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1/5/08

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For a few years during the 90's the Farrelly brothers were on top of the comedic world. Their first film, Dumb & Dumber, introduced us to a new brand of comedy; a mix of sweet slapstick humor and over-the-top grossness. They continued in the right direction with Kingpin. Then completely nailed it with There's Something About Mary, where every joke seemed to be firing on all cylinders.


Everybody expected them to keep making us laugh, but by then all of Hollywood was producing these cheap gross-out comedies that diluted the joke pool. So by the time Me, Myself and Irene came out most everybody was growing tired of that brand of humor; plus it honestly wasn't that funny of a film. Then they went the PG-13 route for their next couple of forgettable films, and have become pretty irrelevant.


I wouldn't say they were back with The Heartbreak Kid, but it's a step in the right direction. It's easily their best film since Mary. It's very uneven, with a lot of jokes falling flat, but those that hit, are hilarious. Now that the gross-out comedy trend has ended, they can get back to what they were doing, and make it seem fresh again.


Ben Stiller stars as Eddie, he's middle-aged and never come close to getting married. His father and friends are hounding him to do so. The last straw comes when he attends his ex-girlfriend's wedding. Soon after that he meets Lila, she makes him believe that she's the perfect girl. She's gorgeous, smart, wants to protect the environment and most importantly loves him to death. So he takes the plunge and they get married.


She immediately changes once they're on their road trip honeymoon to Cabo. She becomes extremely annoying and very naive. When they have sex for the first time, she's like a wildcat, nearly ripping him to pieces. Eddie knows he's made a huge mistake. Things get complicated when he meets another girl, Miranda, who now really seems like the right girl for him. So he's trying to date Miranda, while on his honeymoon with his wife Lila. Of course eventually it all explodes in his face.


Stiller does fine doing his thing, he's got this shtick down pat. Lila is played hilariously by Malin Akerman, rare is it a girl so beautiful and so funny at the same time. Michelle Monaghan gets to play it straight as Miranda. And in typical Farrely film fashion, there are a lot of funny side characters, constantly adding random humor to it all.


The Farrelly's get a lot right and a lot wrong, but it's great to see them playing in R rated territory again, they still have some truly sick jokes up their sleeves. Although it's nowhere near the quality of their first three films, The Heartbreak Kid makes me interested in them as joke-tellers again; and I want to see what they come up with next.



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