The Truman Show (1998)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi


The Truman Show (1998) Poster

An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show.

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8.1/10
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  • Peter Weir in The Truman Show (1998)
  • David Arquette and Courteney Cox at an event for The Truman Show (1998)
  • Peter Weir in The Truman Show (1998)
  • Ed Harris in The Truman Show (1998)
  • Anne Archer and Terry Jastrow at an event for The Truman Show (1998)
  • Noah Emmerich in The Truman Show (1998)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


20 March 2003 | WriterDave
8
| Ambitious and Entertaining Treatise on the Reality Media Creates for Us
It's not often a Hollywood film arrives with such lofty ambitions as this. On one hand this is a high concept comedy in the vein of "Groundhog Day" about an unwitting man whose entire life has been a TV show. This is also a Jim Carrey vehicle designed to display his charms. On the other hand this a very satirical look at the way the media manipulates our reality. The film also wants to take a philosophical look at free will vs. a higher power and reality vs. fantasy. It doesn't always work as the satire often keeps you from thinking too deeply about the underlying themes and the philosophical stuff keeps the satire from biting as well as it could. Credit engaging performances and solid and thoughtful direction from Weir for keeping things afloat and entertaining. There are some great cinematic moments here. I loved the "stolen kiss on the beach at night" and "Cue the sun!"

In the end this film is closer in spirit to psychological dramas and sci-fi movies where a person suddenly realizes they are the pawn in some grand experiment or a prisoner in an alien world than it is to anything in our current "reality TV" obsessed culture. Eventually it touches on a very basic conflict all humans must face (most people do so in childhood, some I fear never do). The universe does not revolve around us. In the closing moments we are excited for Truman because he finally realizes there is a whole new world out there to explore, but also slightly saddened because we know all to well that he will never be able to return to that idyllic "childhood" existence. How's it going to end? Who knows...but things will never be the same.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Truman was supposed to be just out of high school, but since Jim Carrey was in his thirties, it got swapped from teenaged angst to more of a midlife crisis.


Quotes

Christof: We've become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions. We are tired of pyrotechnics and special effects. While the world he inhabits is, in some respects, counterfeit, there's nothing fake about Truman himself. No scripts, no cue cards. It ...


Goofs

In the flashback scene to when Lauren/Sylvia and Truman leave the library and go to the beach, there are no cameras which is presumably why they go there in the first place. The only camera shown to be positioned there that is in the show, is the one on top of the sand dune. However it is revealed that the people in the bar are watching the event too, but it's not explained how they are watching it too, considering that the only time a camera is introduced is when "Lauren's father" drives out onto the beach, at which point basically everything has already happened. Additionally the fact that the woman at the bar requests to see the greatest hits tape, which the scene is apparently on, insinuates that she wanted to re-watch the kiss between Truman and Lauren/Sylvia, but again there is no way they could have seen this because there was no cameras.


Crazy Credits

Opening credits are for the "real" Truman Show, with lines like "starring Truman Burbank as himself" and "created and directed by Christof".


Alternate Versions

A lot more pseudo-documentary footage on the making of the fictional Truman Show was shot but not used in the theatrical version. Only some short segments have been included in the released film, in the pre-credits sequence. Segments of this outtake footage, featuring Meryl Burbank and Marlon being interviewed and talking about their roles on the show and their personal lives, have been included in some airline versions, presumably to pad the running times.


Soundtracks

It's a Life
(uncredited)
Written by
Burkhard von Dallwitz
Performed by Burkhard von Dallwitz

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

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