One of the most influential names in comedy and synonymous with his rubber face, Jim Carrey has waltzed his way into millions of hearts with his prolific knack for physical comedy, impressions, dramatic transformations and more. An unbridled source of hilarious entertainment, Carrey has provided hordes of characters who have helped the viewers escape reality and embark on various cinematic (and indeed comedic) odysseys.
Born and raised in Canada, Carrey’s knack for comedy sprouted at a very nascent age after he was inspired by Dick Van Dyke, Andy Kaufman, Jerry Lewis and his father, Percy Carrey. Jim had a tragic past with various financial difficulties, a mentally ailing mother, and other troubles. After he bagged a recurring role in In Living Colour, it was not until Ace Ventura: Pet Detective that he was noticed.
A box office success, the film helped Carrey bag a role in The Mask, followed by Dumb and Dumber. Despite various obstacles and difficulties, Carrey’s raw talent and love for comedy helped him pave the way for himself in a fiercely competitive world. His talent catapulted him into becoming a household name, garnering a cult-like following. With an illustrious career, Carrey was last seen reprising the much-controversial role of Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live.
On his 60th birthday, let us take a look at some of his best films streaming on Netflix:
The 5 best Jim Carrey films on Netflix
5. Liar Liar (Tom Shadyac, 1997)
A swift-talking divorced father, a lying lawyer by profession, is not very good to his son, Max. Fletcher Reede effortlessly lies during his job and often lies to his son, who, troubled by the constant let-downs, makes a wish where his father has to tell the truth. After the birthday wish comes true, chaos ensues, and Reede finds himself undergoing a massive change.
Jim Carrey as Reede adds pure humour and brilliance to the film that was otherwise panned for its myopic moral lesson to be meted out to absent fathers. It is also a brilliant exploration of children finally learning the twisted mechanisms within an adult world, leading to a much-needed loss of innocence.
4. Yes Man (Peyton Reed, 2008)
Starring Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper and more, the film explores the mundane life of Carl Allen. Allen decides to pursue personal growth by prompting himself to say ‘yes’ to everything. While his affirmative approach does lead to a lot of positive developments, he soon stumbles upon the negative effects of taking up every opportunity.
Based on Danny Wallace’s memoir, the film was critically panned but made a killing at the box office. However, viewers seemed to resonate with the message of the film and enjoyed both Carrey and Deschanel’s goofy and loopy chemistry. Despite its predictable narrative progression, it is a light-hearted and entertaining watch for Jim Carrey fans.
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Ron Howard, 2000)
A devilish, furry green monster named the Grinch loathes the jolly spirit of Christmas and the art of giving gifts. A resident of Mount Crumpit, he is absolutely done with the consumerism ushered in by the Holiday season and wants to punish the people of Whoville by stealing all their presents and hindering Christmas.
Jim Carrey is stellar as the misanthropic Scrooge-like cynical and mean-spirited character who gradually has an epiphany. A victim of constant bullying, the Grinch’s loathsome attitude is finally justified, and his later actions help him achieve redemption. Carrey’s hilariously dark performance immortalises the Christmas classic forever.
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
Two strangers fall in love after having a chance encounter on the train. However, their good time comes to an end pretty quickly. Amidst miscommunication, misunderstandings and a constant effort to erase memories, the star-crossed lovers meet yet again.
Starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in lead roles, this brilliant piece of art is a beautiful and subtle commentary on fate and predestination. Heartbreaking yet beautiful with a vibrant burst of colours, Carrey and Winslet are phenomenal in weaving together a melancholy tale of love and sorrow.
1. The Truman Show (Peter Weir, 1998)
Truman, an insurance salesman, thinks he lives a normal life before finally understanding that it is all a simulation. He is under constant surveillance and is the source of the most popular TV show in the world- the titular Truman Show. Confined within the omnipresent gaze of the cameras, Truman takes an unimaginable step.
With numerous Academy Award nominations, besides other awards and accolades, Peter Weir’s 1998 film explores themes related to surveillance, privacy and simulated reality while providing a commentary on the state of reality television. With an engaging narrative, Jim Carrey’s phenomenal performance helps convey his palpable fears and anxieties. However, the Academy did Carrey dirty by not nominating him for his brilliant and powerful performance.