Friday, 12 March 2010

Flashback: The Mask

I know that most people would agree that Jim Carrey gave his two best performances in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Truman Show – two films that are unlike his usual comedic fare. I’d agree with them. Still, I can never hate a Jim Carrey comedy of old. Not the recent stuff which does little for me, but his early work in the 90s...his early work like The Mask. You remember The Mask, right? Released in 1994 with a ridiculous plot about a mask that revealed the wearer’s innermost desires. You remember it right? The movie that Cameron Diaz made her debut in? Sure you do.
It’s not difficult to see the appeal of The Mask. It’s for the inner (or outer) schmuck in us all. We all have an annoying boss, or a freeloading friend, or an annoying landlady. Maybe we have all three, like Jim Carrey’s Stanley Ipkiss. Yes, a horrible name to add to his troubles. But with The Mask Ipkiss is transformed into a suave (if hideous) playboy. It’s ridiculous but hilarious fun as we watch The Mask do all the crazy slapstick that shouldn’t be so funny, but still is. I’m uncertain if it’d work as well in a new film, but I can’t watch The Mask without laughing, even if it’s not prestige filmmaking. Still – never underestimate nineties comedies because The Mask boasts two excellent scenes that are on my list of memorable nineties scenes.
The first is Cameron Diaz’s performance at the nightclub. Looking a little more plump than she does today, and in an outrageously shot dress Diaz oozes sex as she performs her number and the ensuing dance with Carrey is hilarious. The entire scene is excellent. Curiously the second memorable scene also involved music. As The Mask gets cornered by policemen he goes into a performance of “Cuban Pete” with all the policemen joining in. It does call for us to suspend belief, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.
The thing about The Mask is that it’s ridiculous and crazy but it never goes for the easiest way out, the jokes get silly but never gross or offensive. Diaz and Carrey really do have believable chemistry and every subplot and minor character rings true. The Mask isn’t cinema for the ages, but it’s pleasant and diverting. It’s a nice and good film and I’ll treasure it for introducing us to Cameron. She was a star since then. I can't believe she's already 37...
     
Can you remember this oldie?

6 comments:

Twister said...

Who could forget this crazy Carrey flick?

"P-A-R-T...why? 'Cause I gotta!"

"Sssssssmokin!"

It's just plain fun with Carrey giving one of his best performances, and Diaz is in top form, impressive for a debut.

Castor said...

The only time I thought Cameron Diaz was hot. She was sizzling!

Vanessa said...

That was one hell of a movie. It used to really scare me when I was little...now I wonder why...

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Such a great movie, but then I love anything with a Ben Stein cameo! And Castor: amen to that.

Caz - Lets Go To The Movies said...

Great post. I totally loved this film when I was younger and still very much enjoy watching it now. Jim Carrey at his best in a comedy.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

twister it really is an impressive. glad to see you have those quotes at your finger tips :)

castor cameron is always hot, she just doesn't play hot characters.

vanessa i don't know why you were scared, but great expectations used to scare me s***less as a child, so what do i know?

walter agreed.

caz i can't choose a fave carey comedy. from this to liar, liar to pet detective and so many more i can't say...