THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY review
Love is a comedy. It always has been, the goofy friggin stories we have, will have or will hear always bring a smile and a guffaw. To me THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY is not as fictional or ludricrous as I think most will believe.
Let's face it, us guys, and you gals, all get together with our buds and swap weird love stories. These stories become the stuff of legend, the old faithfuls for those dark and stormy nights where the pillars of heaven shake and crack. The comedy of desire and lust, the comedy of loneliness and the comedy of existance, to me THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY touches a whole lot of truth. It is the type of film that causes physical injuries in the audience, it makes men cross their legs in abject horror and makes you flinch and have nervous tics, it causes a shortness of breath and some may even break out in hives.
The day that led up to THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY was a fairly routine one, nothing great was eaten, no fantastic phone calls or glorious scoops, no... actually all was fairly routine. I did watch my DVD of STRANGERS ON A TRAIN the British version, and was once again convinced that noone frames shots like Hitchcock, he makes everyone amateurs.
About three hours before the film, I put a baseball cap on backwards, it is my personal belief that this causes a temporary draining of one's IQ, I also started doing that Dave Letterman dumb guy impression. When Quint pulled up in the Orca... well he was facing the lewd and goofy Harry, the Harry that Paul dreads, the Harry that talks to Glen at 3am. I was in the mood for a stupid, slapstick ridden goofy film with a hopeful dash of Cameron Diaz nudity. Hey, don't pretend, that's why guys will flock to this film when they see the R-rating. In fact when Quint read the pass, he said, "Alright, R, that means we'll see those!," then pointed at Cameron's chest. Hey, he's a sailor.
We shoved off in the Orca, and traversed the asphalt canal called I-35 destined for TINSLETOWN way out south. Of course being the geniuses we were, we were caught at the absolute heighth of rush hour traffic, which meant an average speed of 8 miles an hour for 5 miles. Dad was in the backseat grumbling about Quint's route, Quint was bored shitless, and I was making fun of drivers on either side of the car. You know watching people and making up what they are thinking. Quint enjoys this and the 40 minute traffic delay flowed by like raging rapids of molasses.
When we finally arrived at the theater we saw no line. So we went into the new-fangled arcade part and Quint began blowing away creatures at AREA 51, and Dad and I gazed at the trailer televisions. Coool, new BUG'S LIFE trailer, the Halloween H20 trailer plays a bit flat for me, BLADE looks like it kicks ass, I'm dying to see the AVENGERS, ya know, basically we stared and had drool dripping from our faces.
Then a line formed, I read an article praising SIX STRING SAMURAI in FILMMAKER MAGAZINE and beamed with a glow of knowing what a cool experience that will be for geeks that get it. The line began stretching off in the distance and we all moved into the theater.
THERE IS NO PREQUEL TRAILER with this movie. We saw a trailer for HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK and the Drew Barrymore Cinderella movie called EVER AFTER. God, how that trailer stunk. I mean there is no magic, it's shot shoddily, the costumes look bad, performances look bad and man it just looks bad. I hate that, because I happen to love Drew Barrymore and wish her the absolute best, but whew, I mean the trailer actually caused the bulb to go out. It was that bad.
When the film restarted and Front Row Joe was flying about and such the world was ready for this film.
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY
First off I have to tell you, this movie is FUNNY. I mean I think I missed about a fifth of the film due to the fact that I was doubled over and having stomach cramps. I couldn't believe how sickly funny this flick is.
WARNING THIS REVIEW WILL NOT BE POLITICALLY CORRECT, IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE REAL WORLD AND CREATE A POLITICALLY CORRECT WORLD IN WHICH ALL IS RIGHT IN THE UNIVERSE, THEN STOP READING HERE. YOU MAY BE OFFENDED.
In life we make fun of people that are different, we laugh at them, we giggle and we snicker, it seems to be part of human nature. We control this at times, hiding it behind a stone face and a facade of disgust but ultimately deep down a lot of us can't help it. I mean being a fat guy, I know right out that well I have to put up with jokes about not being able to see my penis, or how I should cut off a slab or two to boil down for lamp-oil. But hey, I love fat jokes and am a willing recipient of such non-PC humor. In fact I'm a strong believer in the Cyrano De Bergerac defense of actually making better fun of yourself than the genius with the big mouth. So as a result, I love demeaning humor, sure it's cheap and sure it's common, but hey when I want clever, smart wit, I watch THE THIN MAN, Billy Wilder and Woody Allen. But when I want disgusting lewd humor... well ya gotta go where ya gotta go.
The film contains scenes that I can't describe for fear of ruining a sight gag. I mean it's the sort of stuff that you would laugh at for extended periods during which you may not be able to see the screen or hear what's going on. This movie begins where SOUTH PARK leaves off.
Harry, what the fuck are you talking about, I haven't a clue?
Ok ok ok, here, I'll give you an example. I have a friend, I'm not gonna specify as he would kill me, but his entire life with women is a fucking laugh riot. First off he had a very serious relationship with a woman that would remind you of William H Macy's wife in BOOGIE NIGHTS. If it had a dick she would fuck it. This friend had a traumatic time with this, that almost went the way of William H Macy's, but one thing saved him. Laughter. That distancing where you look, step back and laugh and make fun of your lot in life. Gallow's humor. At this point, every single night for months he called. A new hilarity after another. She would do psychotic things, like one time I was at his house when she came through the door like some sort of drunk porno poltergeist. She pinned him to the wall, I was sitting in a chair watching Babylon 5, and she began a strange stripping and humping action, trying to fuck him through his clothes, meanwhile the poor man looked like a worm on the hook and the evil catfish that devours all others was trying to get this poor man's worm. He protested, pointed at me, pleaded, we started laughing, she was confused but she knew what she wanted, so my friend locked her in the bathroom and we continued to watch Babylon 5, while she had a new lover, the doorknob. This friend and I howled the night away as we went through all the sexually molested objects she would rape in the bathroom. The horny monster was attacking, and we had only our humor and a 2 inch door protecting us.
This friend has it worse than anyone I have ever known. One cute girl that sat next to him in typing class cut through his cornea with a sheet of paper ripped free from the cylinder. Eyeball juice flying everywhere and emergency laser eye surgury commenced. A mere month later it happened again.
Then there is the issue of his super sperm. He doesn't go around sleeping with a lot of women, that isn't his thing. He's actually quite a passive person, but damn if the agressive 'fuck me' women don't descend upon him like catfish to stinkbait. One time a girl arrived to look at his computer, the next thing he knew he was having protected sex, he's also very cautious. Of course she was pregnant instantly. This friend is that 1% in society. He's the type that lightning strikes, and shits blood on his dog and has children fall from the sky around him. Bad things, horrible things happen at all times to this person.
When he finally found his perfect type, and was about to have sex for the first time in 6 months, his ex- the drunk doorknob humper, arrives at the front door banging away. Howling to the moon for a martian to abduct her. The Friend being afraid of the crotch-monster steered clear from the door, huddled in the far corner of his upstairs apartment. Fantastic-femme was angry, she wanted her geek dick, and thought the crotch monster wanted to take her geek dick away. Turns out Fantastic-femme was a black-belt in kickboxing and descends the stairs in the mindset of Van Damme-ing the crotch-monster. Worm-boy, can't believe his eyes as Brenda Lee descends the stairs in a single graceful Elecktra-like move. He screams, "nooooooooooooo". The Crotch-Monster hears the scream and begins humping the doorknob trying to rip the device off with her viscious crotch muscles, but when the crotch-monster see's the kung fu goddess known as Brenda Lee she runs away leaving a dripping trail of excited juice.
Yes, this friend has had it all, every sort of fucked up relationship sort of thing known to man. He is the reason why your life has been better, he attracts a vast amount of relationship and sexual nightmares. He has them all. If a tree branch swings, it hits him in the face, if a meteor falls from the sky, it kills his dog, if he's in a hurry wild beast from Africa will block his path. He has the luck of a leper, only without the dead body parts bit.
Of course I'm sure we all have our own relationship nightmares on the path to bliss. I mean I've had my encounter with my own personal crotch-monster that had guppy-child in tow. In one particular blissful evening of fun bang-bang I suddenly realized in the middle of pleasure that John Williams' score to E.T. was blasting in the background. Thus I can no longer see the movie or hear the music again without becoming aroused. It's fucked up. And this shit, this ain't nothing. Ben Stiller's character in this film goes through hell to get his Mary.
And I sympathize completely. And ultimately it's my belief that one must go through hell, to get that perfect love. Why? So ya have something to tell the grandkids about. I don't know about you, but I don't want to bump into the woman I marry at the mall, I want to meet her in a very weird experience, like at a herd of marble cows or at a film festival showing the weirdest damn films ever. In fact at both Quentin Tarantino Film Fests, I met women who I really hoped would work out. We still keep in contact, so who knows, but to me, sitting through a series of Jack Hill films, or Lucio Fulci Zombie flicks or grade Z biker flicks... well that's a perfect meeting. And in the course of the romance, if there aren't moments of 'oops' and 'uh ohs' well dammit, where the hell is the fun in that. Love should be funny, you should laugh and smile and be clumsy and fucked up. There should be a strange acoustic set in the background commenting on the direction of life. There should be accidents and injuries, there should be moments that will never be forgotten, and they shouldn't just be sunsets and smiles.
When I'm 148 and having my 1st child, I want to be able to tell the reporters about the road that brought me there. And dammit I want laughter. Laughter like there is in THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. The Farrelley brothers are dead on in this portrayl. The concepts and the moments that exist in this film, are moments that exist in reality. But the one thing that makes me feel this is their best film, is that there is an awful lot of honesty and heart in this story. The things we do and go through for love. I mean at some level we have all had that person that we always wished we had made the right move with, that girl or guy that you wish you had the guts to say something to, the one that got away. This is the film about not letting that one get away. This is about tough love, about hell and high water. Is this a classic? Well probably not, hell, that's not something for me to decide, that's for twenty years from now, but I do know that the film will cause a lot of guilty consciences to flame this flick. Meanwhile, that sick and twisted being that you locked away inside your adult brain will be bursting to take over, to make you be evil. This film just about goes as far as you can go with sight gags and still be within the confines of an R-rating. And Cameron Diaz's breasts.... heh you'll just have to wait and see what Matt Dillon sees. Ultimatly this is a film for those that want to laugh.
As for the gags, I'm gonna address one below. But, you should be forewarned, it is about a sight gag in the film, and it is very disgusting, and you may very well never want to read this, but it's one of the reasons I missed 6 minutes of the film and I'm still on an oxygen machine. Also, I suggest reading the below after you have seen the film. I really really do. Really really really do suggest you read below AFTER you have seen the film. I'm serious. Last and not least, I'm warning you. DO NOT READ BELOW AT WORK, YOU MAY BE FIRED, YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO REMAIN SEATED, YOU'LL END UP CURLED UP UNDER YOUR DESK IN A SPASTIC STATE. For your job's sake, don't read this at work. Print it, take it home, read it there, but I'm warning you. Don't read this in the job place. Ok, but I won't be held accountable for what happens to your well being. I'm sorry.
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In the film, one of the early gags is the fact that Ben Stiller catches his dick in his zipper and has to have people help him get his penis out of the threads of the zipper. Now, I don't know how this scene will play for most of the world, but for me... I missed most of it because I was in hysterics.
When I was about 8 years old, in one of those "I'm not gonna make it to the bathroom" bits I decided to take a leak in a bush. This is a normal thing for a guy to do, just whip it out and let it flow.
Then I hear my mom cry out, "What are you doing HARRY!!!????"
In a movement a billion and a half guys make a day, I was shaking and stuffing it away and pulling the zipper at the same time. Because it was very important that I turn around and tell my mother, "Nothing!!!" But ya know, if a billion and a half guys are all doing the same thing, then sometimes... sometimes something gets caught in the threads.
I was that unlucky son of a bitch on that terrible fucking afternoon in 1978. All of a sudden a flash of agonizing boiling rotting razor blade death gripped my penis. I was in mortal pain, death would soon follow.
My mother... my FUCKING mother comes running to help me. When she saw... she let out an equally agonized death rattling scream of "JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
My father, my FATHER comes to my side. Meanwhile I'm rolling on the ground covering the wound, knowing it was a prelude to death. My father pulls my hands away as I babble in tearful agonizing hysterics, "no no it's alright it's alright, god ouch it hurt help help help fuck fuck fuck, damn help me, doctor doctor, need a doctor, oh gawd, i'm dying i'm dying." With each word the voice got louder and higher.
Then my father touched the thingee you grip to pull up or down your zipper. A new level of pain, convulsing alien piercing my chest but through my crotch, blasts me to a level I can't even begin to describe. I've had two nails in one knee once, that was nothing. It was nothing. I fell from a tree, about three floors up, and that was nothing. I was runover by a 1200 pound dolly of film merchandise and partially paralyzed for months. That was nothing. This, this was agonizing death. This is what it's like to have your penis in a zipper thread. Then I hear my father say to my mother, "Get the pliers"
"OH NO, NO DAD NO, NOT THE PLIERS!!!!!!!!!! OH GOD OH GOD, NO NO NO NO NO PLIERS!!!!! DADDY, YOU LOVE ME, NOT THE PLIERS NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"
He was trying to be reassuring he told me this happened to him once, that it won't hurt long.
Long? Does that mean it would be all over soon, as in Death in whatever fashion it may choose to disguise it's self was upon my penis? The pain was numbing away, it wasn't like molten lead being poured on my penis anymore, it was actually more like dry ice. Then I saw the PLIERS. There is no other tool of destruction quite as evil looking as a pair of pliers when your penis is stuck in a zipper. Even now I can remember the medical shine of those chromey pliers, the jagged teeth, the criss-cross hatches of the grip. My dad took them from my mother, and then said, "HOLD HIM DOWN!"
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
A mental agony coarsed through my body, the concept of there needing to be physical force to restrain me from being able to protect my own penis, ohhhhh this ain't right, this ain't the way it's supposed to be. That's when it happened, the thingee was in the grips of the PLIERS.
(coldly and with a measure of calmness)
Harry, on the count of three I'm gonna pull it down.
My eyes were an ocean of agonized tears.
You know that scene in Armageddon when Bruce's life passes before his eyes? When James Spader walked through the Stargate? When Han pulled that thing back in the Falcon? When Boris Karloff said, "WE BELONG DEAD?" When.... ohhhhh you get it.. Yeah.... There is pain, and then there is PAIN. There is no comparison between the two words. A bazillion nerves exist on the end of the human penis, I really advise never catching it in a zipper thread. Just call that a little bit of worldly wisdom from Harry to you.
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Aug. 2, 1998, 3:46 a.m. CST
why can't i get someone like mary? i know cameron diaz is impossible for a barely legal guy like myself but why cant there be cool girls like "mary" around here. with that much trust, i could overcome being a geek long enough to create my own movie. don't you agree? p.s. i am scared of "ever after" -- (as quoted on www.mrcranky.com) mr_streamofconsciousness
Aug. 10, 1998, 5:53 p.m. CST
Harry this review was insane. That was one of the coolest things I have ever read. At least as funny as the movie if not more so.
Aug. 13, 1998, 9:16 p.m. CST
your review was so funny i just had to go and see the film. i have never laughed sooooooooo much. i can vividly recall certain scenes that make me crack up laughing no matter where i am. it was so brilliantly politically incorrect which is such a change from all the serious movies around. i just wanted to see a film that made me laugh and im still getting my monies worth. when the film finished my friends and i recalled that "classic" scene and burst out laughing uncontrollably. the entire theatre knew what we were laughing about and joined in!
Aug. 14, 1998, 7:25 p.m. CST
by Stu Frederick
If this movie proved anything to me, it is that a couple of inspired NPC gags do not make for an entertaining evening, even with the lovely and talented Ms. Diaz' delicious attributes thrown in. It was poor cinema. And MAN this was poor. This movie had no identity. It had bad writing. It was all over the map; inconsistent tone throughout. I could have laughed all night at Ben Stiller as the character who goes bawling out of the apartment near the end IF that had been the character that they had used through the movie. But it was something new thrown in that had no support from earlier in the film. It was confusing. I don't care how goofy the film is, you need character development. You need to support running gags. You need to decide what level you want your audience to be on and keep them there. There was just too much bullshit dialog and farting around and bad guidance for non-veteran actors by a couple of assholes who THINK they can make movies. Sorry, there are high kids thinking up better stuff than this. There was ONE GUY laughing in our theater. I am not alone.
Aug. 14, 1998, 7:38 p.m. CST
by Stu Frederick
Harry, I wanted also to concur with the above comments: your review is particularly entertaining (much more than the movie in this case!). Yes, most of us have that time when "it" happened. Today we can laugh... but we think about it now, and move a little slower whenever it's time to ZIP up. Talk about a traumatic experience!
Aug. 15, 1998, 9:41 a.m. CST
Ben Stiller is a genius. God damn, he's a funny sonofabitch. Not only did I find the film amusing, and Cameron Diaz a delight, and my main man Matt Dillon a pearl, I cast my vote for Ben Stiller as Hollywood's best and brightest. He is the man in film. Forget about Leonardo, forget about those nice boys from Boston, Ben Stiller takes the prize. And his father is Mr. Costanza! If ever someone had street-cred, it's Ben Stiller.
Aug. 25, 1998, 9:18 a.m. CST
by Holly Palmer
Dear Harry: Thanks so much for making my day. I read a couple of reviews and found your insight into movies incredibly funny, sharp and dead on. It took huge amounts of will power for me not laugh like a lunatic while sitting at my desk. Have a great day. ~Hollywood
Sept. 8, 1998, 7:16 a.m. CST
I've been checking out this site for a while now, and up until now you've always felt the same way I have about different movies, etc. However I can't believe you didn't like the Ever After trailer, and I'm wondering if perhaps you saw a different one than was released mainstream. To me, it was the most incredible trailer I've seen in a while. Their use of music was overpowering, the Loreena McKennit song fit perfectly. I truly can't believe you didn't enjoy it as much as I did, considering that, as I said, we usually feel the same about movies. But, to each his own...
Sept. 8, 1998, 8:26 a.m. CST
I laughed about 5 times. There weren't enough laughs. Far and few between. Some scenes really fell flat. You'd think that they could have done something like "Airplane" or "Naked Gun" and put in more gross out (low brow) humor, but they didn't. It wanted to be 2 different movie. The "conventional" part of it was so poorly written and boring, while the gags were really funny. They sort of cancelled each other out, making it a rather mediocre flick. Sure, I'd rent it.
Jan. 1, 2000, 11:39 p.m. CST
by The Paladin
I have to admit that the writers/producers/director whomever they may be, are geniuses. They managed to capture and describe perfectly every single detail of the emotional experience of, well what happened in the movie, which is something that EVERYONE goes through in their lives. In high school, I was used to getting rejected. In my senior year, I fell in love (she somehow tolerated my presense, I was always hanging around her looking like an idiot); at the graduation party, after I had lost a game of blackjack she told me "unlucky at cards, lucky at love". Being the geek that I am I thought if that were true, 5 min in Vegas would lead to retirement, and just casually walked away. It took me 3 YEARS to figure out WTF she was saying. I fucked up so much worse than even stillers character. The movie was so painful that I could not watch the last half hour, and immediatly began to become suicidal. I haven't killed myself yet, but that movie REEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAALLYYYYYYYYYY FUCKING HUUUUUUUUURRRRRTTTTTS
March 24, 2004, 10:38 p.m. CST
I would never wear Jeans again after such an accident as that.
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