x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

The Heartbreak Kid

One might assume that there would be plenty of scope for comedy in this movie somewhere, but in 116 minutes of screen time it never reveals itself.

The Farrelly brothers used to be funny, didn't they? The creators of such films as Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary, they rode the zeitgeist of the 1990s, unleashing gross-out comedy on an unsuspecting world. It's just a shame that they didn't quit before being let loose on the script for The Heartbreak Kid, a remake of a 1972 film that was originally nominated for two Oscars and three Golden Globes. The basic story is not complicated. Man meets girl, man marries girl after whirlwind romance. Man then goes on honeymoon in Mexico and realises he's married a monster, but happily meets another girl while there and falls in love with her instead. One might assume that there would be plenty of scope for comedy in there somewhere, but in 116 minutes of screen time it never reveals itself. The Farrelly brothers do try. There are slapstick moments, jokes about foreigners, gags involving a donkey and, above all, plenty of scenes for Stiller to overact in. But none of it works. You end up feeling sorry for all the actors involved. Did they need the money that badly? This is especially pertinent in the case of Michelle Monaghan, who starred with Casey Affleck in the excellent Gone Baby Gone and is worth much more than this. So, how does this unhappy holiday scenario resolve itself? After 10 minutes you will probably prefer to poke sticks in your eyes than find out. If not, take my advice: do not waste nearly two hours of your life on this film. Eva Longoria, what were you thinking?