Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

“Okay back to regular blogging. Gonna see how I can schedule it in with the plethora of yoga classes I’m planning to take and the current Scandal marathon but I’ll make it work. I’d actually had another mini project in mind but decided to shelve it for a bit. I really liked the blog-the-movie-wall thing, so I’m giving it another round. May interject that mini in here somewhere. Similar to before, pick a movie from each cubby, but I’m loosening up the rules with a few arbitrary exceptions that aren’t worth going into. Kicking it off with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.

This is one of many movies that defined my childhood. God only knows how many times I watched this and its sequel (time was I knew the sequel better, but over time the original has gotten more play). I quoted it back and forth with classmates in elementary. I still find excuses to sneak in “”Alrighty then””s here and there and other choice phrases.

I think I may have shared a similar anecdote before, but I can’t remember what film it would have been for. Back before I saw the film, when I’d seen the trailers a whole bunch (and maybe the occassional standee at Wal-Mart), I’d been really struck by his strange hair. I was old enough to understand that Ace Ventura was played by an actor, Jim Carey, and that the character wasn’t real. I didn’t yet grasp that the hair was Hollywood magic, and thought it was very fortunate they found someone with such a strange ‘do. Shut up.

We probably all know this film by now. Ace Ventura is a pet detective, working in Miami. He gets hired when the Miami Dolphins’ mascot Snowflake is stolen days before the Super Bowl. And the game is afoot! Besides launching Carey into super stardom, this also got Courtney Cox going just before jumping into Friends. If you’re paying attention, you’ll even find Breaking Bad’s future Tio Salamanca, Mark Margolis. That was something new I learned on this watch.

When I saw it as a kid, so much of it went over my head. Plenty of jokes and references I didn’t get. It didn’t matter though. It was silly enough that ten year old me loved it. However, there’s one joke that I could not have gotten until a couple years ago, which has to be one of my favorite more clever cine-phile in-jokes in any movie. When Ace discovers that (um, spoiler) Einhorn is actually a man, the song that is played over that scene was very carefully chosen. Before you click on that link, can you remember what song? That would be “”The Crying Game”” by Boy George. That song always struck me as an odd choice, until a couple years ago when I saw the film The Crying Game and made the connection, and laughed harder than I ever had in the millions of times I’d seen this. If you know the major spoiler for that film, I’m sure you’ll get there.

Now while that is one of the greatest jokes of all time, what plays out under that soundtrack is actually kind of offensive, especially by today’s standards. Ace’s reaction is funny as physical comedy, but it’s really not cool how he’s reacting to kissing a man. I can forgive it seeing as how the world’s outlook was drastically different on the subject 20 years ago, and because the repeat of the jokes at the end of the film is really funny too. No, it’s not cool that the entire police force is gagging and spitting at the thought of having kissed a man, but it is rather funny that Einhorn managed to kiss every single one of them. And of course, the song plays again.”

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