26 July 2020 657 Views

Memoirs and Misinformation: Jim Carrey’s new book shows moments of Genius. Compromised by its own Genre-Bending Scope?

by James Murphy

Jim Carrey is now an Author. And he is really rather Good. With some Mild yet Important Reservations..

Is the book any good? It’s ALLLL-RIGHTY-THEN! Or should that be alt-righty, then? 

Jim Carrey is a fascinating study in character, in comedy and creativity. He was a defining star in my own burgeoning love of the movies as a teenager. I can quote and perform entire chunks from Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever, The Cable Guy and Liar Liar. His work began to branch out, significantly, trying more serious and dramatic roles such as The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

There was an inexplicable shunning of sequels and franchise fare, before ill advised and far too belated a return (Dumb and Dumber Too; and Yes Man is basically Liar Liar /Bruce Almighty mark 3, without the brand IP or charm). Think Peter Sellers, suddenly resuming the Pink Panther series on a whim; these are similar men. I would love to see a return as The Riddler, given Michael Keaton et al are resuming Batman duties. I think Jim could pull of an action hero part, too and a remake of some Capra or Hitchcock classic, perhaps? The guy has star quality and is genuinely handsome when not pulling faces: it’s no accident that he and Val Kilmer look like brothers in a photo-shoot from 1995.

Instead though? Carrey likes to paint (he is very accomplished), campaign as an activist and now, write books. Yes he did some kids’ books before but then, ANYONE can now write in that genre. This first novel is a promising start. The descriptions are distinctive and jump at you in a visceral, emotional manner. The title says it all: memoir yes but also, ‘misinformation’. IE it is fiction but played out with some grains of fact and wrapped in a quest for spiritual truth. Hence one does get some insight to the man behind the mask(s) and the whole story is padded out with cameos from the likes of Nicolas Cage. 

The style feels Joycean. I do not use that description lightly. Carrey can bend words same way he can rubberise his face into any shape. But it is also a stream of consciousness as the pay-off for that exquisite linguistic adventure. There is NO STRUCTURE HERE. Consequently, one gets shades of a pulp noir thriller (actor targeted by alt-right thugs as his relationships fall apart), genuine reflection on the passage of time and age, self-help search for a soul and occasionally, anecdotal revelation on the acting craft and business of Hollywood.

So yes, this is indeed a must read. It is most rewarding and mercifully punchy despite its ill focused content and brooding style verging on the self indulgent. I view this is a published first draft. And I look forward to more from Mr Carrey, provided, of course, that he submits himself to writing school rule 1: pick ONE, Maximum TWO genres per book and roll with it.

Memoirs and Misinformation. 

Jim Carrey 



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