Rhode Island state trooper Charlie Baileygates (Jim Carrey) is a nice guy. A really nice guy. So nice that everyone around him takes advantage of his non-confrontational manner. When years of being pushed around in town finally comes to a head, Charlie develops a split personality named Hank. Hank is aggressive, sexist and a jerk. But he deals with confrontations that Charlie is unwilling, or unable to.
Charlie manages to keep Hank under control with medication, but when he’s assigned to take a woman named Irene (Reneé Zellweger) back to Upstate New York to answer for a supposed hit and run, Charlie finds himself on the run with Irene from her ex-boyfriend who has mob-connections and has been involved in illegal activities. He also forgets to take his medication with him, which means Irene has to deal with Charlie and Hank.
The bad? Me, Myself & Irene is not that funny. It has some funny moments but more often than not, the jokes don’t land. I’m well aware that this movie was released in 2000 so I tried to keep that in mind while watching it, but I don’t know that I would have found it terribly funny even back then.
With a tenuous plot, most of the movie is dependent on Jim Carrey’s comedic prowess. He excels at playing both characters and his physical comedy is what keeps his performance entertaining. The highlight is when Charlie and Hank fight each other in one body. Carrey pulls it off because it’s a hell of a lot more interesting watching the two of them bicker and fight than it is when he’s just playing one character or the other. Zellweger is the straight man here and for the most part, she handles it really well. It probably can’t be easy to go toe to toe with someone like Carrey, but Zellweger pulls it off. They have decent chemistry, which keeps you invested enough in their journey and what may happen to them at the end of it. That was really the highlight for me.
Sure, it’s the Farrelly brothers, so I should know better, but they also gave me Fever Pitch and There’s Something About Mary, so I don’t feel like it’s out of line for me to keep my fingers crossed anytime I watch one of their films. With such a great cast, including Chris Cooper and Richard Jenkins, I suppose I wanted a little bit more in terms of story and character development, but Me, Myself & Irene settles for something wholly unsatisfying instead.