No matter what people say, this is definitively one of Jim Carrey’s best films. He stars as, you guessed it, a cable installer. He really takes his job seriously, TV being the quintessential thing in his life deprived of friends. That is until he meets Steven (Matthew Broderick), a successful young man who moved into a bachelor pad after his girlfriend refuses his marriage proposal. He meets Carrey when he hooks him up for free HBO and stuff, and they soon start hanging together. At first, all’s peachy, and Carrey might even help Steven get his girl back. But then the guy gets more and more intrusive, and soon Steven has no choice but to break their friendship. Bad idea. Carrey won’t let go, even if he has to stalk Steven and ruin his life to force him to be his bud.
“The Cable Guy” was directed by actor Ben Stiller, whose debut “Reality Bites” was interesting but ultimately so-so. His latest flick is hysterically funny, but it’s also a stylish, clever black comedy. The screenplay walks a dangerous balance between goofiness and suspense and excels at both. I enjoyed a lot how Stiller directs the movie not like a Jim Carrey movie, but like a De Niro thriller. It’s rather somber and moody, and that gives the comedy an interesting quirkiness. There are lots of great scenes with original twists on thriller clichÃ©s, and Stiller also fills his film with witty satire, in-jokes and colorful details. For instance, Ben plays a bit part in the film as one of a set of twins accused of murder whose Court TV trial goes on through the film.
The film’s cast is very interesting. Broderick, who’s best know for portraying the ultra cool high schooler Ferris Bueller, proves a skilled “grown-up actor”. But the film’s biggest surprise is Jim Carrey, who I had never seen like that. Carrey is mostly known for slapstick and funny faces, but “The Cable Guy” proves he can act. He’s hilarious but also creepy by moments. He’s the anchor of this wrongly overlooked gem, which is great from the opening to the closing credits. The “Ace Ventura” films are funny, “The Mask” is cool enough, “Dumb & Dumber” and “Liar Liar” are hilarious, but “The Cable Guy” is much better than all these. Trust me.