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THIS REVIEW DEALS WITH GRAPHIC SEXUAL CONTENT AND IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN.

MPAA Rating
Credits
Genre
Comedy
Cast
Ben Stiller as Eddie Cantrow; Michelle Monaghan as Miranda; Malin Akerman as Lila; Jerry Stiller as Doc; Rob Corddry as Mac; Carlos Mencia as Uncle Tito
Director
Bobby and Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Me Myself & Irene, Shallow Hal, Stuck on You, Osmosis Jones, Dumb & Dumber)
Distributor
DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures
Reviewer
Bob Hoose
The Heartbreak Kid

The Heartbreak Kid

Eddie Cantrow is a hapless fortysomething sports store owner who's being pressured by his best friend and father to find a girl and settle down. Eddie hasn't been having much luck in that department lately. But then he comes to the aid of a young woman who's being mugged, he meets the beautiful, fun-loving Lila. They get along very well. She seems perfect. Several weeks later, Eddie impulsively proposes and the two marry.

On the long drive down to their Mexican resort honeymoon, however, Eddie begins to suspect that he might have made a terrible mistake. Lila isn't who he thought she was. She's a heavy drinker with a former drug problem and a trucker's rough-edged vocabulary. And her sordid past and insatiable demands for rough sex are ... intimidating.

After arriving at their beachside paradise, a sunburn to end all sunburns drives Lila to the confines of the honeymoon suite. Eddie consoles himself at the bar and strikes up a conversation with a dark-haired beauty named Miranda. They become fast friends. Soon the miserable newlywed is making excuses to leave his bride behind and enjoy the sights with Miranda. Now she seems perfect. But what is he going to do about that dreaded woman—his wife—in his hotel room?

Positive Elements

Miranda is part of a warm, loving family. She's at the resort with them to celebrate her mother and father's anniversary. They all care deeply about Miranda's wellbeing.

In spite of a number of incompatibilities with Eddie, Lila at least says she wants to make her marriage work. Eddie says he's willing to sacrifice for true love (though every choice he makes is a selfish one).

Spiritual Content

Eddie's friend, Mac, says that Eddie should thank God Lila loves him.

Sexual Content

Vividly vulgar to outrageously obscene describes the range of sexual images used as part of The Heartbreak Kid's "humor." Eddie and Lila are both fully naked while having vocal and violent sex in multiple sexual positions. (Their movements and sounds are very realistic.) Lila is the one who drives the violent side of things, constantly urging Eddie to turn their "lovemaking" into a veritable boxing match. She's far from averse to beating him mercilessly while coupling—partly to make him start hitting back.

Lila's pubic hair and genital jewelry are briefly displayed in close-up before the camera pulls back but stays focused on her as she urinates on Eddie's back (ostensibly to counteract the sting of a poisonous sea creature).

Played by Ben Stiller's real-life father, Jerry Stiller, Eddie's dad repeatedly uses foul-to-obscene references to sex in his conversations with his son, and suggests that they go to Las Vegas together to "tag-team a couple of broads." Known as Doc, the vile man sits in a hot tub alongside a naked older woman with enormous breasts.

But this flagrant foul of a film doesn't stop at merely full nudity, urination and rough sex to try to drum up sick snickers. A donkey with a visible erection and his front hooves poised on a (dressed) woman's shoulders is seen through an open doorway. The clear implication is that she is about to commit a bestial act. And a final post-credits scene shows Lila having rough-and-rowdy sex—with a donkey—while loudly exclaiming her pleasure. We don't see that her "partner" is an animal until afterwards, but, again, the clear implication is that she's finally found something that can satisfy her.

Eddie gives a porno video to a man named Uncle Tito. (The video's cover features naked couples engaged in sex.) And he argues with Tito over something obscene Tito did to Lila.

Violent Content

Most of the film's slapstick violence is aimed at Eddie. For example, he gets hit several times with a baseball bat, gets a hot pepper shoved up his nose, has a Portuguese Man o' War latch onto his back and has perfume sprayed in his eyes.

While riding a bike and kissing Eddie, Lila hits a trash can and flips off the bike and onto her back. Miranda accidentally stumbles backwards over a railing and falls to the ocean far below.

Eddie tells two boys a lie about his wife being stabbed by an ice pick murderer.

Crude or Profane Language

F-words and s-words are spit out over a dozen times each. "A--" and "h---" both appear six or more times each, along with a handful of other profanities. God's name is combined with "d--n" a handful of times. And dozens of obscene interjections reference male and female body parts.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Guests drink wine and beer at two different weddings. Eddie and his friends drink beer at a party. When the newlyweds get to Mexico, the alcohol continues to flow freely. Eddie gets drunk drinking straight from a tequila bottle. He and Miranda's family all become inebriated while downing numerous mixed drinks and tequila shots. Eddie and Lila consume a variety of mixed drinks and cocktails on the beach and in their room.

Eddie and Miranda, meanwhile, share a marijuana joint. And a 10-year-old boy is shown snorting cocaine.

Other Negative Elements

Because of her deviated septum, Lila gets a large aspirin caplet stuck in her nose and Eddie pulls it out with tweezers.

Conclusion

The Heartbreak Kid was originally a Neil Simon-penned comedy from the early '70s that gathered up a couple of Oscar nominations and three Golden Globe noms. Now the gross-out-humor-lauded Farrelly brothers have decided to update and make it their own. (In other words, guarantee that only those moviegoers devoted to celebrating humanity's very lowest common denominator will ever say anything good about it.) There's no wit here. No pithy wordplay. The original wasn't perfect, but absolutely everything decent and funny it did offer has been stripped, leaving only hyper-embarrassing situations and sexually sordid sight gags.

Except for the smutty dialogue, which is omnipresent, the film actually starts with an appealing, character-driven sense of humor as it examines Eddie's struggle with being single. But then it takes an abrupt leap into the obscene end of the cinematic pool and proceeds to contentedly drown itself there.

That's exactly the way messieurs Farrelly wanted things. The abrupt leap they constructed is a nude sex scene, about which Peter Farrelly says, "I don't think there's ever been a sex scene like this in a comedy before. It's groundbreaking. ... When you see a comedy, the sex scene is always pulled up short and we decided not to. ... We thought since we're R-rated, we might as well go to the limits of R-ratedness."

Without question, they have gone to the limits. In an attempt to out-dumb Dumber and out-shock Mary, the Farrellys have callously replaced zipper-ensnared body parts and semen-infused hair gel (from their now-infamous There's Something About Mary) with sex-scene smackdowns and ... shameless smirks about bestiality.

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