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36 Things We Learned from the ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’ Commentary

“No one can hump the air like Jim Carrey.”
Ace Ventura Pet Detective
By  · Published on January 20th, 2012

Welcome to Commentary Commentary, where we sit and listen to filmmakers talk about their work, then share the most interesting parts. In this edition, pet-lover Kate Erbland explores dew claws and funny bones with Tom Shadyac’s commentary for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

Before he directed Patch Adams – I’m pretty sure that little nugget of information will rear its head again further down this article – Tom Shadyac had a strong hand in making Jim Carrey the man he is today. Shadyac directed Ace Venture: Pet Detective, the film that essentially launched Carrey’s career into super stardom and eventually landed him a few $20m paying jobs. Shadyac, on the other hand, was easy to get for the film’s commentary track.

And that’s what we’re doing for this week’s Commentary Commentary. Here’s hoping it’s loaded with deep analysis on the character and the slaps in the face Shadyac had to give Carrey in order for the performance to bleed through. Who am I kidding? There’s probably plenty of laughter and talking about the first time he saw Carrey talking out of his ass.

Let’s find out, shall we?

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

Commentators: Tom Shadyac (director, writer), and a talking ass that evidently won’t shut up.

Best in Commentary

“The idea of the movie is stupid. Let’s face it. A pet detective is stupid. The on-the-nose way to play it is he’s bumbling and forgetful and clumsy. We decided to make Jim the coolest guy in the world.”

“No one can hump the air like Jim Carrey.”

Final Thoughts

As Shadyac notes himself in the commentary, he doesn’t really talk much about the technical side of things with Ace Ventura. Most of his commentary is about character and story, all equally as insightful as getting into the lighting and framing side of things. Also, Shadyac seems a nice, jovial fellow, and this comes through in his commentary here.

He feels happy, excited about this movie he’s made. Sometimes exuberance can make up for a lack of skill or technical education. Shadyac might not have proven this with much of his career or even Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, for that matter. However, it all comes through in the way he speaks here.

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