Film / Me, Myself, and Irene
Me, Myself, and Irene
is a 2000 film starring Jim Carrey
as Rhode Island state trooper Charlie Baileygates. Immediately after he marries his sweetheart Layla, she begins having an affair with the driver of their wedding limo (hey, we did
say "immediately") when she learns that he is an accomplished academic who is only driving a limo as a research project. The affair continues for years, even producing children which Charlie accepts as his own, until Layla ultimately leaves Charlie.
Traumatized by Layla's betrayal, Charlie spends the next few years avoiding confrontation and allowing others to take advantage of him. Everyone in town, apart from his foul-mouthed genius sons, treats him with contempt.
Charlie's repressed anger develops into a rude and violent Split Personality
named Hank. Complications arise when Charlie is tasked with escorting a woman named Irene P. Waters to Massena, New York, and Hank is both help and hindrance as Charlie and Irene try to stay alive.
This film provides examples of:
- Artistic License – Physics: There is no way a helicopter that size could lift off carrying 3 very large men. In fact, it didn't. Oops. They used creative camera angles to make it appear that the chopper was airborne. This was largely Played for Laughs, though, since the image of three men of their size squeezing together in a tiny helicopter is akin to watching them squeeze into a VW Beetle.
- Ass Shove:
- The police officer who gets a chicken shoved up his. Lesson there? Don't insult Charlie in front of his boys.
- The dildo Charlie discovered in the bed where Hank and Irene had sex was apparently for Hank.
- Asshole Victim: The line of people that Hank first takes revenge on. The little girl whom Hank nearly drowns is quite an example, possibly the only time you feel like cheering for a little girl getting violently attacked.
- Badass: Hank.
- Bed Trick: Hank convinces Irene he's actually Charlie and the two have a night of wild sex. Charlie and Irene are both annoyed about it.
- Berserk Button: You will understand Charlie's plight in the first 10 minutes of the film. The button gets mashed. HARD. One of the corrupt officers also learn that insulting Charlie and threatening to hurt him is a big no-no when his adopted sons are around.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The basis of Charlie's role in the movie.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of the movie Charlie's sons thank the viewer for "watching our motherfucking movie".
- Brick Joke: The cow Charlie and Irene find on the street is apparently still alive days after the incident.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Charlie's sons are all incredibly profane hoods... with almost superhuman intelligence.
- Butt Monkey/The Chew Toy: Charlie, after the whole town learned of his wife's affair.
- California Doubling: Averted: The movie actually was shot in Rhode Island and Vermont. The directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, are from Rhode Island.
- Chocolate Babies: Charlie's "sons". They still love their father however, and Charlie loves them like they were his own biological kids.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Pretty much every time Charlie's sons open their mouths.
- Comical Overreacting:
- Subverted. This is the trope that jumpstarts the whole plot, as the limo driver, Chanté, assumes that when Charlie asks him if he accepts checks for payment (since he's low on cash,) it is some kind of racial attack. And when he falsely accuses him when complaining to Layla, she automatically takes the limo driver's side and angrily yells at Charlie, refusing to give him the benefit of the doubt, despite knowing him better than that, and clearly refusing to believe him when he denies having said anything racist. Then to add further insult to injury (specifically, the injury caused by Chanté' hitting Charlie with his nunchucks,) she ultimately BETRAYS Charlie by later having an affair with Chanté.
- Even Charlie's reaction to the woman tricking him in the supermarket seems to be this, at least as far as she's concerned, as she is genuinely clueless as to why he starts behaving so aggressively with her, and even goes so far as to embarrass her over the store intercom....in the presence of her children to boot! Obviously she thinks he is being extremely rude to her and completely overreacting, but since this is the final insult that has caused Charlie to reach his Rage Breaking Point, his "overreacting" is actually quite understandable.
- Cowboy Cop: Hank, right down to the Clint Eastwood impersonation.
- Cuckold: Jim Carrey's character is an Extreme Doormat that the opening makes explicitly clear has a wife having sex with and bearing children from a black man. He raises their children himself and she eventually leaves him for her lover, but this has a somewhat positive note in that the boys (obviously black), all grow up to unconditionally love him, and consider him their real father.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: When Hank confronts the baseball players outside the gas station, he gears up to kick their asses... and gets tasered and kicked on the ground until Irene steps in.
- Description Cut:
Jamaal: He may have Advanced Delusionary Schizophrenia With Involuntary Narcissistic Rage, but he is a very gentle person!!!
Hank: [[blasting The Dwarves out of his car stereo]] MOTHERFUCKER, I'M A... MOTHERFUCKER, I'M A...
- Dirty Cop: Subverted with Hank because he had a Freudian Excuse. Agents Gehrke and Boshane, however, are true to the trope.
- Doting Parent: Charlie is this to his sons, although he is clearly not their biological father. He's such a pushover that the boys don't exactly grow up into upstanding citizens, but they adore him to death and go to great lengths to help him.
- Evil Albino: Invoked by Whitey when he claims to have murdered his entire family, but subverted when he reveals that he made up the murder story because he was afraid of Charlie's split personality. His family just moved to Phoenix.
- Evil Hand: near the end of the film.
- Excuse Plot: The reason Charlie and Irene are on the run is because there's... uh, well, Dickie did something, or some things, mob-related, that Irene may or may not know about or have seen, and he has connections to the cops so they can't be trusted and... yeah, the movie is just an excuse for Jim Carrey to go berserk as Charlie and Hank.
- Extreme Doormat: Charlie really is a bit too tolerant. The first part of the movie is a Humiliation Conga of him getting walked over by his wife, his neighbors, his coworkers and the people of the town that are supposed to respect his authority as a lawman (his illegitimate children are notable exceptions as they all respect, appreciate, and love him), until one insult too many leads him to snap and become Hank for the first time.
- Fighting from the Inside: Charlie and Hank's fights.
- Finger in a Barrel: Subverted. Charlie attempts to talk down the villain, putting his thumb over his gun. The villain just shoots off his thumb.
- Fingore: Charlie's thumb is shot off at point-blank range.
Charlie: [after screaming blue murder] [holds up his bloodied hand] You know that's assault and kidnapping, right?
- Frameup: Irene's ex-boyfriend Dickie has her arrested on a false hit-and-run charge.
- Funny Schizophrenia: Charlie is seriously mentally ill, but we are supposed to laugh every time Hank comes out.
- Gollum Made Me Do It
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Charlie is a good cop while Hank is a bad cop.
- Groin Attack: Irene against Hank on the train.
- Hate Sink: Chanté. He picks a fight with Charlie because he just happened to say "you people" to a black guy, going as far as to attack him with nunchaku. He then sleeps with Charlie's new wife Layla, not even bothering with protection since she gave birth to black triplets. He then takes Layla and leaves his kids with Charlie. His attempts to play the victim card due to his race and dwarfism only make him come across as bitter and manipulative. If there was ever somebody who should get some of Hank's wrath, it's him.
- Hollywood Psych: Charlie's illness is constantly called Schizophrenia. What he has is Dissociative Identity Disorder (Split Personality).
- Hyde Plays Jekyll: Hank acts like he is Charlie to get Irene to sleep with him.
- Jekyll & Hyde: Charlie and Hank
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Charlie's three sons. In spite of being foul-mouthed delinquents, they are academic savants who are also among the few adolescent males in any medium to consistently say "I love you Dad." And they even help him propose to Irene, too. "Will you marry me, bitch?". Plus they don't take kindly to someone threatening their dad. Just ask the chicken cop.
- Hank makes a speech about this with Irene. Also when he apologizes with Whitey for having him insulted.
- Juxtaposed Halves Shot: the posters/covers have Jim Carrey's face split in half, showing his character's "nice guy" and "asshole" personalities. The "Me" and "Myself" in the title refer to the dissociative identity disorder that Charlie Baileygates experiences.
- Karma Houdini: Charlie's first wife Layla and Chanté, the black chauffeur who seduces her away from Charlie. Apart from the cuckolding, they basically leave their three boys behind with no remorse and not so much as a child support cheque, as far as we know. Neither is seen again after they leave, and no explanation for their eventual fate is established, but it really feels like karma missed its mark.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Hank decides to do something nice for Charlie. He fixes his nose, and while he's at it he makes his jaw more "manly." Charlie's sons find this hilarious. "Daddy's got a goddamn butt-hole on his chin!"
- Multi-Character Title
- Overly Long Gag: Killing that cow sure took a while. And it still didn't die.
- Parental Abandonment: When Layla runs off with her lover, she leaves the boys behind with Charlie. There's no evidence she keeps any contact with her sons. Even worse, seeing as how she leaves with their biological father.
- Parking Payback:
- When Charlie asks one of the barbershop patrons to move his car, he tosses Charlie the keys and asks him to move it around back for him. When Hank makes his first appearance, he drives the car through the front of the barbershop, tosses him the keys and writes him a ticket for having his headlight out.
- When Charlie sees a young football player drive a convertible up and park in the handicapped space (flaunting his unhandicapped status by leaping out over the door) it triggers Charlies rage-fueled alter-ego Hank, who goes to town on the car with a trash bin. The football player then emerges from the store, helping the owner of the car who is a man in a neck brace. The owner is none to happy to see what Hank did to his car.
- Rage Breaking Point: Charlie reaches his limit when a woman with two shopping carts of food tricks him into giving up his spot at the checkout counter.
- Raging Stiffie: Of the "morning wood" variety after Charlie and Irene have sex though it was actually Hank, so Charlie has no recollection of it.
Charlie: (After urinating towards the upper-right corner of the bathroom wall) Irene! Why am I pissing like I had sex all night?
- Refuge in Audacity
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Irene is questioned by the FBI:
Irene: "So, I smoked some pot. What, is that a crime?"
- Rule of Funny: Sucking breast milk isn't supposed to give you a milk mustache.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: Pre-marriage Charlie and Layla, who even have t-shirts with each other's faces on them.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: All three of Charlie's sons fit this trope to a T.
- Sophisticated as Hell: Charlie's "sons", who drop F-bombs even when discussing physics theories or reading instructions on how to pilot a helicopter (in German, no less).
- Split Personality: Charlie is nice, quiet, and polite; Hank is angry, loud, and rude.
- Split-Personality Merge: In the end, Charlie learns that he's stronger than Hank when Hank backs down from confronting the villain while Charlie doesn't, and this merges them back together.
- Split-Personality Takeover: Played with. At one point the two try to get rid of the other, but only though physical violence, which of course does nothing but make them both look like idiots.
- Taking Advantage of Generosity: Charlie putting up with this for years is part of what makes Hank manifest.
- That Came Out Wrong: After a long motorbike ride, Irene complains of a numb backside. Charlie tells her he's okay:
"Over the years, my ass has taken a pounding."
- The Dog Bites Back: This is the basic rationale behind why Hank assumes control of Charlie.
- Theme Music Power-Up: A section of Hardknox's 'Fire Like This' plays whenever Hank takes over.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Will you marry me, bitch?
- Vandalism Backfire: See second point at Parking Payback.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It never revealed what became of the guy who laughed at Charlie by the soda vending machine. All that is shown is that Hank apparently ripped the vending machine open with a fire axe. The DVD has a deleted scene revealing that Charlie did exactly what what he told Irene he did; he told the guy that his comment wasn't helping and the guy apologized. Hank presumably went to find an axe after the guy drove off.
- What the Hell, Townspeople?: Pretty much the entire city (except for his sons and maybe the force) treats Charlie like dirt. A little girl even tells Charlie that her father told her that he was a joke and she did not have to listen to him. You can't help but cheer when he finally snaps and slams the guys car through the barber shop and still gives him a ticket or dunks that smart mouth little girl. It's unclear whether or not the people still treat him badly (or what the girl's parents did), especially after Hank gave what's coming to them.
- Would Hurt a Child: Charlie is not an example, as the scream of a child sends him running the other way. Hank, on the other hand, is an example, as he attempts to drown the same girl in a fountain.
Hank: The name's Hank, fuck-face.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Barely averted when Charlie nicely asks the girl to skip rope on the sidewalk for the sake of her own safety, only for her to angrily shout "FUCK OFF!" at him, and then when he tries to call her out on her language, she screams loudly as if to blackmail him into splitting the scene before someone hears her and she falsely accuses him of harassing her.