.

The Heartbreak Kid

Ben Stiller, Michelle Monaghan, Malin Akerman

Directed by Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
October 5, 2007

It'll probably ring box-office bells, but this hit-and-miss attempt by the Farrelly brothers to up their own ante on crude smacks of comic desperation. If There's Something About Mary reps the F boys, Bobby and Peter, at their hilarious high tide, The Heartbreak Kid barely rises above the shoals of Shallow Hal and Stuck on You. For starters, there's no one to root for. Mary had Cameron Diaz at her sunshine-sexy sweetest. Kid features Diaz clone Malin Akerman as the blond bombshell Ben Stiller's Eddie snags as a bride. Before you can say "lucky dude," Akerman's Lila reveals herself as a shrill sexual carnivore with a fat mother, an S&M streak and pubic hair that grows like wildfire. The pube wig is a gimmick meant to match the semen Diaz wore as hair gel in Mary. Hmm, don't think so. I also don't think this remake even tries to match the dark wit and social satire in Elaine May's 1972 original, which Neil Simon adapted from a Bruce Jay Friedman story.

The plot device is the same: A guy falls in love on his honeymoon, but not with his wife. Thirty-five years ago, Charles Grodin starred as the Jewish groom who longed to dump his plain brunet wife (Oscar nominee Jeannie Berlin) for a blond shiksa goddess (Cybill Shepherd). The Farrellys dump the culture clash and further switch gears by making the blonde the bride and the object of desire the brunette Miranda, hardly plain in the person of the luscious Michelle Monaghan. When a severe sunburn sidelines Lila from her Mexican honeymoon, Eddie (Stiller finds little in the role to challenge him) hangs with the low-key Miranda and her Southern family, of course telling no one that he's married. As Eddie tries desperately to keep Lila and Miranda from their inevitable meeting, the laughs are meant to come tumbling down. And sometimes they do. The actors are skilled farceurs, including Jerry Stiller, Ben's dad, playing the father who wants only that Eddie should be out bagging babes. But the Farrellys soon reveal all the characters to be deeply shallow, in constant search for instant gratification. May's film found the heartbreak in the kid. The Farrellys settle for cheap jokes built exclusively to shoot down easy targets.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    • Child of God
      star rating
      Well Go USA Entertainment
    • lucy
      star rating
      Universal Pictures
    • star rating
      IFC Films
    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Madame George”

    Van Morrison | 1968

    One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com