The last good twisted movie (in my humble opinion) from the Farrelly brothers was seven years ago with their feature Me, Myself and Irene. True they had a few movies in between then and now, but they’ve been lackluster and relatively safe. Since then a new kid with an equally deranged mind and a desire to push the obscenity threshold has moved onto the block. His name: Judd Apatow. You might know a few of the movies he’s responsible for like The 40 Year Old Virgin and Superbad. Not to be outdone on the potty-humored movies they helped reestablish, the Farrellys have fired back onto the scene with The Heartbreak Kid. Unfortunately, it doesn’t set them back onto the throne of crude, adolescent comedies.
But that’s not for a lack of trying though. They went out and secured the services of America’s favorite numbskull, Ben Stiller. There can be no argument, Ben has cornered the market for irreverent and off-kilter comedies. And just to be sure, they went so far as to cast his father, Jerry Stiller in the movie too — two Stillers in a movie together spells comedy gold. Next, they dusted off the playbook from the movie that started it all for them, There’s Something About Mary. This time, instead of one cute girl (Cameron Diaz), they figured they’d add two (Michelle Monaghan and Malin Akerman). They even added some nudity into the mix.
The problem as I see it, The Heartbreak Kid has no spark to it. It doesn’t have any snap. Most of all it tries too hard to be funny. The Farrellys break with what has worked for them in the past – making a movie based on a novel concept and telling it in a completely original way. Instead they take a very lackluster idea – having a guy get married too soon only to get attracted to another woman while on his honeymoon – and then literally just throw a pile of lame overused gags at it. For some of the weaker jokes they spice them up with sexual overtones and obscenities and hope that it will amount to a laugh. It doesn’t. For others they repeat the joke for an inordinate amount of time thinking that if it wasn’t funny the first time, it has to be funny on the second, third or fourth showing. Rule of thumb to all aspiring film makers – if it’s not funny the first time you tell the joke, it will not under any circumstances be funny the second time around.
I also wasn’t impressed with the Stiller duo (who I thought were fantastic together in Zoolander). Ben who plays the unlucky in love Eddie Cantrow, looks and acts like a man unsure of the role he’s been cast in. His delivery is unnatural and confused. Considering these types of roles are his bread and butter, I expected a whole lot more. Jerry who plays, surprisingly enough, Eddie’s father Doc, is completely unfunny. It was painful to sit and watch a comic powerhouse belting out classless pussy jokes over and over again. Lame jokes like that belong to the Eddie Griffins of the world.
I had hoped The Heartbreak Kid was a triumphant return of the Farrelly brothers. It’s not. It causes me great pain (I refuse to grow up and love crude humored movies) to say that there are hundreds of funnier movies than this. You can start by watching any of the aforementioned movies and then move onto the early works of Eddie Murphy. Call me when you’re done with those and I’ll point you to other must see comedies.