Directed by: Bobby & Peter Farrelly
Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, Malin Akerman,
Jerry Stiller, Carlos
Released by: Paramount
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.
by Andrew Bender
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
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.
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?
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.