Movie Mind Says:  Wait For PPV

If You Like This You Should Watch:  License to Wed, Duplex
Better Than:  Mystery Men
Worse Than:  There’s Something About Mary, Stuck on You

The Heartbreak Kid

Starring: Ben Stiller, Jerry Stiller, Michelle Monaghan

With a tagline that reads, “Love Blows”, The Heartbreak Kid almost makes it too easy for The Movie Mind to use a variation of it for a witty tagline of this review. Never above the occasional cliché, here it goes: “This Movie Blows”.

Now that the uproarious laughter has subsided, please allow me continue with the review. I was painfully disappointed with this film, brought to us by the Farrelly brothers, after having given us such gems as Dumb & Dumber, Kingpin, and There’s Something About Mary. We all know going into these movies that the plot may be paper thin, but in terms of enjoyment it won’t matter; we will be falling out of our seats with laughter and in shock at the lengths they are willing to go in order shock us with the gross humor. Sounds like a guaranteed hilarious dumb-comedy, right? As we’ve learned in this crazy movie game, nothing is guaranteed.

Ben Stiller plays an aging sporting goods store owner who just hasn’t found the love of his life yet. He plays his typical “lovable loser” role early on in the film, but ultimately reveals himself as just a jerk. He marries a girl he has only known for 6 weeks, but only realizes how terribly annoying she is on their honeymoon. I’m sorry, did he go on any dates with her in 6 weeks? She seemed extremely annoying and I find it hard to believe she could have hidden it all for that amount of time. Of course the rest of the movie plays out just as predictably as you would guess, which is ok IF the script is funny enough to carry it. Unfortunately the movie loses the audience early on and never brings them back.

Jerry Stiller provides most of the limited comedy as Stiller’s crude father. I know it is a stretch to pull off that role, but somehow he is able to do so. I don’t know how we are supposed to believe the transition of Malin Akerman from Ben’s dream-girl to nightmare wife, even though she does her best to try and pull it off. We are taken through the trenches during their honeymoon as one idiotic story after the next picks up steam and eventually becomes the lone storyline. Natually, he finds another girl who he thinks is “the one”, and spends the next 40 minutes (movie time) hiding the fact that he’s on is honeymoon. Then he’ll spend the last 20 minutes in movie world convincing her it wasn’t a big deal that he was on is honeymoon and fell in love with her. It’s just too paper-thin to be able to keep us interested when the comedic dialogue is far from where it should be.

The bottom line is that Stiller can’t carry a comedy on his own. In Zoolander, Starsky & Hutch and Meet the Parents he had Owen to help keep the one-liners flowing; In Along Came Polly he had Mr. Seymour Hoffman; and in Dodgeball he had Vince. I think he can be quite an amusing actor to watch in these types of comedy movies, but he doesn’t have enough to do it on his own.

The Movie Mind has been looking for something to get out of the doldrums of bad attempts at comedy lately. I was hoping this might have been a movie to pull me out. Instead, it only reinforced the problems and sunk me lower. Shame on you, Farrelly’s.

Submitted 2-13-08

Memorable Quotes:
Doc:
Okay, cat’s out of the bag. My son found your panties on the sidewalk and we’ve been talking about you all week. Eddie, give her back her undies.

Mac: Happy wife, happy life!

2 Comments

  1. Yeah, that movie was so terrible. One of the worst I’ve ever seen. I’d vote for “Don’t wait at all” instead of “Wait for cable.”

    You’re totally on the money about Stiller. Whenever he has his own movie, he comes across as kinda scummy rather than funny.

  2. in the Heartbreak Kid, their case for making Stiller’s first wife into an annoying monster, etc. was totally un-convincing… it made him look all the more like a lame-o

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