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|The Cable Guy|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ben Stiller|
|Produced by||Judd Apatow
|Written by||Lou Holtz Jr.
|Music by||John Ottman|
|Editing by||Steven Weisberg|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||June 14, 1996|
|Running time||96 minutes|
The Cable Guy is a 1996 American black comedy film, directed by Ben Stiller, and starring Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick. The film also features Leslie Mann, Jack Black, and Owen Wilson. It was released in North America on Friday, June 14, 1996 by Columbia Pictures.
After a failed marriage proposal to his girlfriend Robin, Steven Kovacs moves into his own apartment after they agree to spend some time apart. His cable is installed by enthusiastic cable guy Ernie "Chip" Douglas. Taking advice from his friend Rick, Steven bribes Chip to give him free movie channels, to which Chip agrees. Before he leaves, Chip gets Steven to hang out with him the next day and makes him one of his "preferred customers".
As promised, Chip arrives the next day, where he takes Steven to the satellite dish responsible for sending out television. Steven tells his problems with Robin to Chip, who tells him to admit his faults to Robin and invite her over to watch Sleepless in Seattle, which is running on cable the next night. Steven takes Chip's advice, and Robin agrees to watch the movie with him. Shortly after, Chip begins acting more suspicious, "running into" Steven and his friends at the gym and leaving dozens of messages on Steven's answering machine. When Robin arrives to watch the movie, the cable is out, thanks to Chip, who intentionally sabotaged Steven's cable when he didn't call Chip back. Chip agrees to fix the cable under the condition that they hang out again. Steven agrees.
Chip takes Steven to Medieval Times, where Chip arranges for them to do battle in the arena. When they arrive at Steven's home, Chip reveals that he's installed an expensive home theater system in his living room. Chip and Steven later host a party, complete with a karaoke sing-off. With Chip's help, Steven sleeps with a woman named Heather, while Chip serenades the party with Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love". The next morning, however, Chip reveals that Heather and several other women at the party were prostitutes. Furious, Steven throws Chip out. Chip tells Steven he will make things better.
Chip tracks down Robin, who is on a date with another man. When the man goes to the bathroom, he beats him and tells him to stay away from Robin. He later upgrades Robin's cable, saying it's on Steven. Robin decides to get back together with Steven as a result. However, Steven tells Chip that they can't be friends, which hurts Chip. Chip then begins a series of vengeful acts. He gets Steven arrested for possession of stolen property (the home theater system), although Steven is released on bail. Steven is later fired from his job when Chip sends out a video of Steven insulting his boss to the entire office (recorded by hidden cameras).
During a dinner with his family and Robin, Steven is horrified to see Chip is in attendance as well. Steven tells him to leave, but Chip tells him to play along or he will show everyone the picture of him with the prostitute. The evening goes from bad to worse as Chip gets on well with Steven's family and leads everyone in a game of "porno password". Steven finally punches Chip when he implies he slept with Robin.
Rick later tells Steven that Chip has been fired from the cable company for stalking customers, and uses the names of television characters as aliases. Chip calls Steven that night, telling him he's paying Robin a visit. Steven tracks them down to the satellite dish, where Chip holds Robin hostage. After a physical altercation and a chase, Steven gets the upper hand and is able to save Robin. As the police arrive, Chip goes into a long speech on how he was raised by television ("I learned the facts of life by watching The Facts of Life!") and apologizes to Steven for being a bad friend. He then dives into the satellite dish, which knocks out the cable across the entire town, just as the verdict in a highly publicized case involving a famous child star is about to be revealed.
Chip survives the fall, but injures his back. As Steven and Robin reunite, Steven forgives Chip and asks for his real name. Chip jokingly replies "Ricky Ricardo". Chip is later taken to the hospital in a helicopter. When one of the paramedics addresses him as "buddy", Chip asks the paramedic if he is truly his buddy, to which the paramedic replies, "Sure", causing Chip to smile deviously just before the credits roll.
The Cable Guy is regarded as having a darker tone than most of Carrey's previous work. Audiences had mixed reactions to this change of tone for Carrey and film critics gave mixed reviews. The movie scored 54% on Rotten Tomatoes, giving it a "rotten" score. However, the film was on J. Hoberman's Top 10 best of the year. The film was also noted for its similarities to the Australian telemovie The Plumber (1979), which was written and directed by Peter Weir, who would later direct Carrey in The Truman Show (1998). Roger Ebert included The Cable Guy in his worst of the year list for 1996, though colleague Gene Siskel disagreed. Despite the mixed critical reception, The Cable Guy has since gathered a dedicated cult following.
The film grossed $19,806,226 on its opening weekend. It grossed a total $60,240,295 in the domestic market, and $42,585,501 outside the U.S, making a total of $102,825,796 worldwide gross. Despite the perception that the movie was a flop, it made a profit having a budget of $47 million, becoming a commercial success.
1997 MTV Movie Awards
1997 Kid's Choice Awards
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
|Soundtrack album by Various Artists|
|Released||May 21, 1996|
The Cable Guy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the official soundtrack. It consists of previously unreleased songs, largely of alternative rock and heavy metal bands, and includes the first solo recording by Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains fame. The soundtrack includes Jim Carrey's version of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love" which was performed by him in the film. It also includes a song from $10,000 Gold Chain, a side project of Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready. However, it does not include White Zombie's "More Human than Human", which is featured in a dramatic scene of the film.
Cantrell's "Leave Me Alone" served as the soundtrack's promotional vehicle and had a music video. This featured various footage from Cable Guy in a dark manner typical of Cantrell's style. It also had Jim Carrey's haunting face reaching out of a television screen at the observing Cantrell. While the album as a whole was not well received, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic noted that "Leave Me Alone" positively "rocks as hard as any Alice in Chains track."
The track "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand" gained popularity for its appearance in the film and reached #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 1996.
|1996||"Leave Me Alone"||Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks||14|
In addition, a line in the 1999 Blessid Union of Souls song "Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me)" references the film and critiques Carrey's performance in the line "I make her laugh just like Jim Carrey, unlike The Cable Guy".
The fight sequence at Medieval Times between Chip (Jim Carrey) and Steven (Matthew Broderick) is a homage to the Star Trek (original series) episode Amok Time - including the use of Vulcan weapons (Lirpa), the dialogue, and the background music.
A scene of The Ren & Stimpy Show appears when Steven is eating breakfast. A Marvel heroes comic, Spider-Man, was also mentioned by Jim Carrey. When Steven jumped through the ladder, the cable guy said, "Nice Jump, Spider-Man!!!"
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Cable Guy|