The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show (1998)
The Truman Show (1998) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!


When I was 12 years old, my mother did something to me that I’ll never forget.  It filled me with confusion and complex feelings I couldn’t yet understand.  It was good, but also felt… not quite right.  I’m still dealing with the ramifications of that event even in adulthood, and hardly a week goes by when I don’t think about it.  That’s right, my mother… showed me The Truman Show.

A role usually filled by uncles named Larry

If you’ve watched this film, especially in your formative years, then you and your psychologist knew the plot of this film all too well.  For the rest of you, who I can only assume are paid actors, The Truman Show is about Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), who unbeknownst to him has lived his entire life as the star of a massively popular reality show in which everyone around him is a professional actor.

A Toast

There is an actual psychological complex named after and partially attributed to this film.  How much more influence do you need?  I can’t mention this to a member of my peer group to this day without hearing about how they sometimes suspect they’re like Truman, and I’ll even make that the subject of a quality daydream myself from time to time.  It’s just a fascinating subject, fit for endless exploration.  What if your entire world is an artificial construct?  How would they do it?  Would people actually bother to watch you 24 hours a day?

Verily, your life is a source of endless intrigue.

Some of the reality show touches hold up better than others, but there’s no denying that this film was almost prescient in some of the Big Brothery ways real people would become objects of entertainment, and a lot of thought was clearly put into how exactly Truman’s world would function.  My favorite part is the ever-present and often hilariously cheeseball product placement.

What really makes the film work, though, are the performances.  Laura Linney and Noah Emmerich have the interesting task of actors playing actors playing real people, and Linney in particular nails how such a person might handle what happens when things start going off-script.  Ed Harris, as the show’s creator/director Christof, gets to chew scenery at the end when confronted with the unpredictability of his creation and the limits of his control.  But above all, this is Jim Carrey’s movie.  His portrayal of a questioning, rapidly destabilizing Truman looks a lot like Jim Carrey, but overall he superbly demonstrates for the first time his equal or greater talents for drama.

Well, some drama, anyway.

Beer Two

Notice how I said that some of the TV edits and flourishes hold up better than others.  Well, some don’t hold up well at all.  Elements like the usage of sound effects and slow-motion replay might themselves be clever commentaries on the inherent stupidity of this caliber of TV, but that doesn’t negate how just plain awful they look.  Do yourself a favor and temporarily shave a few points off your I.Q. if it starts to get to you.

Beer Three

Once you think about the setup for a minute, all you get is more questions.  In the thrown-together surgery scene, do they actually cut into that patient’s leg?  Just how big of a lawsuit would that have caused?   Why did they think combing the streets linked arm in arm was an effective way to find Truman?  Did they assume Truman was hiding in the weeds like a child corpse?  On a more macro scale, Laura Linney’s basically a whore, right?  Did they pay any other actresses to have sex with him before he met her?  And 11-year old me really, really needs to know… what about all of the farts?  There must be hours and hours of footage of those.


It may not hold up as the seminal work I remembered, but Jim Carrey’s performance and the pure genius of the central conceit will ensure you’ll still chew this one over for a lot longer than you’d expect.

Go to the The Truman Show (1998) Drinking Game


About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.


  1. This is my absolute favorite film of all time and when the day comes that my bride births a son for me, he shall be called Truman. So lets agree to disagree. But well written as usual.

  2. I still have a special place in my heart for this one, but the rewatch didn’t do it any favors for me. Certainly can’t blame you for loving it even more, though, so agree to disagree it is!

  3. Starring the wonderfully spontaneous acting skills of Jim Carrey, The Truman Show is a family friendly show about the life of Truman Burbank, a friendly, outgoing and caring man. A 24 hour broadcasted fictional show that has followed the life of truman from day one. With hidden cameras within an enclosed facility. Actors are put on scene as regular people, but only they know. Truman himself is the only one on the whole planet that does not know his life is a hidden camera show. The plot develops as Truman starts to notice things are off about his life. When he was a child his father died after falling of a boat Truman was driving, and later in his life he sees a man that looks like his father. Immediately a man and woman in suits take this man away. Later in that day he sees things that are different, like an elevator that isn’t an elevator. Truman has a dream of going on vacation to Fiji. He has this dream because the love of his life was taken away and he was told she is in Fiji. Everytime he gets close to finding out the truth some happens to start him back over. Eventually he tricks the system and “escapes” by sea. Jim Carrey is an amazing actor who brings comedy and emotion into his character. Ed Harris plays the show’s director Christof. Ed is a strong actor and first draws you into loving him and then changes his demeanor on the flip of a dime and you end up angry with him. But all together this movie is incredibly funny and pulls at the heartstrings. I would recommend it to anyone. 10 out of 10. And in the words of Truman, “Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, Good afternoon, good afternoon, and good night!”

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