Jim Carrey is one of the most versatile actors who has become an icon of modern cinema. From an early age, Jim Carrey showed a unique talent, even at high school, where his teachers often let him perform at the end of each day. During his teenage years, Jim Carrey experienced a hard time due to the loss of his father’s job., but luckily, they managed to get by eventually.
At the age of 16, Jim Carrey dropped out of school and started performing in many clubs. However, things changed when he met Rodney Dangerfield, who became like a mentor to Jim. In the early 1980s, Jim moved to Los Angeles and was hired at The Comedy Store, and this is where it all began!
Throughout the 1980s, Jim Carrey starred in many successful films, always in minor but memorable roles; these included Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) and Pink Cadillac (1989). The real breakthrough came in 1994 when he starred in three successful films: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb and Dumber and The Mask. Following that, the hit films just kept on coming, and in this article, we are highlighting some of these hits that featured the one and only Jim Carrey!
Jim Carrey’s Most Memorable Films!
Although Jim’s name always reminds many people of comedies, the actor has also presented some brilliant dramas that left a mark in the history of cinema. Coming up next, we remember some of the best Jim Carret films.
The Mask (1994)
The Mask, from 1994, is the first major highlight of Carrey’s career, who, alongside an almost unknown Cameron Diaz, in her big screen debut, created a spectacularly audacious and engaging film. In The Mask, Jim Carrey showed off his epic comic talent, and to think that it was originally supposed to be a horror film!
The film brought a mix of real and surreal action, where the power of a mysterious Viking mask is at the centre of it all. The life of shy and socially awkward bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss is completely changed when he finds a mask in the sea that possesses the spirit of the Scandinavian god Loki.
Every time he wears the Mask, Stanley acquires superpowers and transforms into a boy full of charm and confidence, all enough to attract the attention of the beautiful singer Tina. But he also ends up attracting her dangerous boyfriend, the gangster Dorian, who tries to take the mask for himself to use his powers for evil.
The film is very reminiscent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. By day, Carrey played the shy and awkward banker Stanley Ipkiss. By night, however, he became the invincible anti-hero, The Mask. Right from the start, the film became a great success both with critics and audiences. For his sparkling performance, Carrey received his first nomination at the 1995 Golden Globes.
Ace Ventura – The Pet Catcher (1994)
Can you make a film about a severely eccentric pet detective, receive criticism and derision from all quarters and become a comedy legend in time? Well, Jim Carrey can! This film, directed by Tom Shadyac, with whom the actor formed a close association, definitively consecrated Jim Carrey in the world of comedy.
Ace Ventura is a quirky but competent private investigator specialising in finding lost or abducted animals. He is hired to recover a dolphin, the mascot of the Miami Dolphins team, but will find himself involved in a case much murkier than he could have imagined!
Although the actor was nominated at the Razzie Awards for “Worst Newcomer of the Year”, the film was an incredible success, leading to the creation of a sequel as funny and crazy as its protagonist. The extreme craziness and madness of the film, including an absurd and unbelievable plot, put him at the mercy of critics who impaled him mercilessly.
In any case, the reality is that Ace Ventura has become, over time, a true cult movie for millions of young people who have been captivated by moving scenes such as the slow motion in Pink Tutu. Jim was absolutely brilliant in every scene, in every joke, in every single expression. This is Ace Ventura; this is Jim Carrey!
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
This was truly one of Jim Carrey’s earliest and best works. Dumb and Dumber is one of those clever films on the edge of “toilet humour” but just have the right balance not to slip into it, remaining really funny.
In the film, we follow two feeble friends who go to Aspen, Colorado, to try to return a suitcase forgotten by the passenger of the limousine one of them was driving to the airport. Not knowing that the suitcase contained a large sum of money, which would be used to pay a ransom for a kidnapping, the two end up being pursued by police and professional hitmen.
Twenty years later, the same Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunn are back on the adventure (life has taught them nothing) and set out to find Harry’s daughter, whom he never knew he had until recently. The sequel, Dumb and Dumber To (2014) came almost two decades later, making it one of the longest breaks between sequels.
Liar Liar (1997)
This one is a classic, good oldie comedy from the 90s. The film is directed by Tom Shadyac, and Carrey’s acting partner is the very young Maura Tierney.
Liar Liar is one of those films where the protagonists find themselves in a punishing situation. Fletcher Reede is, in fact, a brilliant lawyer who succeeds in winning his cases mainly thanks to the lies with which he demolishes the other side’s version. However, this gift in his professional life was a condemnation in his personal life.
He loses his wife Audrey, who divorced him because of the lies, and he is also having trouble with his son Max. Yet, things change when Fletcher gets cursed, and he suddenly becomes incapable of lying.
This film somehow represented a certain break in Carrey’s creative career, but not a big one; his well-known technique of grimaces, the facial acrobatics and the silly slapstick interludes were not present as much as in his other comedies.
The Truman Show (1998)
Since his birth, Truman Burbank has been starring unknowingly in the Truman Show, a T.V. programme that shows his life 24 hours a day, without any censorship. Truman gets sceptical of his life and tries to find out the truth and escape.
After delivering such gems as Dumb and Dumber (1994), Batman Forever (1995) and Liar Liar (1997), Carrey took a leap forward with this drama. Credit is also due to director Peter Weir, who chose Jim for this masterpiece. It is the first dramatic role for Carrey, where he is joined by Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich and Natascha McElhone.
In the role of Truman Burbank, Carrey left everyone speechless. Without renouncing his comic vein, he gave the world a strong, revolutionary and provocative performance that affirmed his great talent.
Since its release in 1998, the film was critically acclaimed and nominated for several Golden Globes, BAFTAs and Oscars. Thanks to his impeccable performance, Carrey won the first Golden Globe of his career but was sadly snubbed by the Academy.
Man on the Moon (1999)
One of the major titles in Carrey’s filmography is Man on the Moon, directed in 1999 by Czech director Milos Forman. The film seems to have been especially tailor-made for Carrey.
In fact, several other performers were considered before Carrey. Edward Norton, in particular, came very close to getting the part, but it seems that Jim Carrey managed to make the role of Andy Kaufman his own.
Man on the Moon is a biographical film telling the life story of comedian Andy Kaufman. The film follows Andy’s film from childhood, showing his journey until he made it big in Hollywood.
The film did not go unnoticed and won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival, while Carrey won his second in a row Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy.
Me, Myself & Irene (2000)
This is another successful collaboration between Jim Carrey and the brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly, who also co-wrote the brilliant screenplay with Mike Cerrone. The two brothers form a recognisable brand even when working separately. For example, Dumb & Dumber was directed by Peter alone but scripted by both.
At the time of the filming of Me, Myself & Irene, the Farrellys were at a great place in their career after the success of There’s Something About Mary (1998), while Carrey was obviously an already launched star. The best part is that here, the Canadian actor stars alongside René Zellweger, who was also an undisputed comedy veteran at the time.
In the film, we follow Charlie Baileygates, an innocent, kindly Rhode Island cop who is a gentleman and a devoted single father of three black children born to his wife after an affair. One day, Charlie, known for his good nature, can’t take being taken for a softie any longer and suddenly suffers a personality disorder, becoming someone completely different, in which his hyper-aggressive alter ego comes to the surface, changing everything!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas(2000)
Despite kilos and kilos of green and hairy make-up, you can clearly see Jim Carrey in there, even without knowing who plays the protagonist in this 2000 film. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a film directed by Oscar winner Ron Howard, based on the novel of the same name written by Theodor Seuss Geisel.
In the film, Jim Carrey starred as the grumpy Grinch who does everything he can to put an end to Christmas for the citizens of Quemlândia. His plan is to rob people of everything to do with the holiday until he comes across the girl, Cindy Lou, and the two become friends.
Now a cult favourite during the Christmas season, How the Grinch Stole Christmas featured Jim Carrey in a completely new light, making children and adults alike laugh throughout the film while watching the strange creature who hates Christmas, although he hides a heart of gold.
The film was a commercial success with a global gross of more than 345 million for an expenditure of 128 million, and it also won an Oscar for Best Makeup in 2001.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
It seemed impossible, but after The Truman Show, Carrey outdid himself in a highly dramatic film again in what turned out to be one of the most acclaimed films of 2004. Directed by Michel Gondry and written by Charlie Kauffman, Jim Carrey shared the stage with a magnificent Kate Winslet. They are also joined by Tom Wilkinson, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo and Elijah Wood.
The story is set after a painful breakup when Clementine undergoes a procedure to erase her ex-boyfriend Joel from her memory. Not surprisingly, Joel also decides to try the same strategy, but when Joel’s memories begin to fade, he tries to fight the procedure and keep his own memories.
The film starts with a simple question: what happens after a relationship ends? From here, the film becomes a journey of the mind and a magnificent labyrinth where memories, love, hatred and suffering mingle. In every scene, Carrey and Winslet create perfect alchemy and always manage to be unpredictable. Carrey gives another performance full of charisma, sensitivity and impact.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2005. Carrey was nominated again at the Golden Globes, but he was again snubbed by the Oscars. In every respect, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is definitely one of Jim Carrey’s most successful and personal films.
Number 23 (2007)
Number 23 is the title of a mysterious book that Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey), a kennel employee, begins to read after his wife gives it to him as a gift. Sparrow becomes obsessed with reading after discovering that the book’s protagonist is too much like himself. The madness and murder that take place in fiction are soon reflected in reality as well, and Walter’s life is turned upside down!
This 2007 film was written by Fernley Phillips and directed by Joel Schumacher. Although it has been slaughtered by critics, Number 23 is an intriguing piece of work that featured Jim Carrey in an unusual role compared to the usual comedies, proving that he is more actor than comedian!
A Christmas Carol (2009)
This is yet another film adaptation and one of the most successful versions of Charles Dickens’s famous short novel, A Christmas Carol. Carrey plays Ebenezer Scrooge, a character who certainly needs no introduction and who has already been played by other actors.
Set in London in 1843, on Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly and selfish old man who used to reject people’s invitations, declines his nephew Fred’s invitation to dinner. After this refusal, Scrooge is visited by the spirit of Marley, an old associate of his who died years before and who suffered a bad fate in the afterlife. The encounter shocks the scurvy individual and coincides with his first contact with the magic of Christmas.
It is very difficult not to enjoy this Christmas Carol made by Robert Zemeckis. Exciting, sensitive and spectacular, this feature film can be considered the definitive version of Dickens’ original work!
Sonic: The Movie (2020)
A live-action adventure comedy where Sonic, the cheeky blue hedgehog, goes through several adventures when he meets his human friend and cop, Tom Wachowski (James Marsden). Sonic and Tom join forces to stop the evil Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), who is trying to trap Sonic in order to use his immense powers to take over the world.
The film is based on the SEGA video game saga of the same name that made its debut back in 1991. Directed by Jeff Fowler and starring Ben Schwartz, James Marsden and Tika Sumpter, Sonic managed to give Jim Carrey an artistic renaissance. It was his first major film after a long period away from the spotlight. The film was just the right renaissance, becoming a box-office success and receiving food reviews and much love from the audience!
There are names that are engraved in Hollywood and that have marked milestones in film history. One of these names is undoubtedly Jim Carrey. Jim Carrey always managed to surprise audiences and his fans with eye-popping performances in dramas and thrillers. Hopefully, the rumours about him retiring will be just rumours, and we still get to see more brilliant works featuring Jim Carrey.