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ME, MYSELF AND IRENE.
This movie is about the journey to wholeness
. It is about the destructive power of denial and the greater power of honest transforming love.
-Review by David Bruce

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M
E, MYSELF AND IRENE
(2000)

This page was created on June 22, 2000
and was updated on May 22, 2005

Click for larger photoDirected by Bobby Farrelly and Peter Farrelly
Writing credits: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly & Mike Cerrone

Jim Carrey .... Charlie/Hank
Renée Zellweger .... Irene
Chris Cooper .... Joe Sarrasin
Michael Bowman .... Whitey
Ezra Buzzington .... Mr. Murphy

Directed by Bobby Farrelly Peter Farrelly
Produced by Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Marc S. Fischer (co-producer), Tom Schulman (executive), Bradley Thomas, Charles B. Wessler (executive)
Film Editing by Christopher Greenbury

MPAA: Rated R for sexual content, crude humor, strong language and some violence.
Runtime: USA:116

From Gentle to Mental
David Bruce
This movie is about the journey to wholeness
. It is about the destructive power of denial and the greater power of honest and transforming love.
-Review by David Bruce

Click for larger photoBAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE.

On his wedding day, no less, Charlie's bride falls in love with the chauffeur. A secret affair flowers.

Click for larger photoSINGLE PARENT IN DENIAL.

Charlie's wife conceives and has triplets. In spite of all obvious appearances, Charlie believes he is the father. His wife eventually abandons him for her lover. Spouses and parents are often in denial about the actions of family members.

Click for larger photoTHE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH --AND NEVER ADMITS IT TO HIMSELF.

Sometimes, truth that causes pain can be more than one can consciously handle. Charlie is a man possessed by 'demons' that we don't easily recognize: the demons of kindness, politeness and self abasement. Perfect cover for the rage that boils inside.

Click for larger photoRAGE MUST GO SOMEWHERE.

In Charlie's case it leaks out from time to time as an alter ego named Hank. Hank reflects the mean cruel realities of life Charlie has suffered -- and has not dealt with. Jim Carrey is in his element in this film -- in fact, the Charlie/Hank character resonates with his characters in 'Liar Liar' and the 'Truman Show.'

Click for larger photoA DANGER TO HIMSELF AND OTHERS.

Because Hank acts out his hostilities, doctors give him psych-pills, of course, to sedate the problem, leaving the problem unresolved --commentary on our culture here.

Click for larger photoCHARLIE IS BUGGED, BUT SEEMS TO SEE NO NEED TO CHANGE ANYTHING.

As Charlie is driving down the road on this motorcycle his face becomes the 'windshield' for bugs. The sad truth is, he doesn't seem to mind. He smiles as though there is no difficulty or problem. This is one of the most symbolic scenes in the film.

Click for larger photoIRENE IS THE CATALYST FOR SALVATION. SHE IS AN AGENT OF GRACE.

In spite of the problematic person(s) Charlie/Hank is, she is the messianic-angel who brings unconditional love into Charlie's life and changes everything. Honest loving relationships that do not center on denial can be very redemptive and healing. Her manner is never counterproductive. She never brings shame, guilt or contempt.

Click for larger photoTHE FARRELLY BROTHERS STRIKE AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY.

How do the Farrelly brothers communicate the fact that Charlie has fallen madly in love with Irene? Well, how about showing the aftermath of a masturbation scene? Be prepared for their style of humor.

Click for larger photoTHE JOURNEY TO WHOLENESS AND INTEGRITY.

As in most stories of this type, there is a journey. The journey is symbolic of the real inner spiritual journey.

Click for larger photoWORKING THROUGH THE PROBLEMS TO WHOLENESS.

Wholeness in Charlie's case is the integration of Charlie to Hank. Irene is the one who takes the time to help him.

Click for larger photoSLAYING DEMONS ALONG THE WAY

Only the Farrelly Brothers could get a famous Hollywood actor to wrestle with a cow/demon in the middle of the road and shoot it 6 times. The symbolic nature of the scene is that Charlie is learning to face his road blocking demons rather than deny them.

Click for larger photoTHE MAGIC OF COMEDY IS THAT IT CAN BRING 'INTIMATE DISTANCE.'

Every human can identify with the ironic mix of the contradicting feelings and actions of the Charlie/Hank character. Comedy makes the horror of our human condition obvious, and yet at the same time it creates a certain distance, so we can laugh at our selves (via a Charlie/Hank type character). The apostle Paul sums up the human condition this way, "The evil I would not do, I do. And the good that I would, I don't." It is the human condition. We all are, to varying degrees, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Perhaps we understand the unconditional love of God best by the "Irenes" that come into our lives from time to time. Those people who help us in our personal journey to wholeness. Those people who point us away from our denial and help us face our demons. People who come by the grace of God and make us feel the warm embrace of divine love. It is possible, however, to reject such gifts from God and continue in our denials. How is it for you? As for me? I'm working on it -by God's grace.

STEREOTYPES TOWARDS MENTAL ILLNESS
Strongly Disapointed in Carrey & Farrelly Brothers
Review by
MIKE FURCHES
mike@furches.org

Web site www.furches.org

Mike is the Senior Pastor at United at the Cross Community Church in Wichita Kansas. United at the Cross is a church made up of individuals not often accepted in other churches. The church consists of former gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes and others. Mike also speaks nationally on various topics and is a freelance writer. To learn more about Mike and his ministry link onto www.furches.org. In the arts Mike has worked with top music artists such as Steppenwolf, Marshall Tucker Band, Kansas and has an active interest in film. Mike is pictured with his music band "Route 66."

This film takes the typical Farrelly Brothers tradition and totally ignores political correctness and plays teenage humor to the maximum. In the case of Me Myself & Irene the stereotypes go way too far and the humor is not funny, especially for the population of people targeted by the character Charlie/Hank. This movie plays all stereotypes towards mental illness to the fullest in put downs, false beliefs and is done so in a way which is extremely disrespectful to 1 out of 4 American families and 1 out of 7 individuals who have serious Neurobiological Brain Disorders, (mental illness). Those figures, by the way, come from the National Alliance For the Mentally Ill and the National Institute on Mental Health. I believe that this is one of the reasons for the drastic drop in attendance over the last two weeks. Making fun of people is, simply put, not that funny to a many moviegoers. While there was some taste, if you can call it that, in There is Something About Mary regarding using the Developmentally Disabled as the brunt of many jokes, neither the Farrelly Brothers not Jim Carrey have shown any sense of good taste whatsoever in this film.

The mentally ill are a population of individuals that still take the brunt of jokes and put downs in society. It is a real population of individuals that in reality have made significant contributions to our world. Individuals like Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill in politics and Patty Duke and Vincent Van Gough in the arts. If this film was made following the stereotypical beliefs of African Americans, Women, Homosexuals, or any variety of religious groups there would be a great deal of public uproar in our society now as a result of the release of the film. What makes it worse are the masses who do see this type of humor and laugh at it thinking it is funny. While the genius of Jim Carrey makes it appear funny, when one thinks about the individuals who are the brunt of the jokes, the mentally ill, then we need to recognize that many will be and have been hurt by the portrayals in this film.

At the recent National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Convention in San Diego California it was explained there that Jim Carrey, who admits to having a mental illness, was asked to do public service announcements for the mentally ill as a result of his portrayal in this film. While the National Alliance was not pleased in any regard by the way mental illness was portrayed their only hope was to do some damage control. Just a listing about the hotline for the mentally ill in the film credits was one of the options. The Farrellys as well as Carrey denied that they were asked to do this due to the backlash of misunderstanding among moviegoers of this film. While the Farrellys seem to dwell in teenaged bathroom humor, Carrey is an actor of the caliber to pick and choose his own scripts, I wonder why he chose this one, one that makes fun of and puts down many within our society who have a Neurobiological brain disease by no choice of their own.

I recognize that I am biased regarding the gist of this movie. I work with the mentally ill and have found the stereotypes about them to be one of the most untrue sets of beliefs still held in our society. I have the opportunity to speak across the world and one of the things I speak about is mental illness. I take it personally because the people I deal with are personal. I have spoken with several of them who were so offended and hurt by the film due to the unfair and untrue representations portrayed. For literally thousands of persons with mental illness and their families to have fought for years to turn back stereotypes a movie like this can be devastating when in a matter of two hours a person's perceptions can be influenced in such a negative way by a movie.

The unfortunate truth is that you would hope that the movie patron would be educated enough to know the difference. In reality they are not, due to the negative press and misrepresentations of the mentally ill in the press. For example, on a per capita basis, who initiates more serious crimes, persons with mental illness or without? In other words: people with diseases like Schizophrenia or without? If you said "with," you are wrong. On a per capita basis, persons without mental illness are more violent than those with mental illness but due to the press and over sensationalism you do not hear about the attention given to all of the violent crimes committed by persons without mental illness. For example, Timothy McVeigh did not have a mental illness; Jeffery Dahmer did not have a mental illness. As a result of the press and movies like this though the mentally ill are portrayed as individuals with drastic mood swings who come off their medications and become violent, when in reality that is simply not true. While it may happen it is rare, much rarer than the public is realizes.

As a society, and as Christians, I believe that there are times where Charles M. Sheldon was correct in having us pose the question, What Would Jesus Do? I believe Jesus showed us what he would do in that the Lepers of the 1st century went through much of the same type of misunderstanding as the mentally ill do today. He found ways to love them as well as share his disgust of those who said they loved but in reality did not. Jesus stood up for the poor, the needy, the sick and the abused. Would he have made excuses to support this type of humor? I don't think so. On a scale of 1 - 10, - 1

Bulletin Board:

HOLLYWOOD KIND TOWARDS JESUS CHRIST?
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2001
From: Charles

I read parts of your website and wondered if it were true: that Hollywood was softening -up toward Christian themes in it's films. I would welcome such a change but then I saw Jim Carey's latest film *Me Myself & Irene* It does not openly bash Christianity, but it certainly is anything but a morality play. What it does is to promote the rediculous myth of Negro equality with whites..yea superiority! While simultaneously making fools of white athority figures (police,.. of which Carey plays a part) it also shows how eager white women are to bed down with a Black man..even a fu**ng pigmy!!

I doubt that Hollywood is encouraging some influx in Christian ideology; I think they are almost complete in the total discrediting of anything Christ-centered (the Angel show is never "guilty" of mentioning the name of Jesus.)

Will Hollywood mellow in the years to come towards Christianity?..or will the Jewish bosses (who are responsible for content) continue to discredit not only everything Christ-centered but also everything American value centered.
Charles

Response: Do I detect some bias against Africans Americans and Jews in your email? You seem to be angry with those who do not hold your values. Remember: "For God so love the world that he gave..."

GREAT FILM
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000
From: Star Sailer

this is a great movie. what is wrong with laughing at things? we cant always take everything so serious. like the old saying, laugh and the world laughs with you cry and you cry alone. this movie is a comedy which is meant to be funny and thats simply all the movie is.

WASTE OF MONEY
Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000
From: Ana

I would just like to say that I found 'Me Myself and Irene' to be a waste of money and completely detrimental to my mental growth. In no way did it benefit my mind and I believe That it killed a few braincells along the way. I am not however a prude who despises all movies which have sex scenes and swearing etc. However this was highly unneccessary and pointless. please do not supply my email address. Sincerely, Ana.

LOVES CARREY
Subject: I Loved it. I Went
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000
From: Dewanna

To Go See It To Times Jim Carrey Is My Favorite Actor Because He Is Funny And Nice I Am Going To Buy The Movie When It Comes Out My Whole Family Loved It They Said That He Is There Favorite Actor To

DISAPPOINTED
Subject: Got up & left
Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000
From: Jon Christopher, and son, Brandt

Real disappointed in Carey. Had enjoyed other flicks, really felt that the sexual inuendo was way over done and did not appreciate the vulgar language. Jim has a lot to offer, and this didnt show much of it. We had to leave about ten minutes into the movie. fortunatly the movie gave us our money back. We werent the only ones that left dicusted.


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