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The Heartbreak Kid Movie Poster

The Heartbreak Kid
Two Stars
Genre: Comedy/Romance
Rated: R
Directed by:
Bobby & Peter Farrelly
Ben Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, Malin Akerman, Jerry Stiller, Carlos Mencia, Rob Corddry
Released by: Paramount Pictures

In Short: The Farrelly brothers fill this surprisingly unfunny comedy with gross-out clichés instead of including characters that viewers will like enough to root for.

Nothin' But a Heartbreak...
by Andrew Bender

Brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly came to fame writing and directing iconic, politically incorrect comedies like "There's Something About Mary." "The Heartbreak Kid" reunites them with "Something About Mary" star, Ben Stiller, and we went into this film wanting a Mary moment. It never came.

It starts out hopefully enough, with Stiller as Eddie, a 40-year-old commitment-phobe who impulsively ties the knot with the gorgeous Lila (Malin Akerman). Driving down to Cabo for their honeymoon, the Seven-Rings-of-Lila-Singing-to-the-Car-Radio descend from Springsteen through the Miami Sound Machine and Spice Girls. By the time they reach the border, Eddie is dreading the next 50 years with this creature.

Ben Stiller and Malin Akerman in The Heartbreak Kid
Rob Corddry in The Heartbreak Kid

Enter Miranda (Michelle Monaghan), staying at the same resort, who would be his perfect match were it not for that whole wedding thing. All fair comedic bait, normally enough to induce both out-and-out guffaws and groans of schadenfreude.

Two big problems, though. First, other Farrelly characters may have been hapless losers, but they still had some underlying humanity. Eddie has no such thing—he’s both a slimeball and weak-kneed. Lila is barely likeable either, so who’s left to care about?
Carlos Mencia in The Heartbreak Kid
Ben Stiller and Michelle Monaghan in The Heartbreak Kid

Second, the Farrellys made their name with gross-out scenes, which we’ve now seen so often that they’re no longer outrageous–it’s as if they’re drawing on clichés they themselves invented.

“The Heartbreak Kid” isn’t completely awful. The Daily Show’s Rob Corddry and TV comic Carlos Mencia are hilarious, and Monaghan brings a Juliette Lewis-like allure to Miranda. We just wish we could have spent those 107 minutes two-timing with them instead.

(Updated 10/05/07 NJ)

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