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The Truman Show (1998)

Review

The Truman Show

Forrest Gump proved that you really can’t go wrong with these Man-against-the-world/triumph-in-the-face-of-overwhelming-odds films, and done right they can have incredible appeal. Thankfully, The Truman Show is done right. It’s the story of a man (Jim Carrey) who slowly discovers his life is a sham, a cradle-to-grave story that’s been televised to the world for 30 years.

Of course, the melodrama factor is high, both on the show and behind the scenes. From Truman’s saccharine wife (Linney) to the overbearing director of the show, Christof (Harris), everyone in the film is a walking cliché — by design: these are actors playing actors playing real people, after all. But when Truman falls in love against Christof’s master plan, The Truman Show begins to gain some real weight. Then, he tries to escape, and the film becomes truly compelling.

For what it’s worth, Carrey’s in fine form, but if you’re looking for Liar, Liar or Ace Ventura antics, you might be disappointed. Director Weir has obviously kept him on a short leash, and while improvised scenes can be spotted here and there, the broad comedy is kept to a bare minimum.