Dumb & Dumber (1994)

dumb and dumber IMDb

I have not-so-fond memories of my dad watching this movie every time it aired on television. It was terrible, because no one else in the family liked Dumb & Dumber at all, yet we were subjected to it at least once every 4-6 months over the span of about three years (This was in the days when we only had one TV set. And if you’re young enough to be shocked by that statement then get off my blog, whippersnapper).

Then one year Mom bought Dad the movie on VHS for his birthday (yes, I grew up in the Stone Age) despite my sister’s and my objections. We were really confused until she let us in on a little secret: whenever we bought Dad a VHS, he stopped watching that movie altogether. It had thus far held true for Caddyshack, Stripes, and Slap Shot, so she was willing to take the gamble again. And it worked! I haven’t seen Dumb & Dumber since about 1998, and my life has been great!

*Sigh* I do feel a bit bad ragging on this movie because it’s one of Ben’s favorites. And I can honestly say that I tried to keep an open mind when watching this time. However, where I used to find Dumb & Dumber just too stupid to watch, I now find it really aggravating. This is due entirely to Jim Carrey’s character Lloyd. He’s dumb, yes, but he’s also really selfish and a tad mean. I feel really sorry for his friend Harry (Jeff Daniels), who seems like a genuinely nice guy who could probably have a pretty decent life without Lloyd holding him back. He’s dumb too, but seems to have some grip on reality and a sense of how his actions effect others.

Yeah, I’m reading way too much into this admittedly stupid comedy, but otherwise my angle would be “this is dumb; I hate it.” And since this is a beloved movie among many people, including several I am related to by blood and marriage, I wanted to stay away from that if possible. Also, there is a sequel coming out later this year, and since I don’t think Carrey or Daniels would be hard up for money, I assume they’re back because they had a lot of fun making Dumb & Dumber. More power to them.

Rating: D-

This is one of my most favourite comedies of all time. I know Sally is going to bag this film and I probably can’t defend any of her complaints, but I still laugh out loud whenever I watch Dumb & Dumber. It is one of the most quotable comedies ever. I remember seeing in in 1995 (it was released late in Australia) and nearly everyone in my class at school knew multiple lines from the movie because I was quoting them over and over again. I understand that there are people who would just find this film stupid, but I think that’s part of its charm. Dumb & Dumber is unapologetically a dumb movie. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels embrace this idiocy and run with it.

Dumb & Dumber follows Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Daniels), two men from Rhode Island who are not the brightest guys. When Lloyd drives a cute girl, Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), to the airport, he becomes infatuated with her. He believes she has left a suitcase at the airport and is determined to return it to her in Colorado. Turns out she didn’t lose anything, that case contained a ransom that was meant to pay for the release of her husband. When Lloyd grabs the case before the kidnappers can, he and Harry unknowingly get caught up in this kidnapping plot. They travel across the country to return Mary’s case, and hopefully win her heart.

I know this film is not for everyone, but I love it. Carrey and Daniels have such great chemistry together. You really believe these two guys are best friends. I was most impressed with Jeff Daniels though. You expect this kind of comedic ability and craziness from Carrey, he has done it time and again, but Daniels was better known as a dramatic actor to me. The only movie I’d seen him in previously was a minor role in ‘The Bus That Wouldn’t Slow Down’ (Speed, for all you Non-Simpsons viewers). To see him hamming it up as professional idiot Harry Dunne was a real treat. I can’t believe this is the same guy who plays Will McAvoy in The Newsroom.

Like I said, this is such a quotable film, I have spent many afternoons with the family quoting Dumb & Dumber and I hope to have many more. I’m very excited about the upcoming Dumb & Dumber To. This sequel is a long time coming, Carrey and Daniels are both returning for it so expectations are high. The film has to be better than the terrible prequel they made, Dumb & Dumberer, but more on that later.

Rating: A-

4 thoughts on “Dumb & Dumber (1994)

  1. Pingback: Dumber & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

  2. Pingback: Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

  3. Pingback: Liar Liar (1997) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

  4. Pingback: The Mask (1994) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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