'The Heartbreak Kid'
When the old man is Jerry Stiller and the "son" is his own kid,
Son and father turn up together in the new version of "The Heartbreak Kid," a seriously raunched-up rendition of a
Ben Stiller is Eddie, a
Fate intervenes and Eddie, a nice guy, meets Lila (Akerman), a
A few weeks of sex-free dating later, she's about to take a job in Rotterdam, Dad and Eddie's pals push him into proposing to head that off, and next thing you know the happy couple are tooling down the freeway to Cabo San Lucas for their honeymoon.
It's a long drive. They're in a Mini Cooper. Lila knows every song on the radio, from Springsteen to The
You can imagine what happens, just as you can imagine how Stiller plays Eddie's put-upon slow-burn. You can imagine how far his eyes bug out in the hilariously explicit rough sex scenes that follow as Lila shows her man her prowess, her penchant for dirty talk and her fondness for The Swedish Helicopter.
The things you don't know about your spouse when you get married ...
Little tiffs become angry arguments, culminating with a spite-induced sunburn that leaves "nice guy" Eddie free to roam the resort bar, to meet the more-to-his-liking Miranda, a down-to-earth
That's when the movie finally settles into what it's supposed to be about, Eddie's efforts to fix this fix he's gotten himself into and court the fair Miranda (cute but bland Michelle Monaghan). And thus does all the air fizz out of this balloon.
What's funniest here is watching the Grand Old Men of The New Vulgarity hunt around for the raunchy edge that they once owned by default. The Farrelly Brothers, creators of the original "What is that hair gel?" comedy, "There's Something About Mary," hang onto some of the sardonic, hypocritical wit of Simon's dark riff on male post-marital fickleness even as they over-reach for comic shocks. They abandoned the original story's Jewishness and shiksa appeal for cheaper, easier laughs.
Five credited screenwriters later, we're treated to just the sort of version of Heartbreak we'd have expected from the star and directors of "Mary" -- very funny at times, but with the strain to be both sophisticated and vulgar showing.
There's a donkey-sex act bit, a pubic grooming goof, all "shocks" we've seen from other '90s comic filmmakers hunting for that newer, ruder mainstream.
Few of the supporting players (comic
But like much of the Farrellys' work, there's no soul to what might very well be a "Something About Mary "sequel. The heart of "The Heartbreak Kid" stops beating just about the time that Eddie excuses himself with "The heart wants what it wants."
It's not funny now, and it wasn't the first time most of us heard it. From
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