What’s funnier than infidelity? Anyone?
The Heartbreak Kid is about just that. But instead of taking the high road, directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly stoop to pee-pee jokes and over-the-top sexual snafus.
In other words, all the sweet, comic nuances that put the 1972 original on AFI’s top 100 list of best comedies are stripped in favor of shock value and raunch.
Ben Stiller plays Eddie, a 40-year-old whose luck with women seems to have run out until he meets the cute, bubbly blonde Lila (Malin Akerman). Against his own better judgment, he proposes to avoid losing her. They marry and head off for a honeymoon in Cabo.
Lila becomes unbearable almost immediately. So, it’s lucky for Eddie that she gets terribly sunburned their first day on the beach and he’s free to romance Miranda (Michelle Monaghan), a cute brunette on vacay with her Mississippi family.
Now, in the original film, Eddie (actually Lenny) isn’t so much a sleazeball as a man who discovers he hasn’t made the right choice in women. And Lila, while pushing his buttons, isn’t so unbearable that the audience lets out a sigh of relief when she’s offscreen.
Here, however, Eddie is a sleazeball and Lila is psycho. So you can’t really relate to or feel sorry for either one of them.
Perhaps one of the best roles is played by Ben Stiller’s father, Jerry Stiller. He’s a dirty old man who’s constantly encouraging his son to go out and get some booty (insert dirtier words here) and it’s hard to keepfrom laughing whenever he’s on screen.
Carlos Mencia has a periodically comical role at the resort, but basically he’s there to be the punch line for a string of bad Mexican jokes.
As far as Farrelly brothers in-your-face comedies are concerned, The Heartbreak Kid doesn’t come close to stacking up to There’s Something About Mary. But it does have its moments. Unfortunately the only ones that come to mind are probably best left as surprises