Contains: *Me Myself and Irene *Shallow Hal *There's Something About Mary (Single Disc)
There's Something About Mary
is one of the funniest movies in years, recalling the days of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker movies with (often tasteless) gags piled on at a fierce rate. The difference is that cowriters and codirectors Bobby and Peter Farrelly have also crafted a credible story line and even tossed in some genuine emotional content, made all the funnier by the fact that you know that they know that some of their gags go way over the line. Cameron Diaz stars as Mary, every guy's ideal. Ben Stiller plays a high-school suitor still hung up on Mary years later. The obstacles standing between him and Mary include a number of psychotic suitors, a miserable little pooch, and, oh yeah, a murder charge.
In a minor miracle, the clever romantic fantasy Shallow Hal offers unexpected substance with the same comedic effrontery that made the Farrellys famous. Their antihero is Hal (Jack Black), whose fixation on beautiful women is reversed so he can see only the inner beauty of "undesirables"--like his new girlfriend Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), gorgeous in Hal's eyes despite being grossly obese. The movie's handling of this conundrum is sweetly sincere, poking fun at social prejudices while validating those (overweight, homely, disabled) who are often heartbroken by Hal's brand of shallowness. The concept won't hold up to scrutiny, but Shallow Hal works as an often hilarious reminder that physical beauty is only skin deep.
In Me, Myself & Irene, Jim Carrey plays cop Charlie Baileygates, a nice guy who goes around trying to do the right thing but gets taken advantage of every step of the way. His psyche can only take so much, and soon his alter-ego Hank pops out to do every libidinous thing Charlie would never do. It's a great premise for a Jim Carrey film. Unfortunately, it's not a great Jim Carrey film. Here the Farrelly brothers get lost in a series of lazy gags and an even lazier plot about some evil golf development and the woman, Irene (Renée Zellweger), who needs to be protected because she knows something about it. Some of the jokes hit but many more miss, and some great concepts don't go anywhere. It's like the movie itself has a split personality--funny ideas trapped in a less- than-funny film.