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Empire List #445: Dumb and Dumber

The year 1994 was a good one for Jim Carrey. He exploded into the mainstream with the hit films “The Mask,” “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,” and “Dumb and Dumber.” These are the kinds of movies my parents thought were stupid beyond description. Meanwhile, my brother and I were busy laughing our heads off at the sight of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels driving across America in a car covered in fur. They may have been dumb, but they sure were funny.

I can’t recall exactly when I first saw Peter and Bobby Farrelly’s “Dumb and Dumber” but I am positive it was during one of our many family trips when my brother and I had our own hotel room and access to TV channels that showed raunchy comedies. My brother had seen it before I did, so I kept hearing a preview of what was to come. It sounded disgusting, immature, and stupid. SOLD!

Jim Carrey plays Lloyd Christmas, a limo driver, and Jeff Daniels plays Harry Dunne, a pet groomer who drives the aforementioned dog car. To say these two guys are stupid is to waste a verb. It’s a wonder either one of them knows how to drive. What kind of a moron licks a metal pole in the middle of winter?

Like The Dude in “The Big Lebowski” they are thrown into a situation that is way over their heads. When Lloyd is driving a handsome woman called Mary (Lauren Holly) to the airport they have a casual conversation and Lloyd begins to like her. He notices that she left one of her suitcases in the terminal, but unfortunately her plane has left for Colorado by the time he runs after her. Lloyd convinces Harry to travel from Rhode Island to Colorado on the off chance she might be the girl of his dream. Unfortunately that is no ordinary lost suitcase. Two criminals (Mike Starr and Karen Duffy) were supposed to pick it up at the airport, but some idiot limo driver beat them to it.

We now have a road movie with two clueless bozos, thugs, highway cops, and angry rednecks. Along the way Harry sets his feet on fire at a gas station, Lloyd nearly gets raped in a bathroom stall, and a cop mistakenly drinks Lloyd’s urine.

Is this a smart movie? Will it make you think? Heck no. But if you like slapstick comedy and watching Jim Carrey at his most manic self, what’s not to like? Sometimes you go to the movies to be thrilled, sometimes to learn, and sometimes you go to the movies to watch two gorwn men make complete fools of themselves.

Plus Carrey and Daniels don’t just play straight-up morons. You can see from the way these two characters interact that they have known each other for a long time. Like any people who have a strong relationship, they work on the same wavelength. They have similar tastes and ideas, so it only makes sense that when Harry meets Mary he falls for her too. Lloyd feels betrayed by his best friend, so he decides to enact revenge with laxatives. That is both funny and incredibly cruel.

I wonder what is it with the Farrelly brothers and guys fighting each other over a girl called Mary? “There’s Something About Mary” anyone?


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