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Film / Me, Myself & Irene

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Me, Myself & Irene is a 2000 film directed by the Farrelly Brothers, starring Jim Carrey and Renée Zellweger.

Immediately after Rhode Island State Police trooper Charlie Baileygates (Carrey) marries his sweetheart Layla (Traylor Howard), 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 Evans". Complications arise when Charlie is tasked with escorting a woman named Irene P. Waters (Zellweger) to Massena, New York, and Hank is both help and hindrance as Charlie and Irene try to stay alive while being pursued by both the FBI and a pair of crooked cops (Chris Cooper and Richard Jenkins) working for Irene’s mobster ex-boyfriend Dickie (Daniel Greene), who seeks to silence her because She Knows Too Much.


This film provides examples of:

  • Albinos Are Freaks: Both the audience and the main characters are led to believe that Casper/Whitey is a very creepy albino man who may have murdered his family. In reality, he's a nice if clingy guy who's family moved to Arizona, and he couldn't go with because of the harsh environment.
  • Anger Montage: After a woman and her two kids cut in front of Charlie with two shopping carts full of groceries, Hank emerges and: publicly announces that she has a genital fungal infection; says a homophobic comment to a neighbor about his son; nearly drowns the little girl that told Charlie to "fuck off"; suckles on the breast of lactating mother; takes the car of the barber that ordered Charlie to park it for him and smashes into the shop, destroying it, and and gives the barber a ticket for a busted headlight; takes back his stolen newspaper from his neighbors wife, who was reading it while sitting on the toilet, and, as payback for his neighbor not picking up after his dog goes on Charlie's lawn, pulls his pants down and defecates on the neighbor's lawn.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
    • One for Charlie is someone abandoning someone in need. Which causes him to finally stand up to Hank when he states to do this to Irene.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The basis of Charlie's role in the movie.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: The little girl who tells Charlie to "fuck off" and tries to pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit when Charlie calls her out for her language. She gets what's coming to her when Hank shows up.
  • 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.
  • Car Meets House: What Hank does to the barbershop owner, Dick, in retaliation for an unpaid parking ticket that’s been due for three days.
  • 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:
  • Cowboy Cop: Hank, right down to the Clint Eastwood impersonation.
  • 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 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 he put a hit on Irene and when she ran to get Charlie's help he forgot his medication... yeah, the movie is just an excuse to get Charlie away from his meds and on the road so Hank can come out and play.
  • 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.
  • Everything Is Racist: Chanté takes offense to Charlie asking "Do you people take checks?" Charlie meant limo drivers - Chanté interpreted it first as black, then as little person when Charlie denied meaning it like that.
  • 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?
  • Frame-Up: Irene's ex-boyfriend Dickie has her arrested on a false hit-and-run charge.
  • The Gentleman or the Scoundrel: The males try to seduce Irene: Charlie, a kind-hearted and naive guy, and Hank, a vulgar and violent man.
  • 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 short black guy, going as far as to attack him with nunchaku and not listening to Charlie's "bullshit" (which Charlie retaliates by slapping him). 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.
    • Layla's no peach either. She sides completely with Chanté even when the guy is physically abusing her husband right in front of her and blames Charlie for it. Keep in mind that they just got married which is foreshadowing just how awful she is not only as a person but as a wife. She and Chanté also leave their sons behind for Charlie to raise alone with no remorse or even child support.
  • Hollywood Psych: Charlie and Hank are acutely aware of each other's actions. Those suffering from dissociative identity disorder initially do not retain memories of their actions from one personality to the next, and takes some therapy sessions to overcome that.
  • 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!"
  • Mistaken for Racist: A lot of Charlie's misery starts because he asked Chanté if his limo service accepts checks and be made the mistake of using the term "you people".
  • Multi-Character Title
  • Nice Guy: Charlie. It bites him in the ass hard because everyone around him save for his sons treats him like something they stepped in.
  • 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 Charlie's 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.
  • Prone to Sunburn: Casper/Whitey is an albino who left his family when they were going to move to Phoenix, Arizona.
    I wouldn't have lasted ten minutes out there.
  • 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?
  • Reality Ensues: Hank sees a guy throw a cigarette on the ground, and challenges him to a fight. He starts doing some crazy shadowboxing moves, but the guy just tases him and gets his friends to help beat him.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Irene is questioned by the FBI:
    Irene: "So, I smoked some pot. What, is that a crime?"
    Agent Boshane: *beat* "...Uh-huh."
  • Rule of Funny: Sucking breast milk isn't supposed to give you a milk mustache.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The narrator is voiced by Rex Allen, Jr., the son of Rex Allen, who was the narrator of many Disney wildlife films—one of which was Charlie, the Lonesome Cougar. The narration was done in a way to mimic these films.
    • Charlie shows Irene a photograph of himself and his sons dressed up as the main characters of The Wizard of Oz. Charlie is disguised as Dorothy.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Pre-marriage Charlie and Layla, who even have t-shirts with each other's faces on them. In a Brick Joke, when Layla leaves Charlie she has a shirt with Chanté's picture.
  • 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.
  • The Stinger: There's a post-credits scene of the whole family scouring the river to find Charlie's severed thumb. Whitey locates the thumb just in time to see a bass eating it.
  • 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.
  • Visual Pun: The officer who gets a chicken (or, as some people call it, a cock) shoved up his ass.
  • 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. This scene was restored in TV showings.
  • 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.


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