Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Review of Dumb and Dumber To

Hey everyone, Dana here. It's been a while since I posted because October was the absolute busiest month I had throughout this whole year. Firs and foremost, I got myself a new job lined up, so I had to fill out a lot of paperwork and other technicalities to get hired. Secondly, I worked at Costume America...and what happens during the month of October while working at a costume shop? Hundreds of Halloween purchases and rentals! So, writing kind of didn't happen for a while. I'm sincerely sorry for that. Today, I got a movie review for you! On Friday night, I saw Dumb and Dumber To, and this is what I have to say! Here it goes!

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen this movie and do not wish to find out what happens, close out of this window and do not read until you have seen it.

The film begins with an aerial view of a mental institution, and Harry(Jeff Daniels) has supposedly been visiting a vegetative Lloyd(Jim Carrey) every Wednesday for the past twenty years. After he changes Lloyd's waste bag, Harry tells him that he shouldn't be dwelling on the loss of Mary Swanson for all of these years, and Lloyd's mental state has taken a toll on him too. He breaks the news that he can't see him anymore, and as he walks away, Lloyd breaks out of his vegetative state and reveals that he was faking it the whole time. Harry is angry at first, but is delighted that his best friend is perfectly sane and finds it absolutely awesome. Harry breaks Lloyd out of the mental institution, and they're on their merry way to pull some new shenanigans! While they're walking home, Lloyd admits that he would have told Harry about his faked mental state earlier, but felt it would have been funnier to reveal it after 20 years instead of 10. In other words, it was a play on Jim Carrey's decision to wait twenty years to do a sequel. Very clever.

After they pay a visit to Billy, the blind person they sold a dead bird to in the first film, Harry breaks the news to Lloyd that he needs a kidney transplant. And now we know what the plot of the movie is: Harry needs a kidney and they have to find the match! I'm going to pause for a second. When I took a screenwriting class in my senior year at Queens College, I was told that a good screenplay has a plot that unfolds within the first ten minutes of the film. Dumb and Dumber To made the perfect example of that, and I praise the Farrelly Brothers for making that happen. I've seen many movies where I was completely lost because the plot wasn't revealed until a good half hour or forty minutes in. Even if they won Academy Awards, a plot that isn't revealed within the first ten minutes makes a poor film; in my opinion.

Anyway, Harry and Lloyd ride a bike to Harry's parent's house, and we discover that they're Asian, so they're not a donor match. After all of these years, Harry realizes that he's adopted and is heartbroken. I'm going to stop again. If you saw the prequel, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, Harry wasn't adopted, so having Asian parents didn't really make sense to me. However, the Farrelly Brothers had absolutely nothing to do with the prequel, so making Harry adopted didn't need to have continuity from the prequel, and the adoption also adds to the plot.
Harry also never changed his address after he moved out of his parents' house, so his parents have held his mail since 1991. While reading it, Harry discovers a postcard from Fraida Felcher(Kathleen Turner) that says "Harry, I'm pregnant. Please call me."

Since they haven't talked to Fraida in twenty years, they have no idea where she lives. They  remember that they met Fraida through their old friend Pete (Pee Stain) Stainer, and decide to pay him a visit in the middle of the night. Lloyd pays homage to the first film by asking Harry what "the second most annoying sound in the world" is by obnoxiously ringing the doorbell as fast as he could. "Pee Stain's" parents are horrified and appalled that they'd wake them up to ask about their  son who died nearly twenty years ago. Harry remembers meeting Fraida, who worked at the funeral home where Pete's wake was held. They reunite with Fraida, but discover that she aged terribly, to the point where they didn't even recognize her. It's another play on how terribly Kathleen Turner aged since the 1980's. She reveals that she gave up Penny for adoption and attempted to contact her, but the envelope was
returned with "do not contact me again" written in the corner. However, she found a picture of her daughter online, and Lloyd is instantly infatuated with her. Fraida lends them a hearse to track down Penny (Rachel Melvin), but they end up at her house because they read the return address on the back of the envelope instead of the address on the front. They venture their way to the address which leads them to the Pichelow residence, and they reveal themselves as Penny's biological father and friend, but she left for a KEN Convention in El Paso, where she will be giving a speech on her "father's" work as a scientist. However, she is just as dumb as Harry and Lloyd, and leaves a very important package and her cell phone that she was supposed to bring with her. So, they're paying homage to the first film: delivering an important package to a beautiful girl. In the mean time, Dr. Pichelow is getting poisoned by his wife so we also have an antagonist that has some form of a relationship to the beautiful girl, like in the first film. Well played.

After pulling shenanigans on each other and Travis, the Pichelow's housekeeper and Harry and Lloyd's assassin, Travis couldn't deal with their unfathomable stupidity any longer. A firecracker blows up in the back of the hearse and causes them to stop in the middle of train tracks. Harry and Lloyd get out of the car after getting deafened. Travis attempts to shoot them, but a train hits him and the hearse; killing him instantly. Lloyd gets his hearing back, but Harry doesn't. They think Travis drove off with their hearse because they didn't hear the
train hitting the car, so they journey on their way by foot. They realize that they need money to get Harry some hearing aids, so they break into a nursing home. After Lloyd gets sexually molested by an old woman at the nursing home, they get money for hearing aids, and Harry regains his hearing. They briefly find their old Mutts Cuts van, but break it down after driving down a hill and crashing at the bottom. They subsequently steal a Zamboni and eventually make it to El Paso.

They attempt to attend the convention by dressing up like scholars in graduation gowns, but are refused admission due to the lack of credentials. However, a scientist mistakes Harry for Dr. Pichelow and escorts them to the auditorium. After being obnoxious and rude during a man's presentation on dark matter, Lloyd is escorted out of the auditorium for not having proper credentials and not proving himself to be "Dr. Christmas." Before he is forced to
leave, Harry accuses Lloyd of being interested in his daughter, and claims that she can do better. Heartbroken, Lloyd wanders outside and meets Penny at a fountain, to discover how similar he is to Harry. They go out to lunch, and Harry gives Penny the letter Fraida wrote, and realizes that he was in the location where she was conceived, thinking that HE, himself, is her father and not Harry. He then realizes that if Penny isn't Harry's daughter, he can't get a kidney, and his best friend will die. Damn, that's really heavy for a comedy.

Mrs. Pichelow exposes Harry as a fraud, Fraida winds up at the convention and meets Penny, and a desperate Lloyd went to Mexico to have his kidney removed so he could give it Harry. The villains corner Harry, Lloyd, Penny and Fraida to shoot them, but a healthy Dr. Pichelow arrives to have Adele and her men arrested for attempted murder. The package turned out to be cupcakes, and Harry is rushed to the hospital after getting shot.

After Lloyd asks the doctor at the hospital to put his kidney inside Harry, it turns out to just be a pork chop, and Harry confesses that he was faking the need for a kidney. In other words, Harry got revenge on Lloyd for wasting 20 years of his life visiting him in the psych ward. Like Harry in the beginning, Lloyd is horrified that he removed his own kidney for absolutely nothing and his best friend lied about needing one, but then finds it hilarious.

After they leave the hospital, Fraida confesses that neither Harry nor Lloyd are Penny's father because she never had sex with either of them. The place where she conceived Penny was "her place" and had multiple sexual encounters with many men there. We also learn that they don't even comprehend the idea of sex, and are horrified by it. Despite the insanity throughout the movie, we learn that "Pee-Stain" was Penny's father all along, and she is
reunited with her mother and paternal grand-parents.

Harry and Lloyd lament on once again not getting the girl in the end. However, they see two beautiful women walking towards them and they promise not to waste this perfect opportunity. They shove the two women into the hedges, laugh their asses off, and run off as the camera zooms out and fades to black.

Despite the negative reviews and unfavorable words, I thoroughly enjoyed Dumb and Dumber To. They paid homage to the first film, but had new jokes, new punch lines, and a lot of laughs. Slapstick/toilet humor comedy is the perfect description of this film, and they did a damn good job at keeping that theme. The only thing I didn't understand is that if Harry was never Penny's biological father, why did Fraida send him that post-card to tell him that she was pregnant? If he wasn't the father the whole time, why did she tell him? But after thinking about it, two possibilities came to mind. 1) She trusted Harry out of all the men she got close with and needed someone to talk to about it. 2) After she gave up Penny for adoption, she trusted Harry into finding HER daughter because no one else would have the guts to do it.

When this film comes out on DVD or ends up on one of the movie channels, I will gladly watch this again. Thank you so much for reading my review, and I'll be writing again as soon as possible! Enjoy the rest of your week, ladies and gents.

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