Plot: Truman (Jim Carrey) is the star of the world’s most popular television show, but he has no idea he is even part of the show. Since he was born, Truman has been surrounded by actors and while he is a real, unaware person, everyone around him is scripted and his entire life is manipulated to protect the show. Over the years, some have tried to have the show shut down and when he connected with extra instead of the actress planted as his love interest, the extra was removed from the show. But Truman still dreams about the one he lost, even though he is now married to Maryl (Laura Linney) and back on the predetermined path. But after years inside the show, Truman has started to notice some odd things about the world around him, thanks to production gaffes and small quirks that he has picked up on. As his suspicions grow, will Truman figure out the truth about his life or will his writers ensure he truth remains buried?
Entertainment Value: This one has a little more substance than the usual Jim Carrey cinema from this stretch of his career, but still works well as a simple comedy, if you don’t want to ponder some of the social issues touched upon. The obvious inspiration for The Truman Show is a blend of obsessed with celebrities, non stop tabloid coverage, and of course, the rise of reality television. You can also mine some other, perhaps deeper social elements if you’re so inclined, but as I said, the movie also works quite well on the surface level. The blend of humor and drama is excellent, as both are given room to work and breathe, which keeps the comic moments brisk and the emotional beats are effective as well. The attention to detail in Truman’s world is remarkable, all of the little details that go into making his life seem real and of course, the mishaps that occur when one of them goes haywire. The premise is quite interesting and while most of the focus is on Truman himself, the movie devotes a good amount of time to his world and of course, the man who oversees his entire life. Carrey’s performance is solid, hitting both the comic and dramatic moments well, but reeling in the slapstick and silly faces a little, which was a wise choice. Ed Harris is excellent as the show’s architect and in truth, I wish we were shown more about his backstory and such. The Truman Show is well made and continues to be relevant, which is no small task, but it also remains a great source of entertainment.
No nakedness. The dynamic of Truman’s wife being an actress is interesting, but little time is spent examining that aspect of the show’s production. In fact, the viewers complain that the show always cuts away when the couple has sex, which was a fun moment. No blood. This one has tense moments, especially toward the finale, but no violence and by turn, no bloodshed. Given the tone of the movie, neither is ever missed here. The dialogue is a mix of humor and drama, but has some great lines, whether that is the sanitized interactions Truman has with those around him or the pretentious warbles of the show’s creators. Not as quotable as some of Carrey’s work, but that is expected, given the tonal shift present here. As for craziness, the premise is a little wacky, but otherwise, this one plays within the usual dramedy bounds, just inside of Truman’s odd world.
Overall Insanity: 1/10