Peter & Bobby Farrelly
Ben Stiller reunites with the directors of his smash hit There’s Something About Mary for this remake of Elaine May’s 70’s film starring Charles Grodin as the new groom who marries Bridezilla only to meet Ms. Right on his honeymoon. Based on a Bruce Jay Friedman short story and adapted by Neil Simon for the original darkly comic, uncomfortable cautionary tale of matrimonial mayhem, the Farrelly brothers remake spends so much time trying to inundate audiences with gross one-up-manship between the lead characters and hip back-and-forth that feels inauthentic especially when a brilliantly funny comedian like Jerry Stiller is reduced to dialogue that sounds like clichéd rap lyrics, that it forgot how to endear its wackiness to the audience the way that Mary did more than a decade ago. While admittedly, with the Farrelly stamp one knows they will be served up crass over class, the juvenile behavior and misogynistic proceedings annoy us to no end as Eddie (Stiller), a forty year old sporting goods store owner in San Francisco attends his ex-fiancé’s wedding and realizes that it may be time for him to put away his irrational commitment phobia and settle down. Unfortunately for Eddie (as well as for the audience), he takes up with Lila (Malin Akerman), a deceptively bubbly and beautiful young woman who at first seems much too good to be true after Eddie intervenes during a mugging, only to find himself proposing after just six weeks to prevent the environmental researcher from moving to Rotterdam for two years. Once en route to their honeymoon in Cabo, red flags are raised when the sing-along happy Lila first amuses her new husband with her passion for accompanying every tune that plays on the radio but after hours of singing at the top of her lungs, has begun to wear on his nerves. The couple doesn’t fare much better in the bedroom with Lila’s frightening theatrics that have him worrying about his safety and when disturbing secrets begin tumbling out of Lila’s mouth regarding her true employment status, background, and some questionable health and moral issues, Eddie realizes he’s gotten in way over his head.
Of course, it’s around this time that he meets Miranda (Mission Impossible 3’s Michelle Monaghan), the friendly southerner on vacation with her entire brood for a family reunion and after the two begin bumping into one another, a flirtatious spark ensues and soon Eddie has found himself in the middle of an unlikely honeymoon love triangle. Jerry Stiller, who plays his real-life son Ben’s dad onscreen warns Eddie in one of many sexist speeches early on that “funny is a male gene,” citing that women who are funny are usually mannish but what neither he nor the Farrelly brothers realize is that by making fun of our leading lady Akerman to such a ridiculous extent as they do in the film in order to have us laugh at her rather than with her, not only are they revealing their own misogynistic tendencies but just how unfunny men like Eddie (who we’re hoping isn’t indicative of the Farrellys) can be as well.