Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Question for the Week of Mar 24-30: A Dumb & Dumber Sequel?

Well, it makes sense from a few different perspectives: (1) Dumb and Dumber was a huge success; (2) people still remember the title, that it starred Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, and that the movie itself was damn funny.

I have to give them credit for the title, Dumb and Dumber To, because that is actually funny. Also, Uproxx picked up on Daniels and Carrey tweeting the posters, which are also actually funny. However, despite the return of the Farrelly brothers, this approach ignores a lot of really basic facts - facts that would make people with good taste shy away from this project. Let's recount them now, shall we?

First, DaD set up the Farrelly brothers' success. They really nailed it four years later with There's Something About Mary, but the critical and box office response for their work since then has been a matter of diminishing returns. Me, Myself, & Irene, Osmosis Jones, Shallow Hal, Stuck on You, Fever Pitch? They took a two year break, then a four year break. None of these really mirrored their earlier hits, and their 2012 The Three Stooges movie was not universally loved, either.

Second, comedy and society and whatnot are totally different today than they were in 1994. Is anyone sure that the same type of comedy would play as well in this post-Juno, post-Borat, post-Hangover world?

Next, there was an attempt at a new film in the franchise. It came out in 2003, it was a prequel with different actors, writers, and directors, and it failed miserably. And I won't discuss the 1995 cartoon series for TV at all. So at one time, it's been too long, and yet there's still a bit of oversaturation.

Finally, it is going to be quite difficult to pass this effort off as anything other than a cash grab. Yeah, foreign box office figures may well outweigh any failure here in the States, but that's become too typical an excuse lately.

Now, I have to admit, I can easily recall my own reactions to Dumb and Dumber at the time of its release. I first looked forward to it, then got so annoyed by the constant ads that I didn't want to see it. But, friends convinced me to go on opening night, and I basically laughed harder than I had at almost any theater visit in my life.

It's entirely possibly that this cast and crew could strike gold again. It's at least as likely, for me, as it was the first time. But I have to admit that I am not optimistic at all about this latest case of sequel-itis.

Given how much time has passed, the idea of seeing more of Harold and Lloyd's misadventures seems even less necessary. Let's keep in mind that these guys are so dumb, it borders on laughing at people with very low IQs - and that's far less funny with characters who are exiting middle age. Carrey was 32 in '94, and Daniels was 39; I don't like that math.

And, since the existence of the picture needs to be justified quite strongly, Dumb and Dumber To will have to be terribly, terribly funny. While that could happen, I hate giving a film odds like that, or having such preconceptions, but there you have it.

Farbeit for me to say I'll age well, but Carrey's neck and eyes look a little odd with the same exact haircut; Daniels looks a little puffy, but s--t he's nearly 60. I do like that the premise taps into the slightly nasty side of these two lugs who sold a dead bird to a blind boy:
Harry and Lloyd head out in search for one of their long lost children in the hope of gaining a new kidney.



  1. I remember seeing the first DaD in theaters(actually saw it twice because it made me laugh so much!) but do have some doubts regarding this well long after the expiration date sequel.

    My taste for the Farrelly brothers soured pretty quickly after that. Never found Something about Mary to be that hilarious(I laughed only once the one and only time I saw it) and somewhat liked Me,Myself and Irene but beyond that,nada. Maybe this follow-up will bring back the good old days for those guys but I think that waiting for the Netflix rental or cable viewing will work best for me.

    1. Yeah, M,M, & I was a bit off-putting, and I couldn't watch more than 20 minutes of Hal or Stuck (although the latter had a couple of decent qualities). I don't think the Farrelly brothers have lost it like the Wachowskis did, but I can't have high hopes for this one.

      All I can say about Mary was that I saw it with great company (as I did DaD), and that I really enjoyed the hell out of it. It came out in that period before Ben Stiller was growing tiresome and it worked for me.

      If this sequel gets great reviews, I will see it in a theater. If it doesn't, I won't ever watch it at all, probably. I'm just too busy...


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