Friday, October 5, 2007

The Heartbreak Kid

“You made a joke? About anal rape?”

Ben Stiller plays his usual self - a normal guy who gets into an unlikely situation that gets worse and worse until finally everything is resolved at the last minute. Sound familiar? If you’ve seen There’s Something About Mary, Meet the Parents, Along Came Polly, and the like, then you’ve seen Stiller’s trademark character who he trots out every couple years for another film.

This remake of the 1972 film finds a 40 year-old single man pressured into marrying a relative stranger (Malin Akerman - doing a scary, awkward, and charmless Cameron Diaz impersonation) only to find out on his honeymoon that’s she’s not the woman he thought she was. Shocker!

Things get complicated further when Eddie (Stiller) falls for a young woman (Michelle Monaghan) vacationing with her family at the resort and tells a small lie about a former wife and an ice pick that leads to all types of implausible misunderstandings. You know those films where you don’t see things coming? This isn’t one of those.

Filled with profanity, gross-out humor, and situations that push the limits of both good taste and common sense the film is a roller-coaster of craziness. The filmmakers don’t seem to care about making a compelling, or even coherent film, instead relying on putting Stiller through his trademark paces of living down horrible and embarrassing situations on screen. Nor do most of the jokes succeed. The jokes seem half-hearted at best (sending Stiller to the kid’s table at a wedding reception) to groan worthy (Carlos Mencia‘s politically incorrect resort worker), to downright dumb (mostly, everything else).

Sure, there’s a couple laughs here and there (which shock you out of the boredom and stupor you are in for the rest of the film) but you’d be better off to save some of you cash and rent one of Stiller’s other films, which even if you’ve seen them a few times, come off better than this. Stiller, who’s getting a little gray to be doing these roles, needs to find some new material, and audiences need to find a more worthy film to spend their time and money on (at least until they can see it free on cable).

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