The Cable Guy

Much of this dark farce, about the chaos that erupts when a buttoned-down milksop (Matthew Broderick) slips the Cable Guy (Jim Carrey) 50 bucks for free premium service, verges on the unwatchable; it's an uneasy hybrid of vulgar slapstick and nightmarish comedy-of-mortification, and its modest ambitions are entirely subordinate to Carrey's manic mugging...read more

Watchlist Added
Where to Watch

Available to Stream

Reviewed by Maitland McDonagh
Rating:

Much of this dark farce, about the chaos that erupts when a buttoned-down milksop (Matthew Broderick) slips the Cable Guy (Jim Carrey) 50 bucks for free premium service, verges on the unwatchable; it's an uneasy hybrid of vulgar slapstick and nightmarish comedy-of-mortification, and its modest ambitions are entirely subordinate to Carrey's manic mugging and capering. But it soars above the plebian rudeness of DUMB AND DUMBER by virtue of a few moments of excoriating brilliance.

Although first-time writer Lou Holtz Jr.'s awkward script could easily have been played for light laughs, director Ben Stiller (REALITY BITES) consistently brings out its darkest implications. One keenly edited sequence intercuts Carrey's vigorously lewd karaoke rendering of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love" with Broderick's seduction by a wanton young woman (Misa Koprova). At once amusing and appropriately discomfiting, it's a perfectly balanced construct that could be toppled by a single false cut, and isn't. Carrey's Cable Guy, his personality formed entirely by TV, is the neediest nerd of all time, and his dismantling of Broderick's ordered life is in the classic tradition of anarchic comedy, complete with undercurrents of class-based hostility and homoerotic menace. A cruel clown, Carrey puts the belligerent libido back in the sexless spazz character perfected by Jerry Lewis, and exploits teasing as the socially condoned form of torture it is. In all, about a third of the film (most of it contained in three extended sequences) is audaciously funny and genuinely disturbing. The rest will

sorely test the devotion of Carrey's fans.

MIXED-ISH - In "mixed-ish," Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the '80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow's parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they're perceived as neither black nor white. This family's experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one's own identity when the rest of the world can't decide where you belong. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
MYKAL-MICHELLE HARRIS, ARICA HIMMEL, ETHAN WILLIAM CHILDRESS
Best New Fall TV Shows

The hottest new broadcast TV series

Discover Now!
TV Premiere Dates

Because it's never too early to plan Thursday night... two months from now.

See What's New

My News

Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now