What happened? What happened to my (former) favorite comedy brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly akaThe Farrelly brothers? These two guys served the world two of the greatest comedies in the span of 5 years: Dumb & Dumber and There’s Something About Mary. They made slapstick comedy funny, they sort of defined Ben Stiller, they added fuel to the Jim Carrey fire, and they officially put Cameron Diaz on the map… okay not officially, The Mask did, but at least we knew she was funny.
It took me a minute to realize that they have another movie coming out tomorrow: The Three Stooges. I reminded myself the brothers were the guys behind Stooges and I felt bad for them. I’m never one to just dismiss someone’s work and judge something before I see it but my initial feeling is that this doesn’t look…err… good.
Anyone I’ve talked to is utterly confused about the Stooges reboot and the truth is, it’s getting harder to defend the Farrelly’s. I’m getting worried their time has come and gone, and it’s starting to seem as though people have lost faith in them. As I write this I’m well aware that I’m being very kind and I know people have lost faith in them, but I always want to defend them, I MUST, they fucking created Dumb & Dumber!
I don’t know if it’s easy to pinpoint the exact moment their movies took a turn for the worse. I feel that everyone kind of has an idea of when it happened but lets look back on the movies of the Farrelly’s. We’re going to start with awesome and work our way to current day…
The Farrelly Status:
1994: Dumb & Dumber – How awesome could this script have been to get Jim Carrey attached. At the time Carrey was coming off Ace Ventura and The Mask, and this movie just pushed him over the edge to be the first actor ever paid 20 million for a movie. I don’t need to talk about this movie any more.
Farrelly Status: These guys are on top of the world.
1996: Kingpin – Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray. Who really needs anything else in a movie? This movie coined a term I break out only to the worthy “Munsoned.” Was this movie as good as D&D, no, but this is still a pretty damn good follow up.
Farrelly Status: Still on top of the world.
1998: There’s Something About Mary – What an amazing movie. My buddy talked to me about how this is a perfect comedy and perfect script, he argued that this should have been nominated for an Oscar, and I think he’s right. This was such a hilarious film it blew up Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz. I would argue that this was the start of the whole Ben Stiller vibe - unassuming guy put in a really shitty situation. This was better than Kingping and made more money than D&D.
Farrelly Status: On the way way top of the world.
2000: Me Myself and Irene – I saw this movie with my friend Gerald and we laughed our asses off. Jim Carrey was back and he was as funny as ever, but a weird thing happened when this movie came out – It wasn’t the highest grossing comedy of the year, which everyone thought it would be, Scary Movie was. The Wayans outshined the Farrelly’s and Jim Carrey. For whatever reason this movie didn’t click like the others. One could argue this was the slight decline of the Farrelly’s… and maybe even Jim Carrey.
Farrelly Status: At this moment they’re not on top of the world anymore, just in the clouds.
2001: Osmosis Jones – Osmosis Jones!? Oh yeah, they did an animated movie. The movie BOMBED, but you have to wonder if you can blame them because it was animated. I feel that all directors who don’t specialize in animated films should sort of get a pass when they fuck up their first one; it’s the second one you have to worry about.
Farrelly Status: They’re falling below the clouds right now… but maybe it was the animation!
2001: Shallow Hal – Shallow Jack Black gets Tony Robbins-ed and sees women in a different light, specifically Gwyneth Paltrow. There was a backlash to this movie, due to the insensitive nature - it also wasn’t incredibly funny. Maybe it was Jack Black or the general idea of the movie, but something was off.
Farrelly Status: The guys are coming back down to earth right now but it’s difficult to get a gauge on them because their movies are so out there (in a good way).
2003: Stuck on You – Wait… Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear did a movie and the premise was “Conjoined twins from Martha’s Vineyard move to Los Angeles so that one of them can pursue an acting career.” WHAT!? This is where it changed for me. I remember wanting to like this movie but I just couldn’t. Bad movie that wasn’t well received.
Farrelly Status: The Farrelly’s are officially back down to earth (but still give them some credit for being out there! Right?)
Quick side note about this movie: This says a lot about the faith actors had in the Farrelley’s. It’s not as though Damon and Kinnear were unknown.
2005: Fever Pitch – And then there was this movie. Somewhat of an anomaly because they had to change the entire script midway through because the Boston Red Sox were about to win the World Series and this premise somehow hinged on the Sox.
The good thing about this movie: It was back to somewhat of a grounded tone but the bad is that it wasn’t well received. I feel that there was this lingering question that mayyybe this movie could have been better if the whole Red Sox thing didn’t screw things up, could it be? All I know is that young Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore were in this and I don’t know if they had any chemistry. It was a good try.
Farrelly Status: The Farrelly’s haven’t moved from being back down to earth, they’re just walking around now.
2007: The Heartbreak Kid – Remember this movie? Ben Stiller and Malin Ackerman. It’s about a guy who essentially shacks up with the wrong girl and realizes it on his honeymoon. Truthfully, I vaguely remember liking this movie and I kind of wish it did better. I feel that at this moment in time the Farrelly’s had been beaten around and realized they kind of needed to get their groove back, so they went back to Stiller in a Romantic Comedy.
Although this movie wasn’t bad it didn’t do well at the box office which tell us that either a) I’m an idiot and the movie sucked or b) the Farrelly’s lost their mojo entirely. I’m going to go with letter b because it made over $100 million worldwide.
Farrelly Status: The brothers are officially searching for a hit, still on the ground and have been surpassed time and time again by other comedic directors.
2011: Hall Pass – I’m going to stand by this statement: Awesome premise but a shitty movie. When I heard about this and that it’s about husbands getting a “hall pass” from their wife, I though this was going to be awesome. Not to mention it had Owen Wilson and Jason Sudekis. But, it wasn’t awesome and the entire time I was watching I was hoping it would just get better.
This film was as though you could see the grown up Farrelly brothers. As if you could see the transformation of guys who probably have families now and are a tad bit out of touch with what made them so great in the first place.
Farrelly status: They’ve become the guys who we all hope that they remember what they’re capable of. But hey, at least they can only go up from here. Oh wait…
2012: The Three Stooges – At one point Jim Carrey, Benecio Del Toro, and Sean Penn were attached to this movie. Can you fucking imagine that!? I’ve got to hand it to the guys for sticking with this film after it went through developmental hell but if the trailers are any indication of what’s to come then I’m scared.
So, it’s the stooges with 1940’s sensibility stuck in 2012? They still poke people in the eyes? I want to shake the Farrelly’s and tell them that they were the guys who elevated slapstick in the 1990’s and now in 2012 they’re regressing! You can’t go backwards! This isn’t fashion! You gotta move forward man…forward!
The only other time I’ve felt so opposed to a film is when the Smurfs was released in 2011 … and it ended up making $560 million worldwide…
Farrelly Status: Rock. Fucking. Bottom.
2013: Dumb & Dumber part 2:
Dear Farrelly brothers,
I don’t care about the missteps you’ve had in the past. Honestly you’ve had a string of bad luck and maybe people don’t understand you, maybe you still are the duo that I thought you once were. Let me tell you something, next year you’re going to make a sequel to one of the top 10 comedies of all time and no matter what, I’m going to see it on opening weekend. If you put the movie in 3D and have a cameo from the Stooges I’m going to be sitting with my popcorn watching this movie.
I say this to you out of love: If you pull off this movie I will forgive you for everything, and so will everyone else. Yes, everything.
Future Farrelly Status: Back on Top.