Details on the exact dispute between Jim Carrey and New Line over “Dumb and Dumber To” may not emerge for a few days. But no matter what went down, it’s a blow to Carrey’s career that he won’t be reprising the Lloyd Christmas role and doing the movie.
No doubt plenty of us are breathing a sigh of relief, both for Carrey’s sake and ours. “Dumb and Dumber” was a fine piece of lowbrow genius when it came out in 1994. But we already had one sequel-y attempt to ruin our memory of it. We didn’t need another.
And let’s face it: The Farrelly Bros. haven’t exactly demonstrated their 1990’s touch in recent years, with or without Carrey. But there would have been reason to think it could have been a good idea, at least for the actor's career.
After one of the most remarkable runs of any big-screen comedian, Carrey has been wandering the desert longer than Moses. Nothing seems to get him out of it. He's tried genre (“The Number 23”), family fare (“Mr. Popper’s Penguins”), classics (“A Christmas Carol”), high-concept ("Yes Man”), and even quirky awards bait (“I Love You Phillip Morris,” in which you’ll no doubt remember his turn as a gay con man). It’s a remarkably diverse dossier for a Hollywood star, with one unifying theme – they were all disappointments.
It says something when the most favorable attention you’ve received in years is for a creepy video love letter you made for Emma Stone. (Carrey, who tried to win our favor back on "SNL" last year, is next going opposite Steve Carell for New Line in the rival-magicians comedy “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.”)
No, there’s no reason to think “Dumb and Dumber To” would have been a success, let alone good. But at least it would have gotten Carrey back to some welcome bread-and-butter — physical comedy, trailer-y moments and a brand name franchise. It couldn’t be worse than any other idea he’s had, and it could actually have restored luster to a few people's careers.
Then again, if it's a comeback he's seeking, there’s always a new movie with Adam Sandler. We hear he's looking for work, too.