My editor is insane. He asked me to attend the trade screening for Me, Myself and Irene. Trade screenings usually come weeks before the previews for critics, and are meant for theater owners and employees so they can decide if their establishments want to show the films in question. As an employee of the Grand Illusion, I was entitled to attend the earlier screening and write a review. Or so the deranged wunderkind who helms the film department assured me.

However, once I showed up at the theater, I was forced to lay my hand on a volume of Pauline Kael's film criticism and take a solemn oath that I would not, under any circumstances--using my name, a pseudonym, or any other name at all--ever write a review about the film I was about to see. What could I do but agree?

Therefore, I would like to state that this is not a review of that movie. It's a review of another movie also called Me, Myself and Irene that I watched at a later screening: a "word of mouth" preview screening at the Meridian last Saturday. Honest.

If only either of these films had been worth perjuring myself over, maybe I wouldn't feel so dirty. But no, I handed my integrity over in a doggy bag for a piece of garbage so loathsome and shoddily crafted that I was actually sickened to the point of nausea two minutes into the film. An African American dwarf steals Jim Carrey's white woman away from him, the camera lingering over their long, wet, entwined tongues with the obsessive fascination of a Nazi doctor studying the detrimental effects of the races interbreeding. Get the joke? You don't? Oh, well, neither do I.

It was all downhill from there. Dildos, dog shit, the suffering of children and animals, physical disabilities, graphic violence, and Jim Carrey's rote performance beamed to the camera via satellite while he was taking a nap all conspired to make this a film that future generations will undoubtedly study as a sort of Rosetta stone of our cultural sicknesses.

If not for the presence of Carrey, Me, Myself and Irene would be unrecognizable as a "big budget" movie. Obviously, three billion dollars of the budget went to purchase Carrey's gold-dusted name, leaving what appeared to be $1.47 with which to make the film. I've seen stuff on America's Funniest Home Videos that had a higher production value. In fact, you could nail me to a chair and force me to watch footage of a goat in a dress doing a funny dance until I urinated in my pants and wept for my Mommy, and I guarantee I'd enjoy it more than the film that I did not watch at the "trade screening" in order to write this review. I give you my word.

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