COMEDY; 1hr 35min
STARRING: Jim Carrey, Carla Gugino
House training: Carrey
Property wheeler-dealer Tom Popper (Carrey) is never happier than when doing just that. Deals aside, however, Mr Popper’s spacious New York City apartment is a sterile space. Separated from his wife (Gugino) and distanced from his son and daughter, he basically lives to work. Then six gentoo penguins arrive on his doorstep, a parting gift from his newly late and largely absent dad. The birds are adorable, of course, a sextet sight gag in themselves. And being wildlife, they immediately inject some everywhere they waddle. Fighting as he is for a career-enhancing real-estate coup, the timing is terrible for Mr Popper. Yet despite himself, the clingy squawkers worm their way into his affections and reshape his world.
It’s a treat to have Carrey back in kid-pleasing shape in this daffy take on Richard and Florence Atwater’s 1938 children’s story. He’s older, which he wears well, and consequently less manic. But his affinity with the ridiculous and his seriocomic emotional range are as alive as always in a sweet-natured fairy story that deftly showcases them both.