The Truman Show

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
Director:Peter Weir
Writer:Andrew Niccol
Director of Photography:Peter Biziou
Editors:William M. Anderson and Lee Smith
Music:Philip Glass and Burkhard Dallwitz
Production Designer:Dennis Gassner
Producers:Edward S. Feldman, Andrew Niccol, Scott Rudin and Adam Schroeder
Paramount Pictures; PG; 102 minutes
Cast:Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone, Holland Taylor, Ed Harris, Brian Delate, Una Damon, Paul Giamatti, Philip Baker Hall, Adam Tomei, Peter Krause, John Pleshette, Heidi Schanz, Blair Slater and Ted Raymond

Weir's dramatic comedy about a man (Carrey) who discovers his life is a TV show is brilliant, but Carrey doesn't quite pull off the dramatic side of things. He plays Truman, an insurance salesman who lives in the idyllic community of Sea Haven, where the cookie-cutter houses look like a Disney resort and the neighbors are as chipper as tourists. Everything is dandy, until a series of strange mishaps make Truman question the reality of his experience. The audience knows what Truman doesn't; cameras follow him everywhere, broadcasting his life 24 hours a day, Sea Haven is a giant studio, and his family and friends are actors. All Truman really knows is that he wants out of Sea Haven, lured in part by the desire to find a long-lost college love. He tries to escape, but everyone conspires to keep him there. Harris is entertaining as the egomaniacal producer Christoph, who literally makes Sea Haven's fake sun rise and set, controlling Truman's life from the studio's corporate headquarters. Linney is wonderfully sinister as Truman's actress-wife who cares only about delivering her product placements on cue. Carrey shows his serious side here, but not enough to give the story's dramatic moments real weight. You get the feeling he's trying to pull off the goofy mask, but it just keeps snapping back into place. The cartoonish Carrey fits into Sea Haven's artificial world a little too well to make you really believe he wants out of it.

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