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The film begins with Jim Carrey, a psychotic buffoon, setting up cable for Matthew Broderick -- whose understated sarcasm serves as a perfect foil to Carrey's manic energy. Quickly Carrey incorporates himself into Broderick's life. For a while, Broderick goes along with this new friendship, enjoying dinner at Medieval Times and a karaoke jam. Yet when he finally sees Carrey for who he is -- a nut with the capacity to cause real danger -- he tries to break all ties. What's so far been a laughable `I'm glad I'm not in Broderick's shoes' scenario turns into a dark, comic nightmare.
Carrey has proved he can make stupid material funny, but the verdict was out on what he could do with real humor. As it turns out, his over-the-top, slapstick style mixes well with director Ben Stiller's intelligent, cynical, often harsh sensibility. (Stiller is also a crack-up in a small side plot about a grown-up child star on trial for killing his twin brother.)
This is a darker film for Carrey, but he's still Jim Carrey. His shenanigans keep even the blackest moments goofy. At the Cheri, the Fresh Pond, and the Circle and in the suburbs.
-- Mark Bazer