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  The Heartbreak Kid

Starring: Ben Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, Malin Akerman, Carlos Mencia

Directed by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly

Produced by: Ted Field, Bradley Thomas

Written by: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Scott Armstrong, Kevin Barnett, Leslie Dixon

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

     For as long as I have been a critic, I have supported the careers of Bobby and Peter Farrelly through thick and thin. In fact, watching their near-masterpiece of physical comedy, Shallow Hal, was one of the theatrical experiences that inspired me to write reviews in the first place. After Shallow Hal, the Farrellys went onto make Stuck on You and Fever Pitch, both of which I have come to ardently defend over the years. Despite inviting misunderstanding interpretations, these works function as rather substantial comedies, establishing at the very least that the two minds behind them are talented (if not evil geniuses).

     Alas, when bad reviews for the Farrelly Brothers’ latest effort, The Heartbreak Kid, began to stack up in the days before its release, I didn’t think much of it. Despite being admired in circles, the ingenious writer/directors have never really been universally lauded. I figured that The Heartbreak Kid would simply be another occasion on which the Farrellys’ creativity was underappreciated by critics.

     Unfortunately, the aforementioned assumption proved completely wrong. The Heartbreak Kid, while not as irritatingly obnoxious as Dumb & Dumber (the only film I regard as “awful” on the Farrellys’ resume), is downright mediocre. Everything about the movie seems plain and obvious. The Farrellys noticeably try hard to make it as over-the-top and zany as their previous efforts, but are entirely unsuccessful in doing so. Devious and boisterous as the humor in the film is, it lacks the appreciable edge that characterizes the majority of the pair’s work. Even the usually-riotous Ben Stiller is unable to conjure up a sense of hilarity in the lead role.

     Better luck next time, Bobby and Peter. Despite the unfortunate fact that The Heartbreak Kid is totally uninspired, I still love your body of work on the whole.

-Danny Baldwin, Bucket Reviews

Review Published on: 10.6.2007

Screened on: 10.8.07 at the UltraStar Del Mar Highlands 8 in Del Mar, CA.


The Heartbreak Kid is rated R and runs 115 minutes.

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