The Cable Guy (1996)

cable guy poster 1996 movie jim carrey
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun dark comedy

Could have pushed the story even farther

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Cable Guy

Studio:  Brillstein-Grey

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  June 14, 1996

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Just a couple of guys…enjoying cable

Steven M. Kovacs (Matthew Broderick) is “taking a break” with his girlfriend Robin (Leslie Mann).  When he gets hooked up with cable by the lisp-y Chip Douglas (Jim Carrey) at his new place, he feels he’s finally caught a break.  Unfortunately, Steven has gained a friend…like it or not.  Chip is putting himself in Steven’s life and isn’t leaving!  Steven is discovering that Chip isn’t who he says he is and crossing the cable guy could end up with him in jail…or even dead.

Directed by Ben Stiller, The Cable Guy was a dark comedy.  It was produced by Judd Apatow (in his first outing as feature producer).  The movie was met with mixed to negative reviews upon its release, but it has gained a cult following over the years.


The Cable Guy wants to be your friend to the end!

The Cable Guy was a big change for Jim Carrey.  Carrey who had been a comedy star kept his comedy roots in the movie but the style of movie allowed for a bit more acting range for the actor…and led to one of his better and more mature comedies.

The story for the movie is good, but I think it could have even pushed it farther.  When Chip starts turning on Steven, it gets dark…really dark.  The movie ends dark as well, but I think the potential for an almost horrific and comedic Fatal Attraction could have been even better.  I also like that the film has the strange parallel to the O.J. Simpson trial (with Ben Stiller directing himself) occurring in the movie, but it is a bit distraction since it isn’t fully developed.


Love me!

Despite Jim Carrey being “the star”, he’s more of a supporting character but with the meatier role.  He does steal all the scenes and totally overplays the straight man Matthew Broderick.  Leslie Mann plays the love interest in the film, but I feels she’s a bit bland.  The movie is loaded with tons of supporting characters…many of which have gone on to bigger and better things.  Jack Black, Owen Wilson, David Cross, Andy Dick, Bob Odenkirk, Janeane Garofalo, Eric Roberts, Diane Baker, and George Segal all have small roles in the movie.  Most are underused, but the movie is essential a buddy movie so it is understandable.


Another Ye Ol’ Battle!

The movie has some nice visual moments.  The best scene in the movie probably comes a bit early with Carrey and Broderick’s visit to Medieval Times restaurant.  This is the scene that stuck with me from the first viewing (when the film was new), but rewatching the movie, it does have a number of well-timed comedy scenes like the family intervention and the prison scene.  It is a pretty standard style of shooting, but it works.

The Cable Guy is a different type of Jim Carrey comedy and at the time it came out it wasn’t a welcomed one.  Everyone wanted the fun and zany Jim Carrey and here is kind of sad and scary (but still zany).  I think The Cable Guy is one of those movies that has improved over time despite some moments and has ended up being one of Carrey’s better movies…I think it is about time for The Cable Guy 2:  Streaming.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

One Comment on "The Cable Guy (1996)"

  1. Terry Washington October 20, 2018 at 2:41 am - Reply

    LOVE the above scene in which Jim Carrey’s manic character presses his naked chest(with a heart tattooed on it) against the glass of the prison visitng room window!

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