Two comedies, one foul and one fowl, tied for the top spot at the box office this weekend. Christian critics detested the raunchy humor of first-place finisher Me, Myself, & Irene (although they found the story interesting). Story wasn't the strong suit of runner-up Chicken Run, but its dry wit and colorful characters won high acclaim.
While Jim Carrey's Me, Myself, & Irene placed first at the box office, the weekend was hardly a victory for the comedian. Audiences forked over only $24.2 million, perhaps because Carrey's teen fan base was excluded from the R-rated film. The U.S. Catholic Conference says that, yes, Carrey's usual "manic physicality" is on full display here, but he's overshadowed by the "new lows in aesthetic offensiveness, with its gross body-fluid sight gags and racial stereotyping." Crosswalk.com's Michael Elliott, too, highlights Carrey's "physical contortions and degree of intensity" while disapproving of the "prosthetic sexual devices, toilet humor, and constant references to the anal cavity." Movieguide finds such gripes too weak, positing Irene as "the candy-coated destruction of Western civilization." (Those who stocked up for Y2K have a head start on the rest of us.) The plot, however, elicited some interesting discussion. Carrey plays Charlie Baileygates, a mild-mannered and pride-swallowing Rhode Island state trooper whose bottled-up anger manifests itself in a second, vulgar personality named Hank. "The message here is that it is dangerous to keep emotions and problems bottled up inside you," writes the Dove Foundation. Hollywood Jesus agrees, calling these emotions "the demons of kindness, politeness and self-abasement that can be conquered only through "unconditional love [that] ...1
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