Spotlight Film Review Hotline

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
5 Stars
Something about Cameron DiazStars: Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, Ben Stiller, Lee Evans, Chris Elliott
Directors: Peter and Bobby Farrelly
Certificate: 15
Running Time: 1hr 58mins
Opening Date: September 25

Mary had a little fan...

Warning: There’s Something About Mary is a romantic comedy with its heart in its crotch. It’s also the funniest film of the year and if you don’t mind your comedy black – with just a suggestion of sweet ‘n’ low – then you’re in for a real treat. A rollicking farce from the directors of Dumb & Dumber, the film steals the central premise of Everyone Says I Love You, in which Woody Allen wooed Julia Roberts with ill-gotten know-ledge of her likes and dislikes, and runs with it.

Mary is the sort of girl that no heterosexual guy can resist. She’s a beautiful blonde with endless legs and a disposition so sunny you could bottle it and sell it as tan lotion. But Mary also has a weakness for those less fortunate than herself and a grounded belief in honesty. Ted (Stiller) has been in love with Mary since high school. An inveterate loser, he won her heart when he stood up for her brother, a mentally retarded gorilla called Warren. She even asked Ted to the prom but he blew it when he got his privates trapped in his zipper – and he’s never seen her since.

Thirteen years have passed and Ted still can’t get the lovely Mary out of his head so, in a last ditch attempt to lay his romantic ghost – so to speak – he hires a private investigator to locate her. Pat Healy (Dillon), finds her all right, but is so smitten that he zeros in for the kill himself. Sneakily eavesdropping on Mary’s apartment, Healy swiftly works out her romantic preferences and re-invents himself as her perfect partner…

Herding a number of sacred cows into the corral of romantic comedy, There’s Something About Mary manages to be both touching and gross-out funny. Where the brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly elevated diarrhoea to a comic art form in Dumb & Dumber, here they home in on taboo areas such as masturbation, disability and canine abuse to even greater comic results. Only at the very end does the film lurch off the rails, as its extremely tenuous thread of credibility is sacrificed on the altar of out-and-out slapstick. But that’s a small price to pay for all the belly laughs that went before. Hell, even the closing credits are hysterical. James Cameron-Wilson

THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY photo copyright 20th-Century Fox
James Cameron-Wilson

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