It’s hard to say if American legendary comedian Andy Kaufman did really die or not. Jim & Andy comes in handy when talking about this “conspiracy theory”. I mean, did he really?
For almost two hours, in Jim & Andy we are shown a side of Kaufman’s life that we never expected to see. And it all transforms into something really remarkable.
Chris Smith’s film tries to give us a fresh glimpse into the process of Jim Carrey playing the comedy legend. The film is almost entirely made of footage from behind the scenes of the shooting of Man on The Moon (1999), directed by Milos Forman, which is essentially supported by Carrey’s remarkable approach on method acting, turning the set into a whole new reality.
The entire crew needed to call him either Andy or Tony (as in Tony Cliffman, one of the characters that Kaufman used to play). While on set, not only Forman had to put up with Carrey’s intense portrayal - he never went out of character - but also everyone involved in the film had to make it as if Kaufman was still alive.
Bob Zmuda, played by Paul Giamati, Kaufman’s best friend, who was behind the camera filming the entire film, takes a big part in it, as well as his girlfriend, Lynne Margulies, played by Courtney Love. Their appearances makes us suspect they are experiencing parts of Andy’s life that they never got to see. Even Andy’s family go to the set and salute Carrey like their brother and child.
The last few minutes of Jim & Andy consist on how was it to shoot the ending of Man on The Moon, when Andy’s hair is already gone and he is sitting on a chair. These minutes mark what is the definition of something that is beyond method acting, with people being sad, calling Carrey “Andy” as if they were accustomed to it.
Almost 20 years later, the “song and dance man” manages to live under the skin of someone that played him in 1999. Occasionally, Carrey himself talks to the camera describing all his experience with detail. His jokes, his laughs and even his tears appear when facing the footage. It all contributes to the fact that his life changed the moment he decided to enter the skin of one of the greatest comedians of all time.