The Heartbreak Kid (2007)
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Review Date: January 29, 2008
Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Writer: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Scot Armstrong, Leslie Dixon, Kevin Barnett
Producers: Ted Field, Bradley Thomas
Ben Stiller as Eddie
Malin Akerman as Lila
Michelle Monaghan as Miranda
Ben Stiller is a loveable loser who can’t seem to find the right girl to marry, but then one day, he runs into a girl on the street and six weeks later, they are in love, marry and take a honeymoon down to Mexico. Unfortunately for Stiller, his new wife turns out to have a few “odd” things about her, which actually turn out to be major problems, while at the same time, he runs into another nice girl at their resort. Next thing you know, Stiller starts ignoring his wife and wooing this new girl. Some comedy ensues…
This movie started out with so much promise, even before the opening credits started to roll, with Ben Stiller in the lead comedic role and the brothers Farrelly behind the camera, but unfortunately for us, it just wasn’t able to reach the heights of the movie that brought great success to all three men almost a decade ago, 1998’s THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. Sadly enough, the film starts off with a bang with a fun premise and set-up, a typical but effective “Ben Stiller as the loveable loser” introduction (the wedding scenes were hilarious) and a handful of sequences that literally made me laugh out loud (which is quite rare these days), but once the film developed the second part of its premise, things just started to fall apart. Soon after the “happy couple” arrived at their honeymoon destination, a few more moments of funniness ensued, but mostly the screenplay just took a nosedive and an extremely farfetched misunderstanding that reminded me of the great late misunderstandings from TV’s “Three’s Company” (a very popular sitcom from the…1980s!), pretty much led the entire story down the wrong path. The story didn’t really develop well after that, and things got even worse when everyone left the Mexican vacation front and returned back home with the film’s unfunniest 20 minutes apparently being saved for last.

Ultimately, the brothers seemed to be reaching for straws in the film’s final scene, and the Eva Longoria cameo felt not only out of place, but even more unfortunately…unfunny! The filmmakers actually had me believing the plausibility of most of what was happening early on, but once things got the island and Michelle Monaghan and her family got involved, a lot of unfunny and ineffective elements came into play including an annoying Mexican mariachi band, two twin brothers that brought very little to the film, and the aforementioned ill-advised “misunderstanding” subplot. Incidentally, as per most Farrelly comedies, the film also outstayed its welcome by about 15-20 minutes, and could easily have ended right after the vacation did. Incidentally, is it me or was the whole relationship between Stiller and his wife, Malin Akerman, not concluded on-screen either? What happened to her after the island? Also, is it me again or did she sound a lot like Cameron Diaz in this movie? All that said, I did laugh at a number of scenes in the film, including those featuring the Mexican concierge (played by Carlos Mencia, doing his best Cheech impression), the sex scenes played for comedy (“F*ck me like a black guy” and “Cock me!”), the back-and-forths with his friend Mac and I also enjoyed a handful of the out-of-line jokes that littered the R-rated script. But in the end, the film ran too long, didn’t really come together when things concluded, had too many musical interludes that felt “padded” and ultimately just didn’t bring enough laughter to the table, to offset all of the negatives that I’ve listed above.

That said, it might just be a solid “video movie” to check out with your better half on a lazy Saturday night, since you don’t have to pay much for it vis-a-vis a theatrical screening. You can also just forward the boring stuff and/or re-watch some of its funnier scenes (or pause that shot of the lady with the huge cans in the hot tub). Or, you can just rent THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY again and re-watch the film that featured Stiller and the Farrelly brothers hitting most of their marks out of the ballpark. If you watch this film, don’t expect much and you may not be too disappointed. Now there’s a ringing endorsement for ya!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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