GREAT PERFORMANCES YOU MAY NOT HAVE SEEN:
Bruce Almighty (a newsman competing with Jim Carrey)
Evan Almighty (the same newsman, now elected to Congress)
Anchorman (a weatherman)
The 40 Year Old Virgin (much less a loser than you’d think)
Little Miss Sunshine (the gay intellectual uncle, part of the Golden Globe-nominated cast)
Bewitched (Uncle Arthur)
Get Smart (Agent 86)
THE REAL CARELL:
Even with a string of successes and one long list of future projects, Carell has kept “The Office” running. It’s a nice mix, actually, and a twist on the old paradigm: do comedy movies for money and security and do tv for art and awards.
The stiff. There is a scene in “Dan in Real Life,” when Juliette Binoche first meets Carell, and she calls him smooth. During the course of the film, we and Juliette get to witness just exactly how unsmooth Dan is. Whether he is the good-natured, well-meaning virgin, or the secret agent, the jerky anchorman or the really jerky head of “The Office,” Steve Carell’s comedic core is whatever and wherever smooth isn’t.
BITS AND QUIRKS:
One heck of a great laugh. The mumble. The stupid dance, along with a lot of nerdy herky jerky moves. A haircut somewhere that side of the Brady Bunch. A range of nasally high pitches for different comic effects.
A brilliant Paul Lynde take-off as Uncle Arthur, giving advice to Will Ferrell
The news scene where Jim Carrey ties his tongue in knots
The encounter with Morgan Freeman as God, in his back seat > The birds swooping in through the window > The montage of hurting himself while building the ark
THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN
Getting his chest waxed > The date with the drunk driver
The tango contest with Anne Hathaway > Crossing the red laser zone > Knocking out the chief > Talking to Bill Murray, in the tree
DAN IN REAL LIFE
Meeting Juliette Binoche in the bookstore > The reveal, when she turns out to be brother Dane Cook’s girlfriend > Sharing the shower > The talent show
IF YOU LIKE HIM, YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T LIKE: