"Something" In The Way She Moves
The team behind "Kingpin" strikes gold again
FILM REVIEW By JASON LLOREN
Blast San Francisco Bureau
Peter and Bobby Farrelly, the comedy writer/director team that gave
us "Kingpin," know gross. In that film - quite possibly the funniest
movie to combine bowling, gambling, '70s fashion and the Amish - so much
toilet humor was flung at the audience you could scrape it off the
walls. But at its core, "Kingpin" had some heart: a simple story about a
broken man who learns that winning isn't everything.
In their latest comedy, "There's Something About Mary," the Farrelly
brothers give us another story about a likable loser. This time, they
throw in a winning babe, a couple of stalkers and a mean little puppy.
As for the toilet humor, the shit hits the fan again.
Ben Stiller plays Ted Stroehmann, a late 20s writer in Boston who is
so obsessed with the high school prom date that got away that he hires a
sleazy P.I. named Pat Healy (Matt Dillon) to track her down.
Healy succeeds in finding Mary (Cameron Diaz), a sexy orthopedic
surgeon living in Miami. But after tracking her down, Pat falls for her.
He returns to Boston and lies to Ted, telling him that Mary is no longer
the teenage babe Ted remembers. Healy moves to Miami and is soon wooing
Ted learns of Pat's duplicity and hits the road to Miami, but he gets
sidetracked after getting mistakenly arrested and jailed in the South.
Eventually, he makes it to Miami and re-acquaints himself with Mary.
They hit it off - but now Ted and Pat, like two roosters after the same
hen, are vying for this female's affections.
The boy-meets-girl plot sounds like Jane Austen on the surface,
right? Not exactly, the Farrellys throw in enough twisted touches,
dementedly comic sequences and wacky characters to make "Mary" a
sidesplitting yet precise farce. The Farellys string together several
comic sequences, all with achingly comedic result. These guys also push
the bounds of taste and are not afraid to take the low road of comedy to
sell a joke. Even if it means ripping a scrotum or two.
|"In an early scene set during Ted and Mary's prom date, Ted
gets his "frank and beans" caught in his pants zipper."
In an early scene set during Ted and Mary's prom date, Ted gets his
"frank and beans" caught in his pants zipper. Other directors would cut
the scene after the scream, but the Farrellys let the gag run on and on
until it hurts laughing.
|"If you ever considered Diaz simply a model who got a little
too lucky snagging choice roles, think again.."
There are a couple of great sequences involving a cute but mean dog
named Puffy. Dillon, who proves quite adept at physical and verbal
comedy, is hilarious in one scene as he frantically fumbles to
resuscitate an OD'd Puffy. In a later scene, Stiller - who I swear in
addition to his comic genes must posses some comedic elixir - wrestles
with a coked-up Puffy and gets his genitals caught in its canines.
Diaz basically plays the straight babe, a job she fills quite well.
If you ever considered Diaz simply a model who got a little too lucky
snagging choice roles, think again. She's in probably 70 percent of the
film and serves as the glue that keeps the film together. She has a
charm and smile that gives Mary that certain "Something."
The story gets crazier as the Farrellys inject odd twists and more
supporting characters. Gobs and goop full of the brothers' trademark
bathroom are in abundance. Jokes about masturbation, the mentally
disabled, and sagging breasts don't just stain the film; they lubricate
|"Jokes about masturbation, the mentally disabled, and sagging
breasts don't just stain the film; they lubricate it."
Amid all this wackiness, the Farrellys do a genius job playing off
the idea of stalking and obsession, a notion the directors hone in on
like fine laser. The film's ending continues that theme and the comic
payoff is satisfying and hilarious. Even then, the film manages to have
a little heart. There's something sweet about "Mary." Yes, the film
tells us, even the loser can still get the girl.