1998; Rated R; 119 Minutes
Cameron Diaz: Mary Jensen Matthews
Matt Dillon: Pat Healy
Ben Stiller: Ted Stroehmann
Lee Evans: Tucker
Chris Elliot: Dom
Lin Shaye: Magda
W. Earl Brown: Warren Jensen
Produced by Frank
Beddor, Mark Charpentier, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly,
Marc S. Fischer, Patrick Healy, James B. Rogers, Michael
Steinberg, Bradley Thomas and Charles B. Wessler; Directed
by Bobby and Peter Farrelly; Screenwritten by
Ed Decter, John J. Strauss, Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly
by DAVID KEYES
here's something interesting. The creators of "Dumb And
Dumber" and Kingpin" have returned to the big screen presenting
"There's Something About Mary," the third comedy of their
never-ending series of repugnant slapstick films. Their
first two entries were among the most disturbingly dumb
films ever created. A difference that exists now is "There's
Something About Mary" is even more disgusting and putrid,
and strangely enough, so funny that it tones itself to a
whole new level of comedy--one that exceeds its expectations
and ranks among the funniest of the decade.
is hardly a moment in the picture that is not laughable.
If it's because of a sick joke, an accidental mishap, or
something other, one thing always is certain: this stuff,
as it turns out, is very funny, mainly due to the fact that
they are written into situations that best suit them.
movie is about Ted Stroehmann, who, in high school, fell
in love with Mary Jensen Matthews, the girl he adored from
a far. She was a beautiful catch, and he was a metal-mouthed
nerd (forgive me if I seem too harsh on my choice of words).
But nonetheless, she liked him, and during their Senior
high school year, while walking home together, she asked
him out to the prom. He accepted, and showed up to her house
in the most sadistically rotten brown suit I have ever seen,
which did not go so well with her light blue dress.
even getting out of the house, Ted excused himself and went
to the bathroom to take care of business. As he's standing
over the toilet, he looks out to two birds on a limb who,
once they fly away, reveal Mary up in her room getting dressed.
She sees him, and is humiliated. But it wasn't his fault--after
all, he was just peeing. He then zips his pants, but accidentally
gets a rather precious piece of anatomy caught in the zipper.
isn't the type of humor I necessarily enjoy, but then the
situation gets outrageously complicated, to where half a
dozen people are looking in on Ted, who is standing in the
corner of the bathroom trying to get his zipper back down.
Mary's stepfather, in one preceding scene, tries to shed
some light on his situation by asking him if it's the "frank
or beans" that are caught in the zipper. Then the situation
gets even worse, and he's taken to the hospital, never to
see Mary again.
so that's just mildly funny, but it gets funnier. Years
later, when Ted has grown out of his dorky phase, he hires
a perverted private investigator named Pat Healy, who, when
he finds Mary located in Florida, tells Ted she is a fat
woman in a wheel chair in hopes that he can have a chance
even Healy has problems. Claiming to be an architect, he
woos Mary to believe they have several things in common,
and he is a man who has everything she has ever wanted.
On one of their dates, Healy meets one of Mary's closest
friends, a man named Norman, who has a spinal injury and
is on crutches. Norman himself is an architect, and when
Healy fails to convince Tucker he is one as well, he does
a little research on him, concluding that he is no architect.
he confronts Mary with this, he also tells her that Healy
is also a murderer wanted in several states. Later on, when
Healy confronts Norman with these false accusations (yes,
they are false), we in the audience learn that Norm is no
crippled architect. He is actually a pizza delivery boy,
who wants Mary just as much as Healy does.
then Ted learns of Pat's plan to keep Mary away from him,
and takes off to Florida with his best friend, Dom, in search
for her. He charms her like no other man, and she entices
him like no other woman. They are perfect together, but
that's no matter when we then learn that Dom, Ted's best
friend, was actually Mary's old high school boyfriend, and
he, too, has been in search of her. Mary herself moved to
Florida to get away from him, since he was obsessed with
stealing her shoes(!).
we have four men chasing after this woman, all of who at
first glance seem to be normal men in lust for this attractive
woman. But to describe them completely would be like describing
all of the character's personalities in Shakespeare's "Hamlet."
Each person is truly unique to their behavior, and you have
to see the movie to actually get the total picture.
movie's whole plot is even more complicated. There are several
story twists and subplots, all containing some sort of grotesque-type
joke, most of which are related to masturbation and similar
things. Dom's character, for example, tells Ted on his date
to Mary that you have to 'empty the pipes' to really woo
a woman like Mary.
picture is a real miracle; it comes around at a time when
summer seems to fade with over-toned blockbusters and poorly
concepted spoof comedies. Now, at last, we don't have to
be reminded of 1998 with a bad movie like "Armageddon."
At last, we can look back and cheerfully remember the Farrelly
brothers' third comedy, which is ultimately their best.
1998, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org.
Please e-mail the author here
if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.