Tuesday, September 21, 2010


(Glen Salzman/Rebecca Yates, 1983)
Not technically a feature - rather, a network-hour TV special, revived for the home video market due to the subsequent career achievements of second lead Jim Carrey. Its original title, "Introducing...Janet", is more representative of its focus and aesthetic; this is an earnest film about teenage identity crisis that happens to use comedy to illustrate its theme, and those dupes who come in expecting an actual Jim Carrey movie will be properly outraged. The main reaction it provoked in me was pity for Adah Glassbourg. Even without the false advertising, it was sadistic to ask her to mug competitively with Carrey, who is in full manic mode here when he isn't obliged to express his deeper emotions. Meanwhile Glassbourg's odyssey leads her to the conclusion that good comedy is about being yourself. This dicey conceit is undermined by Carrey - who barely has a self to be - and positively trashed by the script itself, which bequeaths us agonizing Groucho Marx pantomime and builds to a putatively climactic comedy-club routine that evinces howls of laughter from the onscreen audience and crickets in your living room.

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