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Something Funny About <i>Irene</i>

Just when you think those Farrelly Brothers have hit rock bottom in movie bad taste, they burrow down a little further, set up a new subbasement, and fill it with Port-A-Potties.

True, nothing in the writer/producer/director brothers' new comedy Me, Myself & Irene shocks quite as much as their "hair gel" scene in There's Something About Mary. But, true to the American pioneer spirit, they find new and innovative ways to gross us out and yuk us up.

As a movie, Me, Myself & Irene falls a scooch short of Mary and that other legendary Farrelly opus, Dumb and Dumber. The plot for instance…well, geez…what can you say about something that isn't all there? (Apparently the storyline—which involves some bad guy somewhere and police corruption—was a little too ambitious for the Farrelly simple sensibilities.) And something else, too, seems to be missing—one of those things you just can't put your finger on.

But forget the trivial. Will Farrelly fans still enjoy Me, Myself & Irene? Hey, does a dumb guy's tongue stick to an icy pole? Of course!

Aside from the latest collection of Farrelly gags, they once again get to mine the talents of the consummate Farrelly actor, Jim Carrey (star of their Dumb and Dumber).

Carrey plays Charlie Baileygates, a Rhode Island state cop. As a young man, Charlie gets dumped by the love of his life after she falls in love with the vertically challenged, African American, Mensa-member limo driver who chauffeured them on their wedding day. As she deserts Charlie and their African American triplet sons, Charlie becomes heartbroken. But he buries his sadness and rage deep inside and, along with it, the ability to get angry or exert control. As a cop, he becomes an ineffective laughingstock. And that's when "Hank" enters the picture.

One particular episode enrages helpless Charlie so much that his personality splits right in half…unveiling Hank. A typical case of "advanced delusional schizophrenia with involuntary narcissistic rage," one half of Charlie is the sweet doormat, the other the raging, Dirty Harry-voiced, firecracker sex deviant Hank. Throw in a big road trip—Charlie has to escort a young lady named Irene (Renée Zellweger) to New York State on false charges filed by her crooked boyfriend—and schizo-mayhem ensues.

Carrey, who in zany comedies past, worked his rubber face for all it's worth, shows remarkable comic restraint here. And he's just as funny as ever. He truly develops two separate characters and limits his typical overkill to the times he's transforming from one Baileygates to the other and, of course, to when it just seems the Farrelly thing to do.

So, after seeing Me, Myself, and Irene, just what will moviegoers be talking about? Gross-out highlights —or, rather, lowlights—include a whole new take on the "got milk" campaign, the cow that wouldn't die (let's call tha"There's Something About Moo-ry"), highway bug-kill, and a raging stream that flows not outdoors.

Don’t say we didn't warn you.

Written by Rob Medich

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