Man on the Moon

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
Director:Milos Forman
Writers:Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski
Universal Pictures; R; 118 minutes
Cast:Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Courtney Love

When Andy Kaufman died at age 35, many folks assumed it was another sly hoax designed to confound. After all, this was the unruly comic who enjoyed wrestling women professionally, who treated his Carnegie Hall audience to milk and cookies, who disdained sitcoms and had to be dragged into his role as Taxi's Latka.

Jim Carrey summons his occasionally formidable talent to portray Kaufman in Man on the Moon. The film is more like a greatest hits album of Kaufman's mystifying and infectious brand of ironic humor than a revealing biography. We get to experience Kaufman's career highlight as trimmed and polished by Carrey, but never receive insight into the enigma that was Andy. "There is no real you," accuses his girlfriend (Courtney Love), and when the film makes no effort to unravel the person behind the comic knot, it seems less from respect than from laziness.