Jim Carrey‘so talented, so funny, so perplexing. Remember the good old days of ‘Liar Liar,’ ‘Ace Ventura,’ even ‘The Truman Show.’ Carrey had it all. I didn’t even mind him playing Andy Kaufman in ‘Man on the Moon.’ My goodness”Bruce Almighty’ was six years ago already!

But there was also ‘The Cable Guy.’ Yikes! A disaster. ‘The Number 23,’ which, let’s face it, no one saw. ‘The Majestic’ was terrible, and no one could make heads or tails of ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.’ (Stop pretending you did!)

Now comes ‘I Love You, Philip Morris.’ A dud at Sundance, no one wanted this romp about a gay conman (Carrey) and his mark (Ewan MacGregor). Every distributor passed on it. Somehow it’s gotten into the Directors Fortnight here in Cannes. Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised. But maybe not.

Can you remember a Jim Carrey movie that only has release dates set for Brazil, Finland, Netherlands, and Romania? Do those countries have ‘Access Hollywood?’

‘Philip Morris”which has nothing to do the tobacco company’just got picked up by a small distributor Consolidated Pictures Group, which has set the US release for Valentine’s Day 2010. This will be considered counterprogramming to the Winter Olympics.

Here’s my career move for Jim Carrey: I think he should play Jacob in the last season of ‘Lost.’ It’s perfect. He can explain everything that’s happened, then do some time travel and erase all his bad films.


The Cannes Film Festival begins tonight, and all the talk is about ‘Up,’ from Pixar/Disney. It has no stars present, not even beloved Ed Asner, who’s apparently the main voice in the already well reviewed animated film. But what does it matter? ‘Up’ is what people are discussing, as new arrivals look around to see who’s here, if anyone, if the gossip about a low turn out is true.

So far, so good, though: the private planes are said to be backed up for landing in Nice. The train from Paris to Cannes yesterday afternoon was full. The hotels’which were said to have empty rooms galore’so far are said to be in good condition. Last night the local restaurants were busy as expected for the night before the festival.

Fear is not doing much to drive away the Cannes regulars. Recession has not quite hit the Rue d’Antibes, even though there are a couple of commercial establishments empty with ‘to lease’ signs in their windows. Mostly, the Cannes shopping district looks in good shape. The town is ready for a good run.

And why not? Brad Pitt and Mariah Carey are coming, so is Francis Ford Coppola. Quentin Tarantino and Harvey Weinstein are bringing their whole gang for ‘Inglourious Basterds.’ Everyone is curious about Terry Gilliam’s ‘Doctor Parnassus,’ the last film with Heath Ledger that has three other stars filling out his unfinished work.

As well, the Cannes market is buzzing. This is the place where films needing funding, or just completed but needing distribution, are flogged by distributors. This is usually a group of films that Americans will see only on airplanes or DVD, but you never know what will break out. One eye catcher is something advertised in trade paper Screen International called ‘The Expendables.’ It’s maybe a prescient title, since the stars listed are Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Jet Li, Jason Statham, and’oh yes’Mickey Rourke.

On the other hand, the same company-NuImage/Millenium’is touting ‘Solitary Man’ starring Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, and Mary Louise Parker, written and directed by the hot team of Brian Koppleman and David Levien. Steven Soderbergh is producing. I don’t know if they’ve even made it yet, but I want to see it. So there.

There are plenty of would be projects like that: another one that I’m chomping at the bit for is ‘Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll,’ the story of the beloved Ian Dury. Andy Serkis will play the polio-crippled genius rocker whose new wave hits included ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ and ‘Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt. 1.’ Toby Jones and Ray Winstone are in the cast. The whole set up has great promise.

And here’s an intriguing entry: Mark Ruffalo’s directing debut, ‘Sympathy for the Delicious.’ Ruffalo plays a newly paralyzed music DJ who struggles to survive L.A. in his wheelchair. Juliette Lewis co-stars.

There’s also this listing from the strange company Peace Arch, which has been irresponsible for making some bad movies like ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Chapter 27.’ They’ve got a documentary that lists Hugh Jackman, Ringo Starr, and David Copperfield answering the question, ‘What is god?’ It’s appropriately titled ‘Oh My God.’ Indeed.


The Monday to Tuesday drop off is here, and ‘Wolverine’ didn’t do so well. The X Man retracted his claws, box office fell 71.2% from Sunday. ‘Star Trek,’ on the other hand, fell only 64% from Sunday. My guess is that ‘Star Trek’ fans are trekking back to see this great ride again, while the Wolveriners can simply go to the internet for more helpings. Why hasn’t Fox gotten that movie down? It’s been six weeks!

‘ ‘Duplicity’ ends its theatre run this week, with $40 million in the till. A third of that goes to Julia Roberts. Something goes to Clive Owen. Universal took a hit here, which was too bad. There was much potential. No what for Julia? ‘Fireflies in the Garden’ comes in June. It’s not very good, and Julia’s only in it because hubby Danny Moder is the cameraman. Roberts has got to get a new team, and find some comedy scripts toot sweet, as they say. Maybe one could be about a successful woman who learns not to be bitter and sarcastic. Bring in Colin Firth to save her…

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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