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Outside Providence

4.4 out of 5 stars 108 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the hit-making Farrelly Brothers -- the guys who brought you THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY -- OUTSIDE PROVIDENCE stars Alec Baldwin (THE EDGE, MERCURY RISING) in an outrageously funny story about a kid who's grown up with nothing but a broken home, a three-legged dog, and a full-blown attraction to trouble! Everything changes for Timothy Dunphy (Shawn Hatosy -- ANYWHERE BUT HERE, THE FACULTY), however, when he crashes into a parked police car ... prompting his loudmouthed old man (Baldwin) to ship him from their blue-collar town to a snobbish prep school! But even though he's out of place, outclassed, and seriously outnumbered, nothing could have prepared Tim's new classmates for him! Also featuring Amy Smart (VARSITY BLUES), George Wendt (TV's CHEERS), and a great soundtrack of '70s hits, this acclaimed hit brings you more of the sidesplitting laughs you expect from a Farrelly Brothers comedy!


Outside Providence was written by the Farrelly Brothers, known for the outrageous comedies Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, and There's Something About Mary. On the surface, Outside Providence seems to be of the same ilk--there's a three-legged, one-eyed dog, physical humor with a kid in a wheelchair, and a character nicknamed Jiz, among other things. But despite all that, the movie is an almost-gentle coming-of-age comedy, something like a suburban New England Amarcord with a lot of unrepentant drug humor. The plot doesn't sound promising: pothead Tim Dunphy (Shawn Hatosy) gets sent to prep school by his father (Alec Baldwin), who wants to keep him out of trouble. But a fair amount of smoking and boozing goes on at that school, too, despite the watchful eye of the administrators. Dunphy also falls for Jane (Amy Smart), a richer and smarter girl whom he wins over. All this could just as easily be the plot of some mediocre Porky's rip-off, but the Farrelly Brothers' script has the grit of real experience, while the direction (by Michael Corrente) and acting carefully avoid smirks and easy gags; the movie is funnier for it. Baldwin initially seems miscast, but over the course of the film delivers a solid performance; Hatosy and Smart are sincere and unaffected. The result is a low-key, modest, but genuinely affecting movie about surmounting class differences and coping with loss--that also has a lot of jokes that push the boundaries of political correctness. Quite a balancing act. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Shawn Hatosy, Amy Smart, Alec Baldwin, Tommy Bone, Samantha Lavigne
  • Directors: Michael Corrente
  • Writers: Michael Corrente, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
  • Producers: Billy Heinzerling, Bob Weinstein, Bobby Farrelly, Harvey Weinstein
  • Format: AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: March 14, 2000
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305744475
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,344 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Outside Providence" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott Bright VINE VOICE on May 22, 2001
Format: DVD
Summary: Pothead Dunph gets into a little trouble and is spared jail time when his father pulls some strings to get him sent to a prep school instead of jail. He ends up leaving more than just his old friends behind when he goes.
My Opinion: I was very surprised with this movie. It is pushed very strongly as a comedy. Probably because the Farrelly Brothers are famous for those. Although it has funny parts, I don't consider it a comedy. It is more of a coming of age film. It takes place in the 1970s and has a killer soundtrack. If I had not been so pleasantly surprised I would have given this movie 4 stars but it's nice to be surprised.
DVD Quality: Widescreen anamorphic format. How can they make anything but?
What You Should Do: See it. If you don't buy every DVD under the sun like some of us then rent it. There is quite a lot of drug use in the film but it does have a point. It may be too subtle of a point for some to grasp though. If you liked "Detroit Rock City", "Almost Famous", or "Varsity Blues" then you should bump this one up on your list of movies to see.
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Format: DVD
From the minds behind "Dumb and Dumber" and "Theres Something About Mary" comes another raunchy landmark comedy, but one with heart.
Seemingly repetitive, a teenage boy is sent to a prep school after a car accident involving a parked police car, several friends, and unspecified amounts of narcotics. Throughout his journey he encounters friends, foes, and of course, love.
The same coming of age tale every weekly movie aims for, however superior to most thanks to several key factors.
Alec Baldwin, who was perhaps cast merely to attach a well known name to the movie, pulls off a surprisingly tricky role as a rock solid father who is confused and disappointed with his life. One of the movies most effective scenes is a short one, involving this star-stunned actor teaching his son how to knot a tie.
The script is not only amusing, but it also provides a lot of emotional depth to the story through simple and idealistic lines. Written with cunning craft and executed superbly by the cast, it provides a solid backbone for the movie and proves to be effective in conveying the situations.
What truly brings this movie together, though, is the charming charisma of newcomer Shawn Hatosy. Capturing the naive facial gestures, the sorrow- filled-eyes maneuvers, and that age old enlightmened maturity posture seems to be a natural gift to this young actor.
Along with those three factors, it is wise to note the crude and yet witty comedy often present in the Farrely Brothers works: obsessing with homosexuality, mocking social status, and the maniacal humiliation that comes with life. For some this genre of entertainment is not appealing, however I found their classic formula highly engrossing.
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Format: DVD
In 1974, pot-smoking teenager Tim Dunphy (Dunph, to his friends) is sent to a superior prep school after getting in trouble with the law for a reefer-induced mishap. There, he tangles with strict administrators, suffers the classrooms of exacting instructors, and hangs out with fellow pothead students. He also encounters Jane Weston, hands down the coolest chick in school and from an upper class family. Jane is beautiful but studious; she's trying to get accepted to Brown University. Dunph is just trying to get by without accruing any more punishment for violation of school policies. Regarding Jane, his friend advises Dunph: "Forget it." Yet, somehow, Dunph and Jane get together. It's not a match made in heaven, but hey, Dunph will take it...

Supposedly based on Peter Farrelly's school experiences at Kent, Outside Providence is a very good coming-of-age movie. It was touted as a comedy but, really, while it has its share of laugh-out-loud funnies, its dramatic undercurrent is the engine that drives it home beautifully. It reminds me of those 1980s John Hughes dramedies (Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful). Yes, this movie is liberally dosed with pot jokes, but a sense of realness and pathos felt throughout provides a nice counterbalance. From a raucous Farrelly Brothers-type comedy to an ultimately thoughtful film. Very nice.

The only other time I've seen Shawn Hatosy was in the cool horror The Faculty; to be honest, in that film, he didn't make much of an impression on me. But, here, he takes center stage and does a real good job in portraying easy-going, pot-smoking Dunph, who initially is aimless and just drifting along but then undergoes life lessons and steps up to responsibility. Amy Smart's Jane is a major impetus in Dunph's maturation process.
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Format: DVD
Although very humorous, "Outside Providence" is a departure from other Farrely brothers movies like "Kingpin" and "There's Something About Mary." This is a more intelligent, less vulgar offering which still delivers the laughs.

Set in the 70's, the film is a moving coming of age tale about a middle class pothead shipped off to a prep school after a run-in with the law.

Predicable hijinks ensue as "Dumph" (played by Sean Hatosy) faces a difficult adjustment to his new world. The strength of the film is in the relationship between "Dumph" and his father (played by Alec Baldwin). Baldwin is totally convincing as "Old Man Dumphy", a gruff but caring father heartbroken by the loss of his wife.

If you grew up in the 70's, you'll probably enjoy this nostaglic look at teenage life set to a fantastic soundtrack of 70's hits.
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