Title – Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton (2017)
Director – Chris Smith (American Movie)
Cast – Jim Carrey, Courtney Love, Jerry Lawler, Paul Giamatti, Milos Forman, Danny DeVito
Plot – Comedian and actor Jim Carrey offers an insight into the making of the 1999 Andy Kaufman biography Man on the Moon while behind the scenes footage that has been hidden from the world for 20 years showcases the lengths Carrey went to when making the film.
“I learned that you can fail at what you don’t love, so you might as well do what you love”
Review by Eddie on 27/11/2017
The agreed common consensus on Jim Carrey’s portrayal of American comedy legend Andy Kaufman in 1999’s well-liked Man on the Moon is that the king of the 90’s comedy scene Carrey knocked his performance out of the park.
A frighteningly accurate embodiment of Kaufman, Carrey morphed into the mindset and characteristics of the man that inspired his journey into comedy but until now we never truly understood the depths that Carrey went too to become Kaufman while Man on the Moon was being made.
Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton is a Netflix released Spike Jonze backed documentary that draws Carrey out of what seems like some type of long standing hiatus to talk about his experiences making Man on the Moon, whilst unearthing previously unseen behind the scenes footage of Milos Forman’s production in which Carrey refused to be recognised as himself, rather going to the most extreme pinnacle’s of method acting and living his days out as if he were in fact Kaufman returned to life.
It’s an incredibly bizarre sight seeing Carrey roam the film studio lot, film scenes and interact with his fellow cast members all under the guise of Kaufman, while fans of washed up Las Vegas crooner Tony Clifton will be in for a treat with the chauvinistic performer getting some decent airplay as Carrey takes charge of the reigns. The looks we get at this insane performance truly make us appreciate just how good of a performance Carrey gave, one that at the time was questionably under-valued.
Its undoubtedly fascinating footage and a great insight into the lengths some go for their art, particularly when it comes to bringing movies to life but Jim and Andy struggles in tying it all together with the film feeling like at times that its going through the motions, no central driver moving it forward, made all the worse by Carrey’s often bizarre explanations or life-musings.
A complicated public figure, Carrey has quite clearly been through some deep personal issues and while it’s refreshing to see such frankness come across from the actor, quite a bit of what his talking about is either cringe worthy or just plain odd, while filmmaker Chris Smith really missed out on his chance to include insights from other figures involved in the film such as Paul Giamatti or other co-stars on the filming of Man on the Moon.
It would’ve added a whole different layer to the film getting to hear from more than just Carrey given that there would’ve been some that loved the whole experience while others would’ve been ruing the day they took the job.
Final Say –
As bonkers as you’d expect, Jim and Andy is both a fascinating look at the movie making process and ones dedication to bringing a real life character to life on screen and a frustrating documentary that gives far too much airtime to Carrey’s warped view on all of life’s big questions.
3 paper bags out of 5