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Man On The Moon (1999)
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Review Date: December 22, 1999
Director: Milos Forman
Writer: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Producers: Danny DeVito, Stacey Sher, Michael Shamberg
Actors:
Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman
Danny DeVito as George Shapiro
Paul Giamatti as Bob Zmuda
Courtney Love as Lynne Margulies
Plot:
Based on the real life of comedian/singer/bongo drummer Andy Kaufman, this film takes us through the early part of his career in Hollywood, his sudden rise to fame on TV's "Taxi", his manufactured multiple personalities and all the goofy stuff in between.
Critique:
This film wasn't really all that funny, wasn't really all that interesting and wasn't really all that dramatic. In fact, if it wasn't for Jim Carrey's strong showing as the lead character of Kaufman, I doubt I would even recommend this film to anyone who didn't really care or know this man named Andy. I personally knew very little about the man before this film, other than his Latka performances on "Taxi", but I had the impression that he was weird, controversial and kinda "out there". After this film, I know much more about his performances (In fact, I think I know ALL of them, since it felt like every one of his acts was basically played out on the big screen), but little more about the man himself. In fact, all it did was confirm the fact that he was weird, controversial and kinda "out there". Did it address the man's upbringing, formative or high school years to get some kind of feel as to why he may have acted the way he did? Nope. In fact, besides admiring the man for his raw courage and debatable talent, I found very little of significant value in this film.

Some might enjoy Carrey's (Kaufman's) routines in the movie, but I personally didn't care much for most of them. Sure he was over-the-top, loud, different and obnoxious, but is that supposed to be entertaining? Well, I suppose it would be to some (Admittedly, Howard Stern is cut from the same fabric and I do dig him...), but considering that this film is little more than a showpiece for many of Kaufman's goofy shticks, I think that you actually have to enjoy many of them to truly appreciate the movie as a whole. And if you are thinking of seeing this movie because of the Courtney Love "romance" factor, stop dead in your tracks right now, cause this has got to be one of the weakest "love affairs" ever put to film. In fact, why was she even in the movie? She didn't appear to make one iota of difference in the man's life one way or the other. Anyway, if it feels as though I'm complaining too much, you're probably right, but it's Christmas time dammit, and I haven't even begun my stinky shopping!

Harumph...but with that bit of ugliness aside, I would recommend this film on video to most who are interested in seeing how some people in showbiz get started and how one goofy, really strange man made something of himself. On the big screen, it really isn't worth it, unless you truly like the Jim Carrey, who should definitely get an Oscar nod for his performance, or just want to see Andy's performances all over again. Oh and by the way, when I say that Carrey was excellent in his role as Andy, I don't pretend to know whether or not he was EXACTLY like the man himself (I didn't know Andy much). But what I am saying is that by the end of the movie, I no longer saw Jim Carrey playing a part...I saw a person named Andy. And that, to any actor, should be the highest praise indeed.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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