There’s Something About Mary

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 1985, awkward and shy 16-year-old high-schooler Ted Stroehmann (Ben Stiller) lands a prom date with his dream girl Mary Jensen (Cameron Diaz), only to have it cut short by a painful and embarrassing zipper accident. After the ordeal garners the attention of numerous members of the household and community, Ted is finally carted off to the hospital. He subsequently loses touch with Mary.

Thirteen years later, Ted is still in love — maybe even obsessed — with Mary. On the advice of his best friend Dom, he hires private detective Pat Healy (Matt Dillon) to track her down. Healy finds that she is an orthopedic surgeon living in Miami with her friend, Magda, but Healy falls in love with the irresistible Mary as well. Healy resorts to lying, cheating, stalking, and drugging Magda’s dog to win Mary but is exposed by Mary’s architect friend, Tucker, who is heavily reliant on crutches and speaks with an English accent. Tucker, however, turns out to be a fraud himself, as he is an able-bodied and entirely American pizza delivery boy who is also in love with Mary. Using slander, Tucker drives away potential rivals, among them Brett Favre, playing himself as an NFL quarterback.

Ted, aided by Dom, drives down to Florida to reconnect with Mary. Ted seems to have won Mary’s love, until an anonymous letter exposes his being less than honest about his link to Healy. While Ted confronts Healy and Tucker, Mary is confronted by Dom, who turns out to be her former boyfriend Woogie, who “got weird on her” back in high school, stealing all her shoes. Having found out that Tucker also lied about Mary’s former love interest, football player Brett Favre, Ted decides that Mary should be with Brett (who was the only one of the suitors who did not resort to deceit to win Mary). After reuniting Brett and Mary, Ted leaves tearfully. But Mary chases after Ted, saying that she would be happiest with him.

The film concludes with the two engaging in a kiss while a guitarist (Jonathan Richman), who periodically narrated the story in song throughout the film, is accidentally shot by Magda’s boyfriend who was trying to shoot Ted so he could win over Mary.


Remember those two or three years when Cameron Diaz was the hottest thing on the planet? Well, There’s Something About Mary will surely remind you of those days, but leave us not get ahead of ourselves. There is more to this film than just Cameron, but is it enough to bring in an audience and keep them?

What is this about?

Ted was a geek in high school, who was going to go to the prom with one of the most popular girls in school, Mary. The prom date never happened, because Ted had a very unusual accident. Thirteen years later he realizes he is still in love with Mary, so he hires a private investigator to track her down. That investigator discovers he too may be in love with Mary, so he gives Ted some false information to keep him away from her. But soon Ted finds himself back into Mary’s life, as we watch one funny scene after another.

What did I like?

Competition. Whenever an attractive female is involved, there is always a competition among those that wish to have her. Often this happens to be guys of varying “classes”, if you will, each with their own special set of skills and charms. No departure from that formula to found with this film, and I have no problem with that. There is even a jock…a professional jock, for that matter, that is thrown into the mix at the end, just to spice things up. The competition amongst these guys as they vie for Mary’s affection provides for some of the more comedic parts of the flick.

Mary. As I said in my opening statement, at the time of this release, Cameron Diaz was one of the hottest women on the planet. You can argue that she never lost that title. I wouldn’t really argue with you, other than to say she has younger competition now, but all this is beside the point. The Farrelly Brothers did a great job of casting her, as she was hot both in looks and an up and coming career at the time. Diaz’s comedic chops and innocence make her Mary likable and endearing to the audience, something that is necessary for the film to work. The fact that Diaz is almost as hot as she looks in The Mask doesn’t hurt, either!

Gross out. The Farrelly Brothers are well-known for their gross out humor. Just take a look at Dumb & Dumber, Osmosis Jones, and (if you must) The Three Stooges, for examples. This just happens to be one of the more tame films, but there is still some gross out stuffs to be seen, such as the infamous hair gel scene, or the franks and beans fiasco. At the time of this release, this was gross out humor at its finest, without going overboard. Fast forward nearly 20 years (has it really been that long?!?), and it still works.

What didn’t I like?

Detective. Matt Dillon glues on a moustache that is just a couple of inches short of being one of those that can be twirled a la Snidely Whiplash. Since he is the villain, it does make sense, but at the same time, it just makes no sense. Without the ‘stache or with a different style of facial hair, he still would have been a total creep, so I question why they put that on him. Also, how slimy of a detective do you have to be to go on a job locating a girl for someone, then come back tell the guy that hired you that she’s become fat, unattractive, and has popped out handful of kids, when she looks the same as she did in high school, if not better, and then move down there with the intent of hooking up with her.

How can you not know? Not to spoil anything, but someone close to Mary turns out to be now all that they appear. We come to find out that the whole reason for this is because of something she did. It is very hard to say this without spoiling, anything, just so you know. When the story was told, the first thing that popped in my head was how did she not realize what was going on? I get maybe not at first, but it just seems as if it would have been obvious after some time.

Leatherface. A couple of years ago, there was a story about some woman who was tanning every chance she got and doing the same with her kids. When I heard that, I thought about this lady from this film, played by Lin Shaye, who looks as if she is made out of leather. For comedic effect, it was funny at first, but after a while she’s just some leather looking lady who occasionally mention she likes to tan and has to much faith in what her dog thinks. As you can about imagine, I am not a fan

Without a doubt, once you see There’s Something About Mary, you will surely remember it, that’s for sure. That being said, this is a gross-out romantic comedy, so you can guess that it isn’t for everyone, especially those that are easily offended. Then again, if you’re one of those, why are you even bothering with this? Is this a perfect comedy? No, but it does have enough to keep everyone entertained, even the cheesy balladeers that brought to mind the minstrels from Cat Ballou. I very highly recommend this, especially if you’re in need of a few laughs.

4 out of 5 stars


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