Heartbreak Kid

So... yeah.

I actually saw this one on the weekend as usual... but I've kind of been too stunned to write about it. Usually, I like to do something else for a little while after I leave the theatre, just to sort of let my opinions settle, but this time, I had to wait a really long time so I could try to feel less unclean.

Because it was bad. I mean, bad. I went against my better judgment... I still haven't forgiven Ben Stiller for Meet the Parents, quite probably the worst 108 minutes of my life. But there wasn't much choice, so I risked it, and now I'll never be able to see another Ben Stiller movie again. No great loss, but I do kind of hate to swear off an actor.

There is a plot, at least -- it's based on a Neil Simon screenplay, very loosely, I'm sure, but there was still enough left for a plot. Eddie Cantrow (Ben Stiller) is continually being bugged by his father (Jerry Stiller, his actual father, so not much of an acting stretch there) to get married, but he doesn't want to take the plunge. Finally, thinking that the girl he's just met (Malin Ackerman) is about to be transferred to Europe by the company she works for, he impulsively proposes. They go on their honeymoon, and he meets the girl of his dreams (Michelle Monaghan).

You can see where things are going... you can probably guess the whole plot, actually. I did. Ben tells the most amazingly complicated lies with a perfectly straight face as he juggles two women, which was actually pretty impressive. Comedy is hard, so most comedians can really act -- Ben just picks the most awful movies most of the time. And I don't know what to do with those Farrelly brothers. Sometimes they pleasantly surprise me, like with Stuck on You, and sometimes they smack me upside the head with something like this. Sigh.

I'm not sure what else to say without getting that unclean feeling back. The raunchiness of it kind of sneaks up on you, and I'm not sure if that's good or bad, really. I know I felt sorry for poor Jerry Stiller, who had to say most of the worst lines in that respect. I think they were trying to make him sound really cool and more with it than his son, but, well, that didn't work.

Really, all I can add is that not once did I have the urge to laugh, and since this was supposed to be a comedy... yeah. One idol for this debacle. I hate to go any lower, though I'm tempted. The mariachi band running joke alone is almost enough to knock it down to half an idol... because really, haven't the poor mariachi bands suffered enough?

Originally posted 10/2007. Obviously I did eventually break down and see another Ben Stiller movie, but discounting Megamind, where he was only a voice, it took me four years to work up the courage. And I was still really nervous.

Image: 
Ben Stiller at the children's table at a wedding. Yes, the movie was that silly.

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