Everybody hated this film when it first came out. It was written off as Jim Carrey’s worst work and disregarded. I’m not sure this film’s reputation as a stinker is warranted. It’s not a great film, by any means, but there are certainly much worse movies out there. Like this one!!
I think this movie gets a bad rap because it was so different than anything Jim Carrey had done before. His Cable Guy character is so much darker than the lovable goofballs he had played in the past. There was also a big deal made about the fact that Carrey was paid 20 million dollars for this film. For that kind of money, people expected greatness. When it was just ok, people lost their minds. Like I said, this is not a great film, but it is not as terrible as some would have you believe.
The basic plot of this film is Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick) has just broken up with his girlfriend, Robin (Leslie Mann) and moved out of their shared home into a new apartment. Carrey stars as Steven’s cable guy who mistakes Steven’s basic human decency as an invitation to be best friends. Carrey begins an awkward friendship with Steven, which is not an issue at first until Carrey begins outright stalking him. Steven has to now try to ditch the new cable guy, while simultaneously trying to mend his broken relationship with his ex-girlfriend. Antics ensue, etc.
One of the things I really enjoy about rewatching all of these movies from the 80s and 90s is spotting all of the current stars that pop up in minor roles before they were famous. This film is a treasure trove for future celebrities. Jack Black appears as Steven’s best friend. Owen Wilson is a douche blind date that Robin goes out with when she attempts to get over Steven. Janeane Garofalo, Kathy Griffin, Andy Dick and Better Call Saul himself, Bob Odenkirk, also turn up in minor roles, and if you keep your eye out, there is a tiny role for Tobias Funke (David Cross) as one of Steven’s co-workers.
This film is pretty average. The most amusing plot point was a sidestory about a twin (Ben Stiller, who was also the film’s director) who killed his brother and parents. The film goes back and forth to the court case giving the audience amusing updates until the eventual verdict is interrupted by the film’s climax. Look, this is neither Carrey nor Broderick’s best work. They’ve both been much better. This film is worth seeing now just for the future star spotting you can do. Other than that, if you want to enjoy Matthew Broderick, stick to Ferris Bueller.
For a few years in the late 90s/early 2000s my dad was a cable guy. Almost everyday during that time he’d come home, open the front door, and do his best Jim Carrey impression. “Caaaaable guuuy!” It was funny the first few times, but eventually elicited nothing but an eye roll from me. The Cable Guy itself produces the same reaction in me.
This is just terrible. It barely held my interest, and so little of it was genuinely funny. The best bit is a subplot starring Ben Stiller that involves a televised murder trial. This comprises maybe 10 minutes of the movie all up, so hardly worth it.
The only other positive thing I can say about this movie is that it reminded me I’ve still never been to Medieval Times Restaurant. I’ll have to book that next time I’m in SoCal.
3 thoughts on “The Cable Guy (1996)”
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