"Another Nerd Gets the Girl"
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY is a sophomoric, politically correct fantasy which pushes a perverse agenda while cynically masquerading as a warm-hearted love story. Ben Stiller plays the nerd whom no one liked in high school and who seemed a perfect candidate for a dead-end career pushing pencils in the filthy new R-rated movie from the Farrelly brothers. The Farrelly brothers previously made the disgusting movies DUMB AND DUMBER and KINGPIN.
Stiller plays the ugly duckling nerd, Ted Stroehman, with such affability that he makes the audience like him and want good things to happen to the poor schmuck. Ted is a dupe with no fashion sense, savior faire or a decent bottle of acne lotion, but with a kind heart.
When Mary Jensen rides into Ted’s high school, everyone notices. Mary, played by Cameron Diaz, is beautiful, breezy, foul-mouthed, and naively self-assured – every man’s sophomore fantasy. A girl is turning down Ted for the prom when he notices that people are picking on a mentally handicapped boy. Ted comes to his rescue, and the boy turns out to be Mary’s brother, so Mary whimsically asks Ted to the prom.
Ted arrives on time with his corsage but takes a bathroom break while Mary fixes her dress. He gets his tender member stuck in his pants zipper in what turns out to be a disgusting scene, with Mary’s mother and stepfather, the police, and even the fire chief all getting involved gawking at his testicles. The scene ends with Ted in the hospital.
Fast forward 13 years later. Ted is now a moderately successful writer who has managed to partially shed his nerdiness as well as his acne. Ted laments to his best friend Dom (played with aplomb by Chris Elliot) that he can’t forget Mary. Dom knows an insurance adjuster, named Pat Healy, who does private investigations on the side. Healy, a real “heel” played with just the right amount of smarminess by Matt Dillon, finds Mary but falls in love with her himself. So he lies to Ted about her and then moves to Florida from Rhode Island to woo her.
When Ted figures out that Mary is not the overweight weirdo that Pat Healy said she was, he bolts down to Florida. He faces numerous obstacles along the way, such as getting picked up by the police for murder. All of this is done with disgusting zany characters coming in and out of the storyline.
What is it about Mary that men find irresistible, besides the fact that she’s gorgeous? The movie suggests it is her kindness. Mary goes out of her way to make the unlovables of the world feel loved. She is kind to her brother and all the mentally handicapped residents of the home where he lives – handicapped people which the movie cynically mocks. She is also kind to her wacky and widowed landlady who has a crazy lovefest going with the sun’s tanning rays, her shriveled breasts and her lip-licking, private part-biting dog. She has also chosen orthopedics as her profession, ostensibly to help people.
The Farrelly brothers bring the lowbrow, dumb wackiness and struggles into cynically obscene comic light. The production values in the movie are mixed. Two serenading musicians appear throughout to lip synch a dumb ballad about Mary’s attractiveness and poor Ted’s plight. Their singing is intentionally grating.
The intentionally offensive elements in this movie are many, including continual use of the “F” word and scenes of oral perversion and extended masturbation. The movie pushes a politically correct perverse worldview with strong homosexual, pornographic and pagan elements. Racial stereotyping and racial self-hatred undergird the plot. Much of the humor involves a cynical attitude toward the handicapped who are mocked and misrepresented with an intentionally cloying paternalistic attitude that contrasts with one of the handicapped ruthlessly beating everyone who messes with his ears. Conflict resolution often results in senseless violence including: Ted punching Pat; Pat ruthlessly pushing handicapped people down in a touch football game; a dog mauling Ted and biting his private parts; Pat drugging, electroshocking and setting the dog on fire; Ted beating the dog; Ted getting his sexual member caught in his zipper; Mary’s brother ruthlessly beating Ted and others; one of Mary’s lovers pretending to be handicapped and struggling; a police detective slamming Ted’s head against desk; and, police talking about mutilation murder. Aside from pushing auto-eroticism, sexual perversities include: Mary thinks Ted’s male discharge is hair gel; Ted displays private parts caught in zipper; a couple is shown indulging in female on male oral sex and male on female oral sex; Ted’s friend has a foot fetish; a dog salaciously licks a woman’s lips; homosexual sexual activity is shown at a roadside rest stop; elderly woman fondles her own exposed breasts; Pat fondles Mary’s breasts in credit sequence; strip club dancers are displayed; and, masturbation is advocated as a dating technique. Furthermore, Pat administers tranquilizers to the dog and the drug speed to the woman and her dog. Also, marriage and family is cynically mocked.
All of this perversion is couched in a cynical, mocking kindness subtly woven into the pathetic, sophomoric romantic fantasy. Tacky and tasteless, THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY uses raunchy humor as a weapon to pervert morality, love and decency.
(R, Pa, B, LLL, VV, SSS, NNN, A, DD, PC, Ab) Politically correct romantic worldview with homosexual & pagan elements; 83 obscenities & 14 profanities; man punches man, man pushes handicapped people down, dog bites man in private parts, dog mauls man, man electroshocks dogs, man burns dog, man beats dog, man gets sexual member caught in zipper, handicapped man beats man, phony handicapped man painfully struggles with crutches, police detective slams man's head against desk, several fist fights, & talk of mutilation; woman thinks male discharge is hair gel, man displays testicles caught in zipper, foot fetish, 3 instances of partially depicted oral sex, perverse sex, dog licks woman's lips, homosexual sexual activity, breasts fondled, homosexuality advocated, voyeurism, masturbation advocated, & masturbation scene; exposed female breasts, strip club dancers, exposed male testicles, references to private parts, & elderly female breasts displayed & manipulated; alcohol use; marijuana smoking & speed administered to unknowing woman & dog; and, racist comments, homosexuality mocked, handicapped mocked, men mocked, marriage mocked, & cynical humor.
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY is a sophomoric fantasy which pushes a perverse agenda while cynically masquerading as a warm-hearted love story. Ben Stiller plays a former high school nerd named Ted who hires a smarmy private detective to find the love of his life, the kind, foul-mouthed, naïve, and beautiful Mary, played by Cameron Diaz. The detective, played by Matt Dillon, falls in love with Mary himself and tries to foil Ted's attempts to find her. Ted faces numerous other obstacles along the way, such as getting picked up by the police for murder. All of this is done in a cynical manner, with disgusting characters coming in and out of the storyline continuously.
The Farrelly brothers foist lowbrow, dumb wackiness and perversion on the movie audience. The production values in the movie are mixed. Feigning a good-natured and fun tone, the movie contians many intentionally offensive elements, including mocking the handicapped, mocking family and marriage, advocating auto-eroticism, cruelty to animals, exposing private parts, racial stereotyping and self-hatred, sophomoric lust masquerading as love, continual use of the "F" word, and scenes of suggested oral sexual perversion and gross masturbation. Tacky and tasteless, THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY uses raunchy humor as a weapon to pervert morality, love and decency.