Tuesday, September 13, 2011
DUMB AND DUMBER
(December 1994, U.S.)
Well, I told you that the next film would be something we could all laugh at. And what better to laugh at than the insane slapstick and gross-out humor of DUMB AND DUMBER.
Let me start off by clarifying something. Over the course of this blog, I may have given the impression that I'm just too damn serious about film and not capable of enjoying some screen silliness once in a while. Not true. I have, in my course of film appreciation, enjoyed many stupid comedies. The trouble I have is that when I see today's stupid array films over the last decade like THE 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN, THE HANGOVER or any of the number of Will Ferrel-starred films, my first reaction is like, "Man, I saw all that shit thrity-some-odd years ago!" I saw it in the form of ANIMAL HOUSE, CADDYSHACK, PORKY'S and FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. If you're going to give me stupidity on the screen, at the very least give me SOMETHING I may not have seen already...something...anything!
So would I call the Farrelly brothers' DUMB AND DUMBER an example of true comedy originality? Of course not. But its premise of simply treating stupid guys like Lloyd Christmas (played outrageously by Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (played just as well by Jeff Daniels) as truly the stupid guys that they are without attempting to be sensitive or politically correct in nature is a stroke of comedic genius, in my opinion. It's a buddy movie and a road movie as our two would-be-heroes set off on a cross-country road trip in a van dressed up like a dog (the "Shaggin’ Wagon") to Aspen, Colorado ("Where the beer flows like wine.") to innocently return a suitcase to Mary Swanson (played by Lauren Holly), not knowing that the case is actually fully of ranson money that the bad guys will surely come looking for. Along the way, the two run into several misadventures, though they always manage to wriggle their way out of them. You see, even the most incredibly stupid of people can (rarely) display acts of cleverness when the need arrises. Just remember, though, that DUMB AND DUMBER is not a movie about plot. In fact, if it were anyone but crazy Jim Carrey, a movie filled with a series of instances where two men get to act like idiots would likely not hold up too long. But again, Carrey carries a role that he was born to play and he doesn't let up for even a moment of seriousness. And in all fairness to Jeff Daniels, the actor who has sported mostly dramatic roles, holds his idiotic end up well against Carrey. I can only just imagine the fun these two must have had with each other making this film. Just sitting together (mostly) naked together in a red heart-shaped tub drinking beers must have been cause for unbelievable laughter.
The timing of watching DUMB AND DUMBER was perfect for me, in a way, particularly after an entire day of solumn relfection on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Nothing keeps you in hysterical stitches like insanely-funny dialogue. And speaking of dialogue, I have to say that choosing my favorite line or dialogue for THIS one is going to be very tough, indeed, but I'll give it a go...
Favorite line or dialogue:
Lloyd Christmas: "I want to ask you a question... straight out, flat out... and I want you to give me an honest answer. What do you think the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?"
Mary Swanson: "Well, Lloyd, that's difficult to say. I mean, we don't really..."
Lloyd: " Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?"
Mary: "Not good."
Lloyd: "You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?"
Mary: "I'd say more like one out of a million."
Lloyd: "So you're telling me there's a chance...YEAH!!! I read you."