The Cable Guy

"There's No Such Thing as Free Cable"

A point I feel Comcast is constantly trying to establish by alternatively letting my cable go out and then increasing rates. I feel like I should pay them for 2/3rds of the month, which is the percentage of the time that I actually have functioning service. BUT THAT IS A STORY FOR SOME OTHER TIME. Welcome back to the Tagline, where I am the submissive and you are all my dominant. Or something. I assume there will be a point in the future where I stop ridiculing 50 Shades for being the worst piece of garbage ever, but that time friends is not now. In the meantime let's talk about something else. Have you folks ever seen the Cable Guy? You know, that movie about the guy and the cables? Well we're talking about that today, so tune in and listen up. The Cable Guy is weird from beginning to end, and goes to a dark place... a place many of us have been really. For starters, this movie was directed by Ben Stiller (who also appears in the movie... twice technically) and produced by Judd Apatow, which probably explains why Leslie Mann is here. Also Jack Black but back to the movie. The Cable Guy stars everyone's... favorite guy Matthew Broderick as Steve Kovacs, who following a failed proposal is on the outs with his girlfriend Robin (Mann) and so moving into his own apartment. He gets some questionable advice from Jack Black about convincing his cable guy to let him steal some movie channels on the cheap, but his cable guy Chip (Jim Carey) hooks him up, making him a "preferred customer". He also convinces Steve to hang out with him the next day. Shit pretty much goes all downhill from there.

You see, what Steven doesn't grasp yet is that Chip is basically a habitual stalker. He picks someone to fixate on and then... fixates. Steven for his part is pathetic enough that he doesn't hesitate to go hang out with his weirdo cable guy and go on a road trip with him to an unknown destination, so really he isn't blameless here, but he seems like kind of a hopeless dipshit so you can't really blame him too much. Steven rapidly loses what little control he still imagined he had over his life, and becomes drawn into the utterly bizarre and kind of scary world of Chip (and of course that's not his real name). So the question is, does Stevie-boy ever escape Chip's web of lies, fear, and lisping TV references? YOU'LL NEED TO WATCH TO FIND OUT. This movie is technically a comedy, and while it certainly is funny (and Jim Carey brings his usual manic styling to the performance) it is also pretty dark, and has a definite horrific streak to it. For starters, Chip's personality might be mostly played for laughs, but he is also seriously disturbed, and not above beating the crap out of some douchebag played by Owen Wilson, if it suits his purposes. At the time a lot of people might not have expected a movie with that kind of dark undertone out of Jim Carey (the mask has some violent characters in it but Jim Carey's isn't one of them really). 

This is a little... awkward...
More than just the characters and the plot though, I think this movie is dark because while certain aspects are probably more outlandish than you'd be liable to experience (It is likely that you wouldn't end up locked in combat with your cable guy stalker at a Medieval Times for instance) on the other hand Chip's pattern of behavior is not so ridiculous. I think a lot of people have at one point or another had their own cable guy, with varying levels of severity. Sometimes people just don't... get the message you know? Sometimes you don't want to be friends with someone, but they really want to be friends with you and... well people all handle rejection differently. Some set you up and get you sent to jail and take pictures of you with women you didn't realize were prostitutes (really these are things that happen in the movie). The moral of the story is if you're Matthew Broderick and some sexy lady seems to want to immediately have sex with you, do a quick check. Is this movie Godzilla? No it isnt? Then she's probably a hooker. See how easy that is Matt?

Who doesn't want to drink a flagon of Coke?
Ultimately what you get is a black comedy that is worth watching (and I mean its only a 90 minute sitting so) just be ready for some pretty weird, kind of creepy stuff. Also if you are being stalked actively, like right now, this movie is not going to help you unwind. To the contrary, it's going to remind you that Jim Carey might ALSO be stalking you. Can stalking be a team sport? I guess sometimes it can, who knows. Critics were really torn about this movie, some thought it was great and others thought it was garbage. I think it's pretty good, and you'll like it so long as you're a little twisted like me. I assume you are, or why would you still be reading this?

That's it for today, join me again on Thursday for heads and cones.

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