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Me, Myself and Irene: Special Edition

Me, Myself and Irene is the kind of movie that gets its biggest laughs on opening weekend in front of sold-out audiences, when everyone watching gets carried away by the group experience of it all and winds up in stitches. But at home, many of Irene's "ohmigod, can they do that ?" scenes are less gross-but-entertaining than just plain gross. Considering that the movie is basically an excuse for Jim Carrey to mug and find himself in silly predicaments (the plot, such as it is, involves a criminal country-club owner and corrupt cops), when the jokes start falling flat, well.... For what it's worth, Carrey performs his trademark rubber-faced schtick admirably as Charlie Baileygates, a meek Rhode Island state trooper who is stricken with advanced delusionary schizophrenia with involuntary narcissistic rage (gosh, isn't mental illness funny?) and snaps, unleashing his Dirty Harry-esque alter ego Hank on the unsuspecting world, and Carrey's physical comedy is so fine-tuned that he can make the switch between Charlie and Hank obvious without saying a word. Irene's central conflict kicks in when both Charlie and Hank fall for the same woman, the winsome Irene P. Waters (Renee Zellweger), who just happens to be the bad guys' target. But as funny as it is in spots (the brilliant, foulmouthed trio of sons — Mongo Brownlee, Anthony Anderson, and Jerod Mixon — that Charlie raises after his ex-wife runs off with their father, an African American midget, are particularly laugh-worthy), Me, Myself and Irene has problems, mostly because Bobby and Peter Farrelly, who pushed the envelope so successfully with the outrageous, offensive, and awfully funny There's Something About Mary, basically crumple the envelope up and throw it away with Irene. In their efforts to match and surpass the gross-out factor of Mary, the Farrellys — the siblings who are to stupid humor what Ethan and Joel Coen are to quirky black comedy — end up trying too hard, making the movie's big jokes (the cow, the chicken, the breast, etc.) feel a bit forced and just too much. However, the same can't be said for Fox's special edition DVD, which has a healthy number of extras but certainly doesn't go overboard. There are the usual trailers and TV spots, a by-the-book six-minute featurette, scene selection, a video for the Foo Fighters' "Breakout," a gallery of still pictures, ten deleted scenes, a DVD-ROM game, six "making-of" vignettes, and a chatty feature-length commentary by both Farrellys. The vignettes are probably the best of the bonus features; each focuses on one sequence in the film, showing both candid behind-the-scenes footage and the finished scene. An optional branching feature allows viewers to click over to these scenes while watching the movie — a similar option exists for the deleted scenes (none of which, saving a very American Pie-esque bit with a watermelon, are particularly noteworthy). Language-wise, the disc offers Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, as well as both English and French in Dolby 2.0 Surround and English and Spanish subtitles. The audio and 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer are both clear as a bell, especially after using the included THX optimode tests to maximize audio and video quality. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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