Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd

Posted By and on Wed, Jun 18, 2003 at 12:00 AM

Geezer: no stars
Weezer:
1/2 star

A warning to fans of comic mindlessness: The mother turd of all prequels is upon us! Almost 10 years after the Farrelly brothers broke new ground (or wind) with Dumb & Dumber (1994) comes this trip down memory lane, looking in on Harry and Lloyd when they first (literally) bumped into each other in high school. The characters made notorious by Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey are incarnated, by Derek Richardson and Eric Christian Olsen respectively, as teen-aged numbskulls — don’t ask why. Too bad veteran director Troy Miller (Jack Frost) and rookie screenwriter Robert Brenner don’t have the faintest idea about what makes a movie funny.

Weezer: This is the same old Hollywood sequel story, except with a twist. It’s easy to write the prequel of a film that’s not supposed to have one. You just take the jokes that were already established in the first movie and try to show their origins. You’re leading up to something that’s already happened, so you don’t have to do anything new.

Geezer: Except if you want to make people laugh.

Weezer: Right, and they redo a lot of the jokes from the first Dumb & Dumber, like the “you’re it” routine, playing tag in the car … The funniest role, for me, in the whole film is Bob Saget — from that awful TGIF sitcom, “Full House,” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos” — who plays teen hottie Jessica’s father. It’s funny because it’s Saget, and he plays this complete psycho dad.

Geezer: That’s one of the few scenes that got a laugh from the preview audience. For the first 45 minutes, the theater was dead quiet, like a cemetery — nobody even chuckling. The only part that made me laugh was the “crap scene” and Saget’s reaction to it. You can guarantee a laugh from any audience if somebody messes up a bathroom.

Weezer: Potty humor is fundamental.

Geezer: Freud says we laugh about what makes us uncomfortable. Toilet training and excrement are two of the most uncomfortable subjects, and always make us laugh … fart jokes, ca-ca jokes.

Weezer: I can really see the producers meeting on this one: “Dumb & Dumber — one of the funniest movies of all time — established Jim Carrey as a powerhouse. We’ve got all these movies he’s done recently, Bruce Almighty, blah, blah — so let’s make a prequel to Dumb & Dumber. Daniels and Carrey won’t do it — they cost too much anyway. Even better, we get them when they’re young and get kids who look like them.”

Geezer: Especially Olsen who plays the Carrey character. He looks like him and kind of pulls it off.

Weezer: Though the other guy doesn’t. Jeff Daniels, even when he’s being a dumb ass in the original, still has a quaint aura about him. It’s not funny to watch this kid Richardson.

I chuckled twice watching Dumb and Dumberer (not laughed, chuckled) and I’m not saying mindless comedies don’t work. If they make you laugh, then they’re worth it. But this “comedy” just doesn’t work. They’re trying to pass it off as a teen-high school movie — you’ve got the jocks and the cheerleaders. And they took two stereotypes and combined them in the punk character. Except real punks don’t pick on kids in high school — the jocks do. The jocks pick on the punks too and real-life punks say, “Hey, I’ll stab you with my knife. Fuck you, dumb meathead.” Here, they tried to take the guy with the leather jacket from The Breakfast Club who’s a bully and make him more ’80s.

Geezer: I’m just sick of hearing all those ’80s tunes by Devo, Hall & Oates, the Who, etc., used on sound tracks.

Weezer: Here they incorporate some new bullshit music that’s trying to throwback to the ’80s, which is just perfect, ’cause it’s awful too.

It’s inexcusable for this movie not to be funny. And my reaction is, “OK, I got it — they’re stupid. Harry swallows a game board piece … wow, that’s hilarious.” How about some original, over-the-top, genuine comedy? This plot is as strong as something from an amateur porno film (like, “I’m here to fix your cable” and then they have sex).

I’d like to apologize to our readers. I’d rather not review movies, like Wrong Turn and this one, that are only worth half a star. But sometimes you have to wade through shit to get to something better. Hold on, folks, the good stuff’s on its way.

George Tysh (Geezer) is the Metro Times arts editor. Bruno Tysh (Weezer) is a recent high school graduate. E-mail them at gtysh@metrotimes.com.

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