Here’s the problem. Have you ever been at a party standing in a circle of 5 to 10 people and someone tells a funny story complete with funny accents and it’s just not funny? The person telling the joke is roaring and apparently the only one genuinely laughing? Your face winces as you stare at the floor in the uncomfortable silence from the other party goers. You could hear a pin drop if it wasn’t for the storyteller’s laughter. This perfectly describes the “humor” of DUMB AND DUMBERER: WHEN HARRY MET LLOYD.
This PG-13 movie is clearly geared toward teenagers and adults, but, if you strip away all the adult language and situations, you’d basically have a caper written in the most prestigious of Scooby-Doo traditions. You can guess a Scooby Doo plot in the first three notes of the theme song. Same here. There must be lots of people who’ve wondered how the DUMB AND DUMBER duo first met in life, since millions of dollars were sunk into this thing (a lot of careers probably just went south).
DUMB AND DUMBERER takes place in 1986 in the Providence, Rhode Island high school where Harry and Lloyd grew up. The two meet over slapstick circumstances, and the Three Stooges humour does not abate for 82 minutes. The audience sees how Lloyd Christmas chipped his tooth. (By the way, you can see the black ink makeup on the actor’s tooth.) The two become unwitting participants in a scheme cooked up by a greedy yet inept principal, played by Eugene Levy, and his lunch lady girlfriend, played by Cheri Oteri of TV’s SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, who try to embezzle money from a scholarship fund given to high schools with special needs classes.
Harry and Lloyd are assigned to wander the school halls looking for people as “special” as they are to fill the class. A punk rock bully, an exchange student, a jock who hasn’t recovered from a head injury, the list goes on. When they discover, with the help of the attractive school paper journalist, that they’ve been duped, the revenge is sweet. It’s all obviously not supposed to be high brow.
The original DUMB AND DUMBER was the creation of the Farrelly brothers whose other comedy gross-out cult classics include THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY and KINGPIN. Whatever your opinion are about the aforementioned films, the Farrellys never came within a thousand miles of this one, and it shows.
There is absolutely no coherent message to this movie. The bad content includes gross-out humor, many crude sexual innuendoes, and about 37 obscenities and profanities, mostly in a scene with, of all people, Bob Saget throwing a tantrum. It’s a little uncomfortable watching the TV father of the Olson twins lose it like that. Then there’s the sexual fantasy Lloyd has about women kissing each other. Finally, viewers are led to believe that Harry turned out the way he did because of home schooling, a politically correct message if there ever was one. All in all, this one is worthy of ignoring unless you have a strong craving for 82 minutes of please make it go away.
Please address your comments to:
Robert Shaye & Michael Lynne
New Line Cinema
116 North Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 854-5811
Fax: (310) 659-3568
SUMMARY: DUMB AND DUMBERER: WHEN HARRY MET LLOYD is a prequel telling how Harry met Lloyd and became friends, just in time to foil a plot by their shady high school principal. It’s an unfunny, cringe-inducing 82 minutes containing plenty of foul language and crude sexual innuendoes.
(PaPa, HoHo, PCPC, LLL, VV, SS, N, A, D, M) Pagan worldview, depicted homosexual content and innuendo, and politically correct attack on homeschooling; about 24 obscenities, 13 light profanities, passing gas, and people think gobs of chocolate and mud are feces; slapstick violence includes teenagers run into one another, dog chases one character, football player runs into goalpost and a wall, explosion, car crashes, hitting heads, crotch hittings, and slappings; depicted lesbianism, implied fornication, passionate kissing, birthing scene, and much sexual innuendo, including homosexual jokes; female cleavage, rear male nudity, and women in bikinis; alcohol use; smoking; and, embezzling and deceit rebuked.
GENRE: Numskull Comedy