Making the Grades
The Cable Guy (Jim Carrey) is a strange troubled man with many names, all derived from television characters. With social skills that make the Beverly Hillbillies look fit for royalty, it's not easy for this guy to find friends, and new customers have no idea what they are in for when he appears at their door.
After Steve (Matthew Broderick) orders cable, The Cable Guy as Chip Douglas (remember My Three Sons?) shows up at his apartment and begins caressing the walls in a sort of sexual trance, uttering innuendos while searching for a hidden cable. By now alarms should be going off in Steve's head, but against all rational judgement Steve agrees to meet Chip afterwards for a tour of the cable headquarters. This is the beginning of a relationship that will effect all aspects of Steve's life.
Just not having to watch Carrey crawl naked out of the back of a rubber rhino gave this movie a few extra points over his last outing, but as with all his movies, this one is ripe with sexual innuendo and situations that are handled casually. On the positive side, Steve tries his best to be patient with Mr. Cable, and probably puts up with more than the average person would ever consider.
As usual, Carrey's performance takes over the screen, leaving Broderick looking like a wooden puppet whose only purpose is to provide lines for Carrey to pounce on and deliver to the audience. Carrey's attempts at humor for the first half are almost funny at times, but by the end he is milking laughs from a situation that involves a desperately disturbed person. The humor just doesn't fit anymore, and you want to get Carrey into a straight jacket before he hurts himself or anyone else.
Ironically, The Cable Guy is a lesson about what can happen to children who watch too much television and are ignored by their parents. Just contemplating the outcome of having a child act like Carrey should be enough to make most parents seriously consider trashing the tube.