By far the most controversial thing about “Ace Ventura” is the culminating plot twist in which Detective Lois Einhorn, played by Sean Young, is revealed to be disgraced football player Ray Finkle of the Miami Dolphins. The film makes it clear that this was inspired by the 1992 film The Crying Game and its gender twist, but the most surprising part is that Ace Ventura was already filming when The Crying Game hit theaters.
According to Tom Shadyac in the director’s commentary, this was a last minute decision made towards the end of filming. As if the plot itself didn’t make this clear, the Boy George song “The Crying Game” plays while Ace burns his clothes and takes a disgusted shower. This late change in plot probably explains why the twist in the film feels so jarring – it’s hard to believe that Sean Young of all people could have been a beefy football kicker, but with all the other occurrences in this film, it just works that way hardly.
Of course, as conversations about the representation of sexuality and gender evolve, it becomes increasingly clear to a mainstream audience just how distasteful this transphobic and homophobic turn of the plot is, to say the least. For his part, Carrey agrees. “It probably wouldn’t be done that way nowadays,” he told the Television Critics Association during a 2019 interview (via Showbiz CheatSheet). “There’s a learning curve for all of us.”