Director: Chris Smith
Stars: Peter Bonerz, Jim Carrey, Randall Carver
Plot: A behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Carrey adopted the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman on the set of Man On The Moon (1999).
Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes
IMDB Score: 7.9
Why I watched it: I’m a sucker for the making of, when it comes to movies. I love hearing stories about the art and the business of making films and hearing about the characters in front and behind the camera.
Thoughts: People forget that the film “Man On The Moon” was not a huge hit, Andy Kaufman was a weird and different comic, no one was sure what his deal was and then you add Jim Carrey playing him and all beats were off. I had read stories about Carrey really getting into it with Jerry Lawler and that Carrey had gone full method in his performance.
What I liked: This is a different documentary, I’m not really sure what the purpose is. Showing backstage filming from a movie that’s 18 years old is odd in it’s self cause the only reason to show it is to show how far Jim Carrey took the role. It’s an interesting watch but for me it’s a character study of Jim Carrey, not so much Andy Kaufman cause the focus is on Carrey playing Kaufman.
Now the fun it this is that the studio never released this cause it made Carrey look like an asshole (his own words) so of course this is a fun behind the scenes look that we don’t often get. Carrey doesn’t seem to care and that seems to be his thing now cause publicly Carrey appears to be a train wreck, he’s done strange things in real life and on social media and he seems not to care.
The thing that got me was seeing a man playing a guy playing another guy cause Tony Clifton shows up which is a character Kaufman use to do and become him, so Carrey does that to. I think it’s important to know Andy Kaufman was way ahead of his time and also he was a comic’s comic, many people consider him a legend where the casual fan saw him as a strange guy. So Carrey is meta before meta was a thing and in full method acting mode, look many actors have done this but Carrey really pushed it.
I enjoyed listening to Carrey honestly it sounded like someone in therapy, you have to give him credit cause he’s honest here and it doesn’t seem like he’s playing a part while talking about it. Half of the film is modern day Carrey talking about what we’re seeing and explaining his thoughts and why he did what he did. It’s an insight into not only acting but celebrity.
What I didn’t like: I wish we would have gotten a bigger scope here, no one else talks about this, we see director Milos Forman and the cast in footage from the making of the film but no one talks about it now like Carrey does so to me this documentary is more about Carrey than the film or Andy Kaufman. Carrey talks about his film career and other movies and references them, so it’s more about him. Which is fine but the title of the film is Andy & Jim.
Also seeing him being this honest at times it’s hard to watch cause you wonder what Carrey’s state of mind is like, he’s gone through a lot of weird shit and the funny thing is even though he talks about being famous and other stuff I don’t think I learned anything new about him. When he talks about not wanting to be Andy anymore you just wonder if anyone pulled him aside and said look it’s a role you’re still you. They also side step the tole it took on him and his personal life. This is a short film at just over 90 minutes, I felt we had some other things to focus on but it seemed clear Carrey had control over the content.
Final thoughts: I very interesting film, seeing an actor but himself under the microscope was fascinating to watch both Kaufman and Carrey are different cats that for sure. One thought kept going through my mind, can you imagine Kaufman on social media.