Anthony's Film Review

There's Something About Mary (1998)

A humorous romantic comedy about a woman as the object of multiple affections...

Here's a question for you. Have you ever fallen in love as a teenager? If so, have you ever been so close to winning her heart only to have the date end in total disaster? Even if you answer yes to both questions, be glad you're not Ben Stiller in There's Something About Mary. He plays a guy named Ted who, early in the film, is a high school boy all dressed up for his big date with Mary (Cameron Diaz). Things seem to go well until a very embarrassing thing happens. After urinating, Ted zips up and gets his penis stuck in the zipper.

A situation like this can gross you out, make you laugh, or both. That's the kind of humor that directors Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly (the "Farrelly brothers") go for. I knew this when I saw the trailer for this movie. What I didn't know is that it's not entirely a dumb comedy. There is plenty of heart and intelligence in the story. There's Something About Mary is one of those movies where something you don't expect comes out to surprise you.

Let me go back to the plot by asking this next question. Have you ever continued to think about that same special someone years later? If so, have you ever gone as far as hiring a private investigator to track that person down? That's what Ted does when he asks Pat (Matt Dillon) to find where Mary is. And now, this question: have you ever found that the person you fell in love with has other people falling in love with him or her? Well, Pat finds himself interested in Mary, and a series of complications set in.

There's Something About Mary is like a string of beads, where the string is the plot and the beads are the funny scenes. Specifically, it's a long string of beads with about four or five beads. Large beads. Basically, the movie's humor consists of a few funny scenes spread throughout the movie, but they are all laugh-out-loud. Furthermore, the plot moves along quite nicely in between. I found myself interested in the story, then enjoying the payoff of laughter after patiently waiting. If you ask me what my favorite scenes are, I would pick two: the hyperactive dog and the infamous hair gel scene.

Like I said before, There's Something About Mary is a movie that is smarter than it appears on the surface. It's good enough that the American Film Institute listed this movie in its list of the 100 funniest movies of all time. I may not entirely agree with putting the movie in that list, but the movie is still good. I talked a lot about the plot that I barely brushed on the cast. Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, and everyone else made the movie work. If you want to see a romantic comedy where it's funny because the main characters are simply regular people in unusual situations, check out There's Something About Mary. There's just something about it that makes it charming.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about There's Something About Mary, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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