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There's Something About Mary (1998)
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Review Date: July 16, 1998
Director: Bobby and Peter Farrelly
Writer: E. Decter, J. Strauss, B. Farrelly, P. Farrelly
Producers: F. Beddor, M. Steinberg, B. Thomas, C. Wessler
Actors:
Cameron Diaz
Ben Stiller
Matt Dillon
Plot:
High-school nerd Ted gets lucky when the cutest girl in his class asks him to the prom. Unfortunately for Ted, he accidentally gets a part of his male anatomy (ouch!) caught in his zipper, and misses the big night. Thirteen years later, Ted still can't get Mary out of his mind, and hires a private detective (Dillon) to find her. Once found, it turns out that Mary has more than one suitor, and that's when the real fun begins.
Critique:
Likeable comedy with a few extremely funny scenes, some funny looking people, and a plot that won't ever put you to sleep. Having said that, I must admit that I did like the Farrellys' two previous films more than this one, but that is saying a lot, since I really did love those earlier pics. This one is also quite funny, but it didn't really blow me away like the others. Then again, maybe my expectations were too high. Then again, maybe I should shut up, and write a little more about the film, and less about my supposed subconscious reasons for liking/disliking the film.

Continuing where their other pictures left off, the Farrellys' create a cutesy world of people with strange and endearing qualities, and a simple plot by which to tie them all together. This one also includes plenty of toilet humour, but also some borderline fun-making of the disabled and mentally-challenged. I must admit that I really wasn't sure whether to laugh at some points or not. Not a good place to be. Having said that, the scenes that did tear through the audience, and yours truly, were extremely hilarious, and went on for several minutes after the punchline. The laughter practically killed out the next scene for one of the best ones in the movie (something to do with hair gel).

On the negative end, I did not like the musical interludes of Jonathan Richman that ran through the entire picture. I found them quite useless, unfunny and distracting. Also, I found that a lot of the funnier scenes had already been shown in the film's trailer. And of course, I never quite buy the fact that these beautiful, intelligent, single women still can't seem to find the "right guy" (see KISS THE GIRLS (7/10). I did really like all of the actors in the film, especially Ben Stiller, who appears to be solidifying his mark as a great comical actor with this picture and one of my favourites from 1996, FLIRTING WITH DISASTER (9/10). I also liked Matt Dillon with his big teeth, and Lee Evans with his superb faux-sympathy British accent. Funny stuff. Also, make sure that you stay for the credits, because there is an entire montage of outtakes from the film that plays under a lip-synched version of "Build me up buttercup", which is really cool. Overall, a cute comedy with a decent premise, and a few particularly hilarious scenes.
(c) 2014 Berge Garabedian
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