0

Here's a cult classic that's held up: glib architect (Matthew Broderick, once the charming rebel as Ferris Bueller, now a portrait of upper class blandness) gets stalked by a TV Baby (Jim Carrey) in need of human contact (and out-of-touch with reality) while trying to win back his old girlfriend (Leslie Mann). Though hated at the time of its release - people were expecting another Ace Ventura, not a black comedy that criticizes its audience for living life through television - there is entirely too much going on in here to completely dismiss it, including those noxious homoerotic overtones (Owen Wilson is made to suck on a hand dryer in an LA restaurant by pugilist Carrey), the funny sight gags (Carrey playing basketball, Carrey doing karaoke, Carrey imitating Irene Miracle in Midnight Express) and an astoundingly weird (and aggravating) lead performance by Carrey, overacting to the point of absurdity. There's enough wrong with it to make a plausible case for anyone to (still) dislike it even after all these years - and there are moments when I wish director Stiller would have tempered his star's antics - but anything that ultimately suggests that we should probably turn off the television and read a book can't be that bad.