Streaming Saturday: The Truman Show (1998)

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Release Date: June 5th, 1998

Director: Peter Weir

Writer: Andrew Niccol

Stars: Jim CarreyLaura LinneyNoah Emmerich

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As I’m writing this, I just started watching this. I haven’t seen it in years. Actually, let me check my records. Wow. I haven’t watched this movie at all since I started tracking my movie watching habits in 2007! How is that possible? My records from 2009 are incomplete, though, so I’ll go ahead and say I haven’t watched this Jim Carrey classic since 2009.

If you somehow missed The Truman Show, you owe it to yourself to check it out on Netflix. I saw it in the theater with my mom and two of my friends for my 12th birthday. I have a very clear memory of seeing it. It was at the United Artists theater I eventually (briefly) worked in while I was in high school. I vividly remember leaving the theater and gazing at the sky, wondering if I was unknowingly the subject of a 24/7 reality television series. It’s a bit of a narcissistic notion, but I’m willing to bet a good many of the people who watch this movie wonder the same damn thing.

That’s part of the beauty of The Truman Show. Jim Carrey plays Truman Burbank, a man who’s completely oblivious to the fact that his entire life is being broadcast for a world full of loyal viewers. Released in 1998, The Truman Show is an eerie precursor to the current crop of reality television trash that we have to wade through to find quality programming in our own lives.

But as a concept, The Truman Show is a far more fascinating concept and study of humanity than any of the filth that networks misleading dub as “Unscripted.” The Truman Show is equal parts light-hearted comedy, heartbreaking drama, heartwarming romance and, oddly enough, a utopian cautionary tale.

The Truman Show (1998)

Calling into question the moral compass of Ed Harris’ godlike “Christof” character provides a deep undercurrent of drama to a tightly-woven, high concept movie. Taking into consideration that, at the time, Jim Carrey was exclusively a comedic actor, this movie really showed how he can stretch his dramatic muscles.

The Truman Show was released after Carrey’s highly successful family comedy Liar Liar. Previous to that was the Ben Stiller helmed The Cable Guy, which gave audiences a taste of Carrey’s range.

The Truman Show was the first real display of dramatic fare from Jim Carrey. It’s success led to more dramatic turns such as Man on the Moon, The Majestic and (a personal favorite of mine) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

I could go on and on about what The Truman Show means to me. From the fascinating drama to the hilarious comedy, this is a movie densely packed with material that has the power to make you laugh, move you and, hopefully, make you question your personal boundaries when it comes to entertainment.

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You can stream The Truman Show on Netflix

You can buy The Truman Show on Amazon

You can also rent of buy a digital copy of the movie here.

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7 responses to “Streaming Saturday: The Truman Show (1998)

  1. Good review Matt. It’s a sweet film, that somehow gets darker and darker as it goes along, but never loses it’s edge to the subject matter. Also, Carrey was pretty damn spectacular.

    Like

    • Thanks Dan! I agree. Really great movie. I forgot to mention in the review that the ending inspires some good debate and leaves you wondering. For me, at least now as an adult, I’m fascinated wondering what Truman’s life would be like after the show. What kind of legal action would come out of it and wondering if he’s simply too sheltered by the show to function in the real world.

      I’m tempted to say there’s enough material to make a sequel.

      Like

  2. I love Jim Carrey and I haven’t seen this yet! Maybe its my calling to watch it since I just received a new voucher to rent it off the streaming thing on my tablet 🙂
    Awesome review Matt!

    Like

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