Time: 91 mins.
SYNOPSIS: A needy, psychologically unbalanced cable-television installer forces his friendship upon an unsuspecting bachelor who has just broken up with his fianceé and is feeling lonely.
BOTTOM LINE: The unlikely pairing of comic actors Broderick and Carrey yields uneven results in Stiller's directorial debut. What begins as a surreal, wacky "I don't want to be your buddy" film takes a drastic turn in the last half hour as the film's "true" message is revealed. The fairly lighthearted, if somewhat twisted proceedings lead to a point that the media is ruining the social fabric of our country that's at best honorable, but mostly comes off as hypocritical considering the messenger was supposed to be a giant blockbuster that reached millions.
Broderick and Carrey have deliciously funny moments in this film, but both are hamstringed by the one-track plot that leaves them no room to show deeper sides to their characters. Broderick is the uptight do-gooder who doesn't want to hurt Carrey's feelings, even though he wants absolutely nothing to do with him. Carrey plays the needy and psychotic cable guy who's desperate to make a connection to a real person (having grown up with only two-dimensional TV friends). So desperate, he uses his power to manipulate the airwaves to ruin Broderick's life.
The scenes that focus on this tentative friendship and outrageous power struggle are what make this film entertaining. Despite vastly different acting styles the boys have good chemistry, which keeps the film afloat. They are perfectlty cast with Broderick playing the thankless task of trying to not be overshadowed by Carrey. It's almost worth watching for the Medieval Times dinner scene alone. Almost. Overall, it's an amusing concept with good actors that never fully comes together, but is entertaining enough, especially if you're a fan of Jim Carrey.
"Hey Steve I'm on a pay phone, so if you're there pick up, pick up, pick up, pick up, pick up, pick up, pick up, pick up, well OK, call me back."