"Me, Myself & Irene" pushes the envelope of good taste, as it appeals to our funny bones with a litany of raunchy scenes and the slapstick antics of star Jim Carrey.
In the hands of writers and directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly, some of it works, thanks to Carrey's endearing on-screen qualities if not the doo-doo and mother's milk jokes that degrade the script.
Carrey teamed up with the Farrellys -- fresh from the mega hit "There's Something About Mary" -- to reprise the creative combination that launched the actor's "Dumb and Dumber" release a few years ago.
In "Irene" Carrey gets a chance to play a split personality, a modern day Jekyll and Hyde who works as a Rhode Island motorcycle cop during the day and a single parent to three husky but brilliant sons during the night.
As the nice guy Charlie, Carrey captures the audience's sympathy with his mild-mannered character who's abused and insulted by everyone around him, including an unfaithful wife who leaves him and their three African-American offspring for a black midget with whom she's had a long-standing affair.
Charlie refuses to admit the illegitimacy of his children, despite their racial difference, but suffers greatly at the hands of fellow officers and townspeople for his myopic and gentle view of things.
Eventually he breaks and Hank, the other personality, emerges as a rough and ready character who redeems his other half with brazen but effective countermeasures against those who have offended.
Hank, for example, extracts a penalty from an adolescent girl by nearly drowning her in the town's fountain, from a group of barbershop cronies by driving a car through the shop's front window, and from a neighbor by defecating on his lawn.
Charlie and Hank both fall for Irene (Renee Zellweger), who is picked up by the Rhode Island troopers on charges concocted by the villains of the script, an unscrupulous real estate developer and policemen on the take.
"Irene" is part romantic comedy and part road movie, as the love sparks fly between the female lead and her suitors, often with humorous results.
Zellweger plays a subdued Irene who serves as a straightwoman in Carrey's brand of physical humor. His rubberized expressions and body twists are in full evidence throughout the production.
Those who are offended by off-color, politically incorrect humor won't take to "Irene" but there's a nugget or two for those who aren't.
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