The Man in the Moon

"Remember when you couldn't wait for your life to begin... and then, one day, it did?"

Jim Carrey transforms himself into comedic legend Andy Kaufman in the Milos Foreman-directed Man in the Moon. This biographical comedy is all about the deceased comic genius who invented a new type of comic performance art. It tells Kaufman’s life story all the way from childhood until his tragic death from cancer. The film spends a lot of time explaining Kaufman’s unique comic mind. Kaufman’s longtime confidant, Bob Zmuda, is portrayed by Paul Giamatti. The two met in comedy clubs, and Zmuda lends insight into Kaufman’s unique brand of entertainment. The film shows how network television made Kaufman very popular and public with his appearances on Saturday Night Live. His fame exploded when he was tapped to take his foreign-guy character to the television show Taxi. While this was the height of his fame, it was also the saddest time of his life.

Courtney Love stars as Kaufman’s longtime girlfriend, and Danny DeVito plays his long-suffering lawyer. The film goes over Kaufman’s many public stunts, such as when he spent time in Memphis Tennessee as a villain in pro wrestling. He had an ongoing open challenge to wrestle any woman in the world. The fight that he had with wrestler Jerry Lawler that was broadcast on Late Night With David Letterman is also recreated. He also created an alternate personality, Tony Clifton. Clifton was a character that was very rude and unlikeable and caused much discontent on the set of Taxi.

The final parts of the film go over the discovery of Kaufman’s lung cancer and how he took radical steps with alternative medicine to combat the disease. The film even hints at the rumor that Kaufman faked his own death in the ultimate stunt of his life.

The film features countless guest appearances from friends and fellow performers from Kaufman’s life. Christopher Lloyd, Marilu Henner, Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Richard Belzer, Jerry Lawler and David Letterman all portray themselves in the film.

PG-13
| 1991 | 1 hr 39 min | 7.4/10
Cast
Studio
Director
Robert Mulligan
Language
English
The Man in the Moon
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