Written by: Ron Bricker
The latest raunch-fest from our beloved Farrelly brothers (Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary) is The Heartbreak Kid.
Note: I never saw the original, so I’m not basing this review on that.
The Heartbreak Kid features Ben Stiller (Meet The Parents) as Eddie Cantrow: A single middle-aged man who has always been unlucky and indecisive when it comes to love. The film opens with Eddie attending his ex-fiancé’s wedding. Jab after jab to the fact that he is alone and single, Eddie realizes that maybe he just isn’t meant to find true love and that he could be cursed with all women. But then he meets Lila (Malin Akerman, The Comeback). Lila seems perfect in everyway and the two hit it off big time. Lila is sweet, caring, and everything Eddie wants in a woman. Just as the relationship gets hot and heavy, Lila tells Eddie that she needs to move to Europe for her job, and that the only way for someone to not get sent overseas by the company, is to be married.
Cut to Eddie and Lila on their wedding day. Things seem great, and the newlyweds are now off to Mexico for their honeymoon. The moment they get in the car to travel from San Francisco to Mexico, their relationship starts to take a drastic turn for the overeager lovebirds. They realize quirks and personalities about each other that they never knew, and eventually Eddie realizes that Lila is a crazy freak and his worst nightmare. While on their doomed honeymoon, Eddie meets another woman named Miranda, portrayed by Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, MI3). Once again, he thinks he’s found true love and will do anything to hide the fact that he is actually on his honeymoon with the bridezilla. Eddie and Miranda now fall for each other and Eddie spins a web of lies to keep both women a secret, and tries to dump his new bride for his “newest” interest. And you guessed it; the web of lies eventually gets torn to shreds,
Rob Corddry (The Daily Show) adds comic relief when you are in desperate need of it, as Eddie’s hitched buddy who can’t say boo to his wife. He delivers some great lines and has a ridiculousness about him that is very entertaining to watch.
Jerry Stiller (Seinfeld) makes a fun reoccurring appearance as Doc; you guessed it, Eddie’s dad. He’s a horny old man and really just wants his son to get it on as well. Doc has a great line in the film, where he invites Eddie with him to Las Vegas to woo hot chicks. At one point during this film, I wished that the plot took that exact turn. I feel as though that would have garnered more laughs. Given Ben’s new salt-n-pepper hair-do you could probably call it The Heartbreak Geezers: Ben and Jerry. The studio would get some nice product placement with that one!
The Heartbreak Kid has that classic Farrelly “fare” with raunchy sex and innuendo, gross-out humor and “I-can’t-believe-they-just-did-that” scenes. The film does exactly what it was trained to do: Give you the shock treatment while telling a love tale with lots of T & A, and as many porn references as possible. The one thing that this film did not have, however, was that endearing quality that makes the Farrelly brothers films so appealing. Yes, Dumb and Dumber was really stupid, but you fell in love with Harry and Lloyd and couldn’t wait to see what they did or said next on their adorably clueless journey to Aspen (Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano). In There’s Something About Mary, Cameron Diaz was delightful, Matt Dillon was perfectly creepy, and Ben Stiller was the lovable “Average Joe” that he should be in any romantic lead role. He was so charming and you really rooted for his character. These days, Ben thinks he’s Tom Cruise with the bulging biceps and crowned pearly whites and yet still manages to give us the same character: “Hi, I’m Ben. I’m unlucky in love. Everybody is against me. I tell little white lies to get what I want and then they blow up in my face.” (Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, Meet the Fockers, etc…) Ben Stiller is actually much funnier when he plays a caricature of a certain being. For example the over the top gym rat White Goodman in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, or the bizarrely handsome Derek Zoolander in Zoolander. I find him to be more believable in roles that are not realistic. I guess he’s an oxymoron, in more ways than one (jumbo shrimp).
But alas, in The Heartbreak Kid I really did not give a shit whether or not Eddie found true love. And maybe when you get down to it that was the whole point.
In the end Eddie does not get the girl, (neither his “wife” Lila, or Miranda) and moves down to Mexico to open up a business. However, at that last possible second, just when you thought all hope was lost, Miranda comes running down the beach to tell him that she can’t stop thinking about him. Eddie tells her that he’ll meet her that night, then runs over to his “new wife” Eva Longoria (She embraces her Mexican roots very nicely) and tells her that they need to talk later and can’t even utter the phrase, “I love you.” (Same old shtick as before when he tried to dump Lila) SHOCKING! So in the end you get the sense that he was in fact a giant douche all along and there is no need to sympathize with the guy. Great.
I basically came out of the theatre not knowing what to think. Was I looking into it too much? Was my prude side taking over and not laughing as hard as everyone else at the queef jokes? One thing is for sure, I was, and still am, very thankful that it was a free screening. Most films are funnier when they are free anyway! 2 stars. See it for free or with friends when you are high on the devil’s lettuce, you’re going to need it!