The Farrelly brothers (Peter and Bobby) created comedy gold with “Dumb and Dumber” and “Kingpin,” but they did not become household names until “There’s Something About Mary.” That movie was, and still is, their masterpiece. It had memorable scenes, an amazing supporting cast, and it launched Ben Stiller into the upper realm of comedic actors. Before the release of “There’s Something About Mary,” Stiller had a short lived TV show and small parts in bad movies. The Farrelly brothers turned him into a star. Now, nine years later, the Farrelly brothers’ careers are going down and Stiller’s stock could not be higher. Peter and Bobby tried to resurrect their careers by ironically depending on Ben Stiller to carry “The Heartbreak Kid.” The only problem is that “The Heartbreak Kid” is a 115 minute movie, with 95 minutes of it spent with the audience pondering why they didn’t visit a dentist with shaky hands instead of suffering through this slow and vulgar movie.
The movie is about Eddie Cantrow (Stiller), a man who owns a sports store in San Francisco and is afraid of getting married. Eddie meets Lila (Malin Akerman) on Valentine’s Day, and they eventually begin dating. They end up getting married and they decide to honeymoon in Cabo.
Lila begins to act a little crazy and Eddie questions whether he made the right decision. He meets Miranda (Michelle Monaghan), a women’s lacrosse coach from Mississippi, who makes him further question his marriage while he is still on his honeymoon. He has tough choices to make and “hilarity” (used very loosely in this instance) ensues.
The worst part about this movie is that it had a gigantic amount of potential. “The Heartbreak Kid” has beautiful women, both Stillers (Ben and Jerry), and the type of raunchy humor that the Farrellys are known for. The lights went down, the movie started and it was actually funny. The problems with the film started when Eddie and Lila checked into the resort in Cabo. The movie then stalled and never seemed to regain the momentum built up in the beginning of the film. The Cabo scenes could have been vastly improved if Akerman’s character was more liberally used.
Akerman is originally from Sweden, and she used to be the lead singer in a band. She appeared to be cast into the film because of her physical attributes. That is why it was such an overwhelming surprise the way she portrayed her character. Her performance dominated the first third of the film. She connected to the male audience by displaying every man’s worst nightmare, being married to a psychotic woman who is in debt and has extremely annoying habits. In the resort at Cabo, Akerman started systematically being removed from the film, and that was a mistake. The only cast member who was not funny was Monaghan, whom the Farrellys used to take Akerman’s place.
Monaghan is the one blemish in a stellar cast. She never did anything in the entire film that was funny. The predicament here is that a large portion of the film revolves around her. In her defense, her character seemed bland and she was taking over for an over-the-top female lead. It might not have mattered who was depicting that character because the character was poorly written and developed. Her character invokes the question, ‘What has happened to the Farrelly brothers?’
The Farrelly brothers’ most recent movies are “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Fever Pitch.” Both of these movies lacked only thing necessary to make a comedy: sustained humor..
The Farrelly brothers are now working on “The Three Stooges” for release in 2009. Casting for this movie should be simple. The first stooge should be Bobby Farrelly for making “The Heartbreak Kid.” The second stooge should be Peter Farrelly for also making “The Heartbreak Kid.” The third stooge should be anyone who wastes their time and money viewing this film because it encourages the Farrellys to continue to create garbage films and release them to the unsuspecting public.
Tom Pittman is a fourth-year student at West Chester University majoring in Psychology with a minor in Math. He can be reached at TP623014@wcupa.edu.