The Heartbreak Kid
is as creepy, loud and unpleasant as Christmas dinner at my
sister's house. Actually, I haven't seen anything this creepy
since that police report in the local paper about the pervert
who had been seen jerking off on parking meters in Olde Town.
Unlike this movie, though, that story had a happy ending. That
is, it was me, and I wasn't jerking off, I was urinating, and
I never got caught. Besides, there's something romantic about
being called the "Meter Peter Bandit." Nothing so swell happens
in this wet fart of a timekiller. In fact, I would have rather
had two hours taken off the end of my life than sit through
this piece of shit.
I saw this latest Farrelly Brothers bowl-spinner
at the Olde Town Cinema, which is under new ownership. The new
owners are named Kerasotes, which sounds more like a company
that does bulk cremations than shows movies. To their credit,
they are dedicated to ensuring you can show up at the Olde Town
and always get a ticket. They have done a fantastic job of keeping
the floors just sticky enough to pull your shoe off your foot
once a night, the seat hinges are broken just enough so you;re
always fighting not to slide off, the employees are just surly
and slow enough to piss off most people and the carpets are
just dingy and stained enough to keep people from noticing they
also smell bad.
On opening weekend at eight p.m., there were
five of us in the theater for The Heartbreak Kid. I like
to think it's because of the Kerasotes dedication to personalized
service, but I wonder if everyone else had already been scared
away, like that time the city posted a warning about brain-eating
parasites in Arbor Lake but nobody told me. At first, I thought
I was just lucky to have the lake to myself. After a little
while, I thought I was lucky, and also could fly. By the time
the paramedics I was told there was white pus coming from my
nose. Nobody rescued me last night, though.
This movie is a remake of a decent 70s movie
of the same name starring Charles Grodin. In it, a man on his
honeymoon meets the girl of his dreams and tries to weasel his
way out of his new marriage so he can pork the new paramour.
It was a sort of greasy thing to do, but this was the free-swinging
70s after all. The new Ben Stiller version follows the same
basic premise, but it makes Stiller more annoying and slimier,
and is amped up by volume and gross-out humor as tired and busted
as the average Baja Buggy.
Stiller is miscast as a cool sports-store owner
who has been unable to pull the trigger on his relationships.
He has a father, played by his real pops, woth the thankless
role of providing all the comic relief a foul-mouthed senior
citizen can provide. What's so fucking funny about an old guy
whose a prick who relentlessly talks about "pussy crushing"?
Well, when it's me in 40 years, I hope a lot. But Jerry Stiller
ain't funny at all here. He's just creepy, old and passing gas.
Anyway, it's clear early in the movie that Ben Stiller is trying
to play a more laidback character; a guy who drives a Mini and
teaches kids how to play baseball. Quickly, though, he is right
back to the high-strung, whiny ass schtick he does in every
movie. We're expected to sympathize with him for what he has
to put up with, yet he goes to such lengths to complain it's
damn near impossible.
Worse, we're stuck with him for a grueling,
overlong two hours and it turns out he's not only whiny, he's
a complete asshole. I never got a sense he was this great catch
who good-looking woman couldn't resist, yet he keeps getting
them. The movie also portrays him as an obsessive-compulsive
liar and serial cheat. What the fuck are we rooting for here?
Why the hell do I want a short, slightly-hunched prick to keep
getting the girls? Look Farrelly fuckers: where I come from
there's a serious shortage of hot women. So, we don't get too
amused when the pricks get more than their fair share.
Malin Ackerman plays Stiller's first wife, the
one he dumps. She's supposed to be all sweetness and light until
the honeymoon starts. Then she's supposed to turn into a monster
bitch: she sings along in the car, she talks dirty and likes
rough sex, she queefs and gets a terrible sunburn. Where I come
from--which is Earth--dirty-talking ladies are more prized than
oil, diamonds and mid-century taboo porn. And queefs aren't
disgusting to a man; they are nature's way of letting the him
know he did his job. Anyway, Ackerman's character is so obnoxiously
over-the-top that it suggests the fuckers who wrote and made
this movie are afraid of actual women. They can't relate to
a woman, so they just crank up the volume on things they think
women aren't supposed to do.
Michele Monaghan plays the woman who wins Stiller's
heart. Here's what we know about her: She's from Mississippi
but doesn't have an accent. Stiller points that out, yet the
movie never bothers to explain it. My guess is, they hired her
and it turns out her accent sucked a donkey's big red dick,
so she just talks normal. There is nothing about her that would
suggest she is meant for Stiller. Even after he decides she's
the girl for him, she still never lets the audience in on what
makes her so special. Part of the problem is that Stiller's
character is so poorly developed that we never know what his
special likes and dislikes are. The other part of the problem
is that not a single fucking character is developed.
The one distinguishing thing for Stiller is
that he loves David Bowie, and when he meets Ackerman, he discovers
she has Bowie underwear. Nothing more is said about this. Yet
later, to show us he's bonding with Monaghan, they sing along
to Bowie. What the fuck? How does that make Monaghan more right?
The movie trods along like a moose stuck in
mud, punctuated by jokes that suggest that Farrelly's are just
shooting blind these days. Gone are the surprisingly gross-yet-somehow-sweet
moments of their older movies. Now it's just gross. Hee-hee,
a woman has too much hair on her vagine. Hoo-hoo, a woman has
to pee on a man. Giggle-giggle, a girl says nasty things in
bed. There is also a donkey show joke, a running gag with a
mariachi band and Carlos Mencia, whose entire career is the
warning beep on the gastank of jokes, letting you know you're
This is a fucking trainwreck. No, wait, a masturbating
trainwreck: two trains filled with shit smashing into each other.
A miserable, burning-sensation piss of a movie. Tired jokes,
loud volume where humor should be, a whole cast on unlikable
pricks doing unlikable things, and not fucking point. Fuck it,
man. One Finger for The Heartbreak Kid.