There's Something About Mary

1998 romantic comedy

Rating: 13/20

Plot: Prom night doesn't go well for Ted unless you'd call getting his genitalia caught in his zipper as "going well," and years later, he starts wondering about his date for the evening, a woman way out of his league then and probably would still be way out of his league. He hires a shady private detective on the recommendation of his friend to find her, and the detective falls for her. Shenanigans.

Farrelly brothers stuff doesn't quite do it for me, probably because I'm not entertained by movies making fun of the mentally or physically handicapped. Bobby and Peter magnify the awkward, and it's the type of comedy that works in spurts but not really in any prolonged fashion. It depends on moments that would be funny if you tried to describe them to people the next day. Like, "This guy gets his nuts caught in a zippers!" Or, "This woman thinks ejaculate is hair gel!" Or, "A guy tries to resuscitate a dog and ends up catching it on fire!"  They're scenes that are mildly humorous when you see them the first time, but they don't have staying power. Ok, maybe that scene with the dog would be funny any time you watched it, but that zippered scrotum scene seems endless and almost gets to the point where it's almost as painful as what the character is experiencing. A scene where a handicapped gentleman (well. . .) is trying to pick up his keys off the floor. Is that funny? Ben Stiller's brawl with an enraged dog? Is that one? Personally, I thought the funniest moment was an interrogation scene with some dramatic irony, that misunderstanding or dual meaning humor that always reminds me of Three's Company. This does have some performers I really like. It gets off to a good start with Jonathan Richman singing in a tree about the titular gal and then popping in every once in a while like a one-man Greek chorus. Well, one man with a drummer. It's also got Chris Elliott as the friend. Elliott's a guy I always enjoy watching, and his character is funny enough here as he talks about flogging the dolphin, choking the chicken, or spanking the monkey. Jeffrey Tambor's not in the movie enough. And Markie Post? She was one of my first celebrity crushes. Oh, and Brett Favre makes an appearance. His acting is about as good as his quarterback abilities when he played for the Jets, but he does get a funny line--"I'm down here to play the Dolphins, you dumbass." I almost always like Ben Stiller, and I'm never going to say anything negative about a Ben Stiller masturbation scene, especially if it involves a brassiere advertisement. And I like Cameron Diaz in this. She's very natural in the role, and I love her laugh. I don't know--there's just something about her that I like. Dillon's pretty good, too, even though his character is a little much. His attempts to woo Mary are funny though. This movie makes a terrible mistake twice unfortunately. I don't write screenplays, but if I taught a class in writing them, lesson one would be that you don't mention the names of better movies in the dialogue. This does it with Harold and Maude twice and later The Karate Kid. As this movie started to lose its charm, those references just made me wish I was watching one of those movies. Oh, and there's another mistake it makes--Harland Williams. The guy just rubs me the wrong way. Luckily, he's not in this for long. This is humorous enough to watch once, but it's far from the comedy classic that a lot of people seem to think it is.

1 comment:

l@rstonovich said...

I thought the cripple trying to pick up keys was funny.