Bobby Farrelly

Dumb and Dumber To

Here’s a pleasant surprise: Dumb and Dumber To is a success. This, of course, comes with some qualifications. As a sequel to 1994’s comedy cult classic, Dumb and Dumber, this new feature is a success. On its own, well, probably not so much. Twenty years sounds like a tremendous gap between sequels — and it is, in fact, it’s up there with some of the all-time gaps, like Wall Street and Wall Street: My Money Is Very Tired (23 years), The Hustler and The Color of Money (26 years), and Tron and Tron: Jeff Bridges’ Face (28 years) — but Dumb and Dumber To’s film’s singular, unique ability to breathlessly (and, yes, often quite tastelessly) recapture the spirit and tone of the original film is what sets its apart from its big-gapped brethren. This film could have been made one year after the original, and it would likely play out in the exact same way. Directors (and two of six — six!! — writers) Peter and Bobby Farrelly have so keenly and cleverly refashioned the first film into a new feature, complete with full-bodied performances from stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, that Dumb and Dumber To will probably (one day) be hailed as a major achievement in sequel creation. And, no, that’s not a goof.

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Dumb and Dumber To

What do we know about comedy sequels? Let’s think about this year’s biggest comedy sequel so far, 22 Jump Street, which lovingly pulls from both its first film and its source material (as much as we can call a bad eighties television show “source material,” like it’s a J.R.R. Tolkien book or whatever) for its gags, is hilariously portrayed by modern comedy’s most unexpected comedic duo and also injects the whole thing with a knowing wink-wink about the nature of franchise humor in general. What can we glean from that? Just the basics — comedy is hard, sequels are harder and there’s never any guarantee that what worked before will work again (if it even worked at all). So let’s talk about Dumb and Dumber To, which seems unafraid to do the one thing it probably shouldn’t: recycle jokes that worked before without the added intelligence or irony that comes with acknowledging that, hey, we did these jokes before. The sequel’s first trailer didn’t layer on the repeat jokes too thickly, but its new international trailer spreads it on like comedic marshmallow fluff. It’s sticky and hard to swallow, and it sure doesn’t bode well for the final product. Here, watch the latest Dumb and Dumber To trailer, and remember when all these jokes were funny — the first time around.

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Dumb and Dumber 2

It’s, in a word, perfect. Talk about Bobby and Peter Farrelly‘s sequel to their comedy classic Dumb and Dumber had just about reached Ghostbusters 3 proportions (a special new realm occupied by Kick-Ass 2 talk) back in June when Jim Carrey dropped out, but the pair seem bound and determined to make the film happen, and with both Carrey and Jeff Daniels back as Lloyd and Harry. Perhaps in a bid to get some real heat on the project, Bobby Farrelly fessed up to DigitalSpy some meaty details about the sequel, and they sound – this might sound crazy – actually completely spot-on. How often does that happen to a sequel? Straight out of the gate, Farrelly says that both Carrey and Daniels are set for this film, and gives fans the solemn vow that “we will make this movie.” Well, alrighty! But what’s it about?

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Farrelly Brothers

There’s some good news and some bad news when it comes to Dan Ewen’s spec script Dear Satan. The first bit of good news is that it’s an original idea that sounds funny. The second bit is that its originality has been rightly rewarded by one of the big studios, as 20th Century Fox just bought it with intentions of putting it into development. Variety broke the story, and says that the script was inspired by a child the screenwriter was babysitting making a crucial misspelling when addressing her yearly letter to Santa Claus. Ewen says of the experience, “There was this cute little card, covered in candy canes and glitter. I fell in love with the idea of this note mistakenly being delivered to the Prince of Darkness and the fiery wackiness that would ensue.” In his script said wackiness actually does ensue, as Satan receives the letter by mistake and ends up bringing the little girl a toy.

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With imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, the original Three Stooges would be most flattered (if they were still alive, of course) by the new Farrelly Brothers‘ film The Three Stooges. They could also very well be turning over in their graves. Even Joe Besser and Curly Joe DeRita might be saddened a bit by this flick, and those two guys were saddled with trying to fill the shoes of the original Curly and his follow-up Shemp. It’s not that The Three Stooges is a terrible film. It’s just unnecessary. Like an extended Saturday Night Live sketch that wears on too long, this movie offers little more than a showcase of Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos doing solid impersonations of the original Larry, Curly and Moe. Sorry, Bobby and Peter Farrelly, but that’s not enough to make a good movie. What was originally rumored to be a serious look at the behind-the-scenes world of the original Stooges, this movie presents the title characters as real men raised in an odd little orphanage where the nuns don’t age and one is actually played by Larry David in nun-drag. Dropped off by a mysterious car when they were babies, Larry, Curly and Moe spend much of their childhood getting into mischief and hoping to be adopted. At one point, Moe actually has a chance to go home with a family, but his insistence that his new parents adopt his other two friends as well kills the deal.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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