Have any filmmakers ever been as pigeonholed by their success as the Farrelly Brothers? The siblings, Peter and Bobby, hit the comedy goldmine with 1998's 'There's Something About Mary,' which redefined the genre with its mix of utterly tasteless humor (who can forget the hair gel gag?), politically incorrect characters, and a plot so outlandish that it truly seemed the Farrellys were making it up as they went along, but they managed to hold the film together, and the taboo-busting charms of 'Mary' raked it in at the box office, turning the Brothers into the darlings of modern screen comedy.
Of course, following up on such huge success led to the inevitable sophomore slump, one from which the Farrellys have never recovered. A string of misfires followed, including such forgettable fare as 'Shallow Hal,' 'Stuck on You,' 'The Heartbreak Kid' and their immediate follow-up to 'Mary,' 'Me, Myself & Irene.' The Brothers kept mixing the same basic ingredients -- gross-out gags, ridiculous high-concept plots, and A-list stars doing embarrassing things -- but somehow it never again gelled in the same way. 'Me, Myself & Irene' is no exception, and despite the presence of sure-thing Jim Carrey, it just never hits the comedic bull's-eye.
Carrey stars as Charlie Baileygates, a Rhode Island state trooper about to marry the prettiest gal in town, but when she leaves him for another man, Charlie suffers a mental break, developing an “outrageous” split personality named Hank. Hank's got a filthy mouth, a bad attitude, and a short fuse. Things go from insane to even worse, when Charlie/Hank falls in love with Irene (Renee Zellweger), a witness to an improbable crime that sends them both on the run from the perpetrators. Not only must Charlie wage war against his alter ego, but he and Irene will have to nail the real bad guys if they hope to drive off into the sunset and live happily ever after.
The main problem with 'Me, Myself & Irene' is that while Charlie is a pleasant enough guy, Hank is a thoroughly unlikable arse. We just don't care about him, therefore his predicament is of little interest. In fact, he's so annoying that I kept wishing for his demise, if only for the movie to be over. Carrey's mugging doesn't help, either. It seems abundantly clear that by the time of 'Me, Myself & Irene' he had long ago tired of the whole gangly, goofy guy persona that shot him to superstardom. For my money, "Hank" is Carrey's least memorable performance.
There are some bright moments in the film. Zellweger was just on the cusp of stardom here, and she's a perky, appealing presence, making for a nice antidote to Carrey's manic one-dimensionality, particularly in the "road movie" second half of the flick. Though we are little invested in the murder plot and the forgettable villains, the Farrellys do a bring a nice madcap energy to the final stretch that recalls (but by no means equals) such zany, anything-for-a-laugh classics as 'What's Up, Doc?' and 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.'
Ultimately, 'Me, Myself & Irene' suffers from the Farrelly's inability to think outside the vulgar box they created for themselves with 'There's Something About Mary.' The low-brow slapstick was already feeling tired by this point, and they only get by with some funny scatological bits by Carrey, and the underlying sweetness of the Zellweger romance. 'Me, Myself & Irene' is hardly a bad movie -- I did laugh quite a bit -- but it's certainly not a classic.
'Me, Myself & Irene' comes to Blu-ray in a 1080p/MPEG-2 transfer, spread across a BD-50 dual-layer disc. The source appears no different than the one used for the previous DVD release, and the results are a pretty good presentation of a film that never looked that great to begin with.
For a film produced in 2000, the source is in solid shape, with only slight grain and a rare instance of dirt. The photography, however uninspired, has a natural and pleasing look, and Fox has not pumped up the blacks and contrast, leaving a realistic presentation. Colors have moments of vibrancy (particularly splashes of red), but don’t generally call attention to themselves. They are rendered consistently and cleanly, however, and flesh tones are fairly natural.
Where the transfer suffers is a lack of genuine depth, and a slight softness that has been overcompensated for with edge enhancement. It's not the worst I've seen, but there are slight halos and jaggies on slow pans which can be distracting. The image is also only sporadically three-dimensional, so while it does offer a slight upgrade over standard-def, I was never really wowed. However, all in all this is not a bad-looking catalog title.
The film is presented in DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 Surround (48kHz/16-bit), but Fox probably didn't need to go to the trouble. 'Me, Myself & Irene' suffers from typically bland comedy sound design.
'Me, Myself & Irene' is largely dialogue-driven, with a few splashes of cornball slapstick to liven things up. When Jim Carrey slips into his usual shtick, the music kicks up, and the surrounds are at least somewhat engaged. There are a few discrete effects (however obvious), and they make their presence felt. Otherwise, there is little ambiance or score bleed, so the overall sense of envelopment is weak.
Tech specs are a bit better. The film actually has fairly wide dynamic range, with stronger low end than I expected, and a nice clarity to the highs. Dialogue has punch and presence, and stands out enough in the mix that I was surprised I could make out even the most inane of Carrey's comments. There are also no defects or other major issues with the source. For what it is, 'Me, Myself & Irene' isn't bad.
The standard-def DVD release of 'Me, Myself & Irene' had a fair amount of extras, but Fox has winnowed that down to the bare essentials on Blu-ray. Gone is the EPK fluff, the music video and the still galleries. Instead, we're left with only an audio commentary and some deleted scenes to take up the slack. Fox also hasn't upgraded any of the material for HD, so don't expect anything more than 480i/MPEG-2 video here.
'Me, Myself & Irene' is not the best of the Farrelly Brothers' comedies (that honor still belongs to 'There's Something About Mary'), but it's also far better than their more dismal efforts like 'Stuck on You.' It's also powered by a go-for-broke performance by Jim Carrey. This Blu-ray is just like the film -- a serviceable if somewhat forgettable experience. The video, audio and supplements are good, not great, but should still please fans of the film. 'Me, Myself & Irene' is worth picking up for the Farrelly faithful, but all others should just give it a rent.