Classic movies: The Truman Show
For the first time ever, my wife got to watch The Truman Show thanks to a night in and our old pal, Netflix. The decision to sit through this 90’s adventure went as follows:
Me: “Have you ever seen The Truman Show?”
Wife: “Uuuh, I don’t think so.”
Me: “Really? It’s pretty good.”
Wife: “Okay, lets watch it.”
Minimal prodding needed to interest her, and I didn’t even have to give away a single part of the plot (which I think really helped during her first view as the discovery of what is happening was exciting for her).
I have to admit, as with many popular movies from the 90’s I had not seen The Truman Show for a long time, and watching it over again was a lot of fun. I thought I remembered the opening of the movie to show a good 20 minutes of how perfect the world Truman lives in is, but the illusion begins to break right from the very first scene. The studio light falling into the street in front of Truman’s house for instance happens the very first time we see him leave his front door. Another fun detail I had forgotten was the commercials. Sense the show is being broadcast 24/7, all the commercials are done live by the actors and it makes for some very awkward dialog, but the confusion is very fitting in the Celebration, FL-type feel the film is trying to establish. Also, it’s great to see Jim Carrey in something where he is neither a complete lunatic (i.e. Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura) or a terrible choice for the role itself (al-la The Number 23). To make a long story short, the movie holds up and is worth a re-watch if it’s been a while for you.
I forgot about how you are just thrust into the movie with no explanation and first see both part of Truman in the show as well as interviews with cast and crew members. My wife seemed a little confused, unsure if the interviewees were talking about the movie we were about to watch or some kind of production within the film. As the movie progresses and more and more strange things happen, I could tell that the purposeful misleading and disbelief of certain characters’ integrity was working as intended as my wife asked multiple times “is this real or not?” (speaking, of course, in the perspective of Truman). Having only to answer that question with “watch and see” is extremely satisfying as I knew that the film was going to unfold Truman’s story at its own pace and tie everything together in the end. After the movie ended she let me know that she really liked her first viewing (something which she does not do ingenuously) and felt about how I remember feeling after my first time seeing our confused hero escape many years ago.