Home Arts-Entertainment Movies JIM CARREY IS ANDY KAUFMAN IN MAN ON THE MOON

JIM CARREY IS ANDY KAUFMAN IN MAN ON THE MOON

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Some say that Jim Carrey is playing the "role he was born to play," as he bounces off mirrors in portraying the late, subversive comic, Andy Kaufman, in "Man on the Moon."
Kaufman was hated by some, adored by others, and ignored by none who witnessed his act.
He was known to have provoked belly laughs, silence, tears, and, frequently, brawls.
The eccentric, and somehow enigmatic, comic started off as a stand-up comedian, but he was unknown. On the advice of his agent, he accepted a role in the popular 80's TV series, "Taxi," which spawned several other actors who are now household names. Among these is Danny DeVito, who plays Kaufman's manager, George Shapiro.
Kaufman hated "Taxi," where he played Latka, an auto mechanic, but he stayed with the series in order to become known. He succeeded. Not only did he succeed in comedy, but he branched out into wrestling, where he wrestled women, reportedly sometimes abusively.
Popularity was never a concern for Kaufman — he would antagonize audiences just for the fun of it. He wanted to make them mad, and he refused to apologize. On one occasion, he read Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" in its entirety, before a paying audience. Fortunately, this act is not in the movie.
Carrey became Kaufman for the role. He received criticism for his behavior, as he completely immersed himself in Kaufman, both on stage and off. But, Carrey said, "it was the only way I could do it."
Also starring in the film is Courtney Love as Lynne Margulies, the girlfriend who was with Kaufman for the two years before his death. Kaufman died in 1984 at the age of 35 of lung cancer.
Directing the film is Milos Forman, winner of two Academy Awards, who ignores the current fashion of fastidiously documenting a life. Forman relates Kaufman's brief life to create a truth, as he saw Kaufman, rather than sticking to a linear projection of the comic's life. The movie, called "flawed and funny" by some, (as was Kaufman's life), has been called a "sad and extraordinary journey" by others.
It is rated R for language and brief sexuality and nudity.
It starts Thursday at Market Square East.

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