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The Cable Guy

Tune out, turn off, drop out . . . The Cable Guy is loose. A thin collection of comic constructs, this entry from Jim Carrey is a career switch attached to a dimmer board.

Tune out, turn off, drop out . . . The Cable Guy is loose. A thin collection of comic constructs, this entry from Jim Carrey is a career switch attached to a dimmer board.

The premise is quite simple. Architect Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick) has been bounced by his girlfriend, Robin (Leslie Mann), after proposing marriage. He moves into a new apartment and waits for the cable service technician to hook him up. The cable guy, Chip Douglas (Carrey), is an electronics geek who is alternately bizarre and compassionate. Steven, in a moment of weakness, makes the mistake of agreeing to join him on a pilgrimage to the satellite dish where all electromagnetic signals converge.

It’s an intriguing enough jumping-off point. But instead of a narrative progression, we are beset with a series of situations marked by mayhem. After its first surge of energy, the film goes on the blink and never recovers. Carrey’s character lacks the empathy or poignance to command ongoing interest, and Broderick’s role strains one’s patience because he’s hopelessly dimwitted and slow to react in any way vaguely resembling human behavior.

The Cable Guy

  • Production: Columbia. Director Ben Stiller; Producer Andrew Licht, Jeffrey A. Mueller, Judd Apatow; Screenplay Lou Holtz Jr.; Camera Robert Brinkman; Editor Steven Weisberg; Music John Ottman;; Art Director Sharon Seymour
  • Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1996. Running time: 95 MIN.
  • With: Jim Carrey Matthew Broderick Leslie Mann Jack Black George Segal Diane Baker
  • Music By: