Man On The Moon
*** GM
Starring: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Courtney Love, Jerry Lawler, Paul Giamatti, Peter Bonerz


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I just KNOW Jeff Conaway was stewing angrily through the entire making of this film... and will keep stewing until the end of his life about it. That annoying, self-centered over-important prick that had no respect for his work or the show that paid his bills is getting a whole fucking MOVIE made about his life. Will anyone anywhere ever have the inclination to make a movie about the guy who played Kenickie? NO. No one EVER will care enough about Jeff Conaway. But that assfuck who thought it was cute to fuck with people's heads and play his little shitbird games is considered a 'genius' and the 'funniest American who ever lived'... that's BULLSHIT! BULLSHIT! JEFF CONAWAY, MOTHERFUCKER! JEFF MOTHERFUCKING CONAWAY! KENICKIE! FUCKING KENICKIE! I'LL MAKE AN HONEST WOMAN OUTTA STOCKARD CHANNING! GODDAMMIT! PLEEEEEEEEEASE!

Wouldn't be too surprised if Marilu Henner feels the same way. Christopher Lloyd and Tony Danza rule, though.

I didn't know a great deal about Andy Kaufman going into the film, so it was kinda handy to see all the crazy things he did re-enacted for me. "Oh... so THAT'S why he's famous." However, despite the fact that I was well aware that Director Milos Forman was working on the principle that 'there IS no real Andy,' it came across rather well that they had no real story to tell, other than recounting the best gags of his career. The movie seems to exist solely to do what Andy himself never wanted to do - let the audience in on the joke.

The more I've seen and read about Kaufman, the less impressed I am with the film. Things seem to be out of order, not entirely accurate, and the full story not always told. Yes, I know the concept of 'dramatic license' and changing shit around to make a better story, but pretending he hadn't played Carnegie Hall until he was sick seems a bad reorganization of the facts. The story is NOT made better. It's made a little more 'ordinary' and makes for a too-neat 'last wish fulfillment' type of thing.

With an Andy Kaufman movie, Forman had a golden opportunity to REALLY fuck with the audience - do the weirdest things, make a movie that really challenged and bothered people, driving people nuts - but there's only a little bit of it in the beginning, and then it's straight biography... and not a very thorough one at that. Not to mention that I've yet to find any discernible reason why he fell in love with Lynne (Courtney Love)... or she with him. This is why the film isn't quite "Oscar-caliber" (ugh, hate using awards as measurements).

But I enjoyed the film in spite of this, since so much of what Kaufman did was completely off the wall and hilarious. I got the best sense of what he was about when watching the wrestling scenes. I'm sure Andy'd have NO interest in wrestling now, since they no longer have a pretense of being real. But at the time, it was still believed by a lot of people, and it was free reign for a guy like Kaufman, who LIVED to just fuck with people. I think it's great that he came along - a guy who had no fear about that. Challenging norms, rattling cages, being completely weird and true to himself, and forcing you to appreciate something that wasn't the standard ba-dum-bum kinda joke. He was a true original.

He died as his popularity was taking a downturn, so he never had to really experience the consequences that might have occurred from just messing with people - they stop tolerating it and move on. But chances are he would have found a truly unique way to win people back. Too bad he never got the chance.

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