There's Something About Mary

Bomb Rating: 

In "There's Something about Mary," the Farrelly Brothers fail to extend themselves much further, deviating from their obsession with male ejaculatory fluid only so far as to explore the obvious symbolism of a groin-attacking dog, a penis-meets-zipper accident, and, of course, Mary herself (the presumed "ejaculatee").

During a summer of asteroids and comets colliding with the Earth, a grown man incognizant that his entire life is a television show, and doctors who confabulate with animals -- improbabilities all -- perhaps the largest implausibility of the season comes from the Farrelly brothers and their wanton attempt to fuse frat-boy humor with the conventions of modern romance.

Within this postmodern conformation, they require the audience to accept the existence of both a woman like Mary (Cameron Diaz), who desires a man who's overweight, likes to imbibe of fermented hops and plays golf, and a man like Ted (Ben Stiller), whose skull -- if found several thousand years in the future by archaeologists -- might suggest "Planet of the Apes" to be a documentary. Like Gillian Anderson signing autographs at an X-Files convention, poor Mary attracts an unending line of what could best be termed "social underachievers." Thus, when Ted hires a private eye (Matt Dillon) to find her, the investigator himself quickly becomes enamored, joining an ignoble parade of infatuated ignoramuses.

However, this interpersonal Gordian knot merely serves as the canvas upon which the Farrelly brothers paint their comedic cubist incoherence. To discover the true reason behind the Farrelly's post-realist approach to filmmaking, let us examine the brush itself. In this implement that we discover the true crux of the Farrelly Method, and soon thereafter reveal it to be fatally flawed.

Consider: In "Kingpin" a man is posited to have imbued a bucket with bull sperm, from which he subsequently takes an unfortunate, gruesome ingestion. However, we must proof this event against accepted heuristics of believability and ask: Is it possible? Modern science suggests not. In weight, the approximate man-to-bull ratio is a mere 1 to 10. Thus, no matter how prodigious, tireless or evocative of an attractive, supple, full-uddered bovine, a single man is unlikely to fill a 7-11 Super Big Gulp cup with bull semen in the time allotted in the Farrellys' signature work. This glaring, indisputable fact opens a considerable crack in the cornerstone of the Farrelly Method, threatening to bring its very founding construct, ejaculatism, cascading down around us.

In "There's Something about Mary," the Farrelly Brothers fail to extend themselves much further, deviating from their obsession with male ejaculatory fluid only so far as to explore the obvious symbolism of a groin-attacking dog, a penis-meets-zipper accident, and, of course, Mary herself (the presumed "ejaculatee"). Thus, the movie crumbles thematically during a climactic joke involving Stiller and masturbation wherein his character -- forgive us the pedestrian terminology -- "loses his wad." The so-called "wad" ends up in a very peculiar place. According to our dear friend, mathematician Jonas T. Cooper, "the angle of expatriation would have to occur nearly parallel to the subject's torso which, given the exaggerated angle of Stiller's frame while 'buffing the iguana,' would be utterly incomprehensible." Indeed.

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