Farrelly Brothers lose plot in “Heartbreak Kid”
October 16, 2007
Filed under Entertainment
What hurts comedy movies today is that the studios will show you all of the best moments in the trailer, hoping that you take the bait and go see the movie. The only way for the picture to counteract this is making sure that there are still funny moments in the movie. “The Heartbreak Kid” does do this but not by a lot.
Ben Stiller plays Eddie Cantrow, a single 40-year-old man who has never settled down because he’s afraid of what lies ahead. His father (Jerry Stiller, his real father) and best friend Mac (Rob Corddry) insist on Eddie tying the knot to someone fast. He then meets Lila (Malin Ackerman), who seems to be a down-to-earth type of girl and six weeks later, they get hitched.
They head to Cabo for their honeymoon and on the car ride, Eddie realizes Lila isn’t who she appears to be. Overbearing, obnoxious and over-sexual, she proves again and again that she isn’t the one for him.
Then he meets Miranda (Michelle Monaghan) at the resort and realizes she is the one for him. Throughout the honeymoon, he wants to break it off with Lila and tell Miranda she’s the one he’s been looking for all his life. What a predicament Eddie has gotten himself into.
Since this is a Farrelly Brothers movie, there are high hopes for this film. The trailers made this movie feel like it’s going to be another “There’s Something About Mary.” Even Ackerman looks like a young version of Cameron Diaz. All the wheels are in motion yet the comedy is uneven at best.
The jokes that did work weren’t the typical Farrelly brand. The simplistic jokes, like when Mac said he was growing out his bangs for his wife (he’s balding, now imagine that) or the insecurity Miranda’s older brother has toward Eddie, were funny and charming. When they pulled out on the crude, gross humor, like one involving bodily fluids to clear a stingray bite, they didn’t seem as funny. It seems like that has already been done.
Another thing that hurts the movie is the connections between Eddie, Lila and Miranda have to one another. Lila and Miranda are one dimensional characters. For a movie of this caliber to work, the audience has to be emotionally invested in the characters, but that’s hard to do when the characters are there just to simply move the plot along.
Stiller has a knack of going overboard with his characters in every movie. For once, he doesn’t here. He makes Eddie likable, which is hard given that this character wants to leave the woman he married hours after they got hitched. He brings charm to Eddie, which makes us feel more sympathy to him for wanting to get out of his marriage so fast.
Is this movie funny? Yes. There are four scenes that will make you laugh so hard, it’ll hurt to look back up at the screen. But does it live up to a Farrelly Brothers production? Not even close.