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The Cable Guy

Reviewed by: Ken James

Moral Rating: Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Mature-Teens Adults
Genre: Comedy
Length: 91 min.
Year of Release: 1996
USA Release:

So, what should a single guy who has just gotten kicked out of the apartment where he was living with his girlfriend do? Move into a new place, and make sure there are plenty of channels on the TV, that’s what! At least, that’s what Steven Kovacs (Matthew Broderick) does in “The Cable Guy”. But when the cable TV installer shows up at his door, life begins to take some very strange twists for young Mr. Kovacs.

Comedic superstar Jim Carrey plays the deranged “Chip” Douglas, who was raised by The Huxtables (from “The Cosby Show”), learned the facts of life from “The Facts of Life”, and whose idea of a perfect family is “My Three Sons”. Television has been his constant companion and Chip is a lonely man, desperate for a friend.

When Chip meets Steven, he sees a chance to become good friends. Instead of taking the $50 that Steven bribes him with to illegally install free cable, Chip decides to become inseparable from Steven. Unfortunately, Steven doesn’t appreciate this budding relationship. When he tries to get the cable guy out of his life, there is nothing but mayhem. Thanks to Chip, Steven loses his job, nearly loses his girlfriend altogether (they are just separated temporarily as they are contemplating marriage), is pitted against his entire family, and is thrown in jail for possession of stolen property. Truly, Chip can be his best friend, or his worst enemy.

In the end, things work out, as they always do in the fantasy land of tinsel town. We find out that Chip never was employed by a cable company, and that he has a past record of stalking cable customers.

The process of events leading to the conclusion is, in this reviewer’s opinion, certainly not worth spending time or money on. “The Cable Guy” reeks of sexual innuendo, profanity, obscenity, blackmail, dishonesty, and “adult situations.” This film contains innumerable references to sex, several of which occur during a sequence where Steven’s family is playing a “Porno Password” game. Violence, bribery (of the cable guy to install free cable), and living together and having sex before marriage are all encouraged.

Although Jim Carrey is a brilliant physical comedian, this dark-comedy comes no where close to “The Mask” of Carrey’s past. With a weak plot and very few laughs, not to mention the off-color taint to nearly all of the jokes, “The Cable Guy” is totally inappropriate for both children and adults.

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