50% of marriages nowadays end in divorce...20% of this movie lacks laughs...100% of this movie lacks morality and heart
The Farrelly brothers have had a successful history, but their bestwork was past them a long time ago. Dumb and Dumber and There'sSomething About Mary are among the two funniest comedies of all-time,and put the brothers at the peak of stardom. However, their trackrecord afterwards is a heavily mixed bag; you find your underrated gems(Osmosis Jones, Fever Pitch) and then your disasters (Shallow Hal,Stuck on You). The Heartbreak Kid is their attempt to reach back intograde-A stardom like back in the late 90s. Joining with old friend BenStiller, they attempt to successfully recreate an old Neil Simon storyabout a man who has second thoughts about his marriage during hishoneymoon. What we get is a cruel, twisted, vulgar, outrageous, andbittersweet movie that tramples over morality and messes around withthe typical romantic comedy formula. Unfortunately though, the crueltyin this movie prevents it from being anywhere near romantic. While theFarrelly brothers crafted their best work since Osmosis Jones, this isstill nowhere near as good as their comedies of the previous decade.
Heartbreak Kid is about Eddie (Ben Stiller), a lonely man who meets awoman (Lila, played by Malin Akerman) during a random encounter, andafter a few weeks believes that she is the perfect woman for him.However, right after the wedding, another side of his perfect woman isrevealed, and is slowly but surely becoming a nightmare come true.Despite their honeymoon being in a beautiful portion of Mexico, thehoneymoon is a disaster as Eddie struggles to survive being with hisnew wife. Worst of all, during the honeymoon he meets another woman,Miranda (Michelle Monaghan), who seems to be absolutely perfect forhim. In this cruel script, nobody is the hero, and seemingly everybodyis the victim in some way or another. Nobody is safe in the movie;which makes this story perfect for the Farrelly Brothers.
Ben Stiller seems to play the same kind of role multiple times, as hehas a similar presence to that of his character in There's SomethingAbout Mary and Along Came Polly. The only difference is, he's a bitmore sinister and a much bigger jerk. His new wife is portrayedperfectly by Malin Akerman, who isn't afraid of embarrassing herself orshowing off her body. Their physical humor together creates the biggestlaughs in the movie. The most desirable character by far comes from thebest performance; Michelle Monaghan of Mission Impossible fame deliversthis charming, sweet performance as the adorable and beautiful Miranda.Everyone else did a decent job, with Jerry Stiller in a throwaway roleas Eddie's father and Carlos Mencia (surprisingly funny) as a managerof the hotel in Mexico.
This movie's biggest flaw is its obvious attempts to re-create thesurprise vulgarity and bittersweet content of There's Something AboutMary. It worked back then, but it has trouble now, simply because thecharacters are not as likable, and the movie lacks heart. In Dumb andDumber, you knew that they weren't meant to get that dream girl, buttheir persistence and their kindness (hidden underneath theirstupidity) allows for the audience to root for them regardless. InThere's Something About Mary, the main character goes to great lengthsto find Mary and attempt to be with her; it became a raunchy andbizarre hero's journey. In this movie, the main character selfishlymarries, and tramples over other people (emotionally mind you) in orderto find his actual soulmate; making him not a necessarily likablecharacter.
In spite of the lack of heart, you will find the laughs, no denyingthat. The new wife from hell routine was spoiled far too much in thepreviews, yet was still enjoyable. Unfortunately, once again,misdirection keeps Heartbreak Kid from being funnier than it could havebeen. After a while, Lila practically disappears from the movie,focusing more on Eddie's budding romance with Miranda. The moviemellows down once Lila is out of the way, and then we see a train wreckwaiting to happen for about half an hour. If you are a fan of There'sSomething About Mary, there will be plenty to laugh about, but none ofthe content is rich or deep; most of the funniest scenes happens to begross-out and shock humor. One unique thing in Heartbreak Kid is prettycrappy special effects, which makes it worse for this kind of moviebecause these kinds of movies do not use much special effects, if anyat all. Soundtrack also isn't as catchy or as fun as other FarrellyBrothers movies, especially Dumb and Dumber.
Bottom Line: Heartbreak Kid is funny, but its not an instant classic,nor is it a type of movie to take a date to. While it is not aspainfully disastrous as Good Luck Chuck, it still pales in comparisonto recent adult comedies and early Farrelly efforts. Ben Stiller stillprovides the laughs through his physical humor and his ability toperfectly portray a man mentally breaking down. However, this movie hasmajor morality issues and then really slows down once the romancebuilds up, yet we aren't rooting for anybody because everyone is guiltyof lying, deceiving, and worse (except for one character). Thedirectors are somewhat on the right track back to their glory days, butstill have a longs way to go. They also really need to grow up and tryto fray away from the gross humor, something that Mike Myers suffersfrom. Looking for laughs? Look no further. Looking for an amazing film?Keep looking.