MiloGlaister’s review published on Letterboxd:
A biopic about an irritating prick played by another irritating prick.
It's an absolutely brilliant biopic no doubt, but I will always refuse to think Andy Kaufman is funny.
In a way, I respect Kaufman's sense of the theatrical and his 'carnival barker' attitude, but at his core I just think he's a really really annoying pisstaker. I feel like 1 out of every 100 jokes he did ever actually landed. He's cringe inducing in the most unsatisfying type of way and I'm genuinely amazed at how he had a real career. With that in mind, he makes for a very interesting character though, even if he is one I was actively rooting against until about the last 20 minutes.
Putting the dislike I have for the real Andy Kaufman aside, this film is really entertaining and well made. Miloš Forman is a brilliant director and there's a particular reality he brings to this which really adds to it. I love how this film doesn't mythologise Andy either. He was an extremely flawed character in every way, and you see this in the way the film presents him. I particularly loved the emphasis this film took to show the reactions of people in the crowd who were totally unamused with his bullshit. That was actual great comedy.
The performances in this were very strong across the board. I can see how Jim Carrey nearly lost his mind playing this, and he is really watchable- he got some of the small affectations of Andy really right, and there were the odd moments where he would do a particular look or move a particular way that was really eerily like him. Although, that being said, I've also seen the behind the scenes documentary about the making of this film and it's apparent that he was a massive dick to everyone on set, which I'm more torn about. Because... like everything else about Andy Kaufman, thats fucking needlessly annoying. Great turn from Danny Devito as well, and I loved all the cameos in this too, especially from Lorne Michaels, Norm Macdonald and David Letterman.
The thing that is really exceptional about this film is that you have to keep pinching yourself as a reminder that this all really happened and that this guy actually existed. Carrey's performance was definitely elevated above some of the usual goofy trite he plays. With Man on the Moon, Miloš Forman crafted a really interesting narrative about a character that I essentially found repulsive. Very entertaining. Great ending too.