Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5  
Man on the Moon (1999)
15

Unknown to most people on this side of the Atlantic, Andy Kaufman was an enigma. As both stand-up comedian and Latka on 80s sitcom "Taxi", he had people fawning over his oddball persona and endlessly trying to unravel his unique comedic style - even after his early demise from cancer in 1984.

Jim Carrey takes on the role of Kaufman in this sympathetic biopic that makes you unsure whether you have learned more (or absolutely nothing) about this mysterious and undoubtedly, talented man.

We follow Andy through the early days as he hones his craft and hooks up with manager George Shapiro (DeVito), and writing/performing partner Bob Zmuda (Giamatti), through to his death.

Fond of baffling the audience, Kaufman and Zmuda are continually creative - whether adopting the character of crude lounge singer Tony Clifton or staging male/female wrestling matches.

But while we laugh at the jokes and marvel at his ability, the film fails to truly convey to the audience who the 'real' Andy might have been. That said, one of the most poignant scenes in the movie sees Andy in bed with his girlfriend Lynn (Love). "No-one knows the real me," he complains. "There is no real you," she replies. He laughs. "Oh, yeah."

With a magnificent central turn by Carrey that should have been Oscar-nominated, "Man on the Moon" (named after the song by REM written about Kaufman) is a brave, funny, touching, and frequently bittersweet attempt to bring one of comedy's most eccentric and gifted proponents to the big screen. But was he really funny? Only Andy knows the answer to that one.

End Credits

Director: Milos Forman

Writer: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski

Stars: Jim Carrey, Courtney Love, Danny DeVito, Paul Giamatti

Genre: Comedy

Length: 113 minutes

Cinema: 1999

DVD: 27 June 2001

VHS: 5 March 2001

Country: USA

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