The Heartbreak Kid Farrelly Brothers

The Heartbreak Kid Farrelly Brothers

The Farrellys recycle the 1972 Elaine May film and their own catalogue to present this amusing but disappointing comedy. Just as in There’s Something About Mary, Ben Stiller plays a lovable yet lonely mensch named Eddie Cantrow who literally runs into carefree blonde Lila (Canadian Malin Akerman) on the streets of San Francisco. They barely know each other but marry anyway and honeymoon in sunny Cabo, where they really get to know each other.

Eddie discovers that Lila is childish, stubborn, careless and flaky. Sure, the sex is hot (and hilarious) but overpowering for poor Eddie. When she refuses to wear sunscreen and turns into a blistering lobster under the Mexican sun, Lila hides in their hotel room as Eddie parties with the smarter and savvier Miranda (Michelle Monaghan), who’s vacationing with her backwards Mississippi in-laws. Though Miranda is recovering from a break-up, she hits it off with Eddie. Eddie turns into a weasel, hiding his newfound marriage from Miranda and Miranda from Lila, but for how long?

There’s a sense of déjà vu watching this movie. Akerman tries to, but doesn’t quite match, the screen presence of Stiller, a fine comic actor. Instead, Cameron Diaz comes to mind. The theme of duplicitous relationships harkens back to Mary. Even the gags echo other Farrelly films.

It’s fun to find Stiller’s real-life dad Jerry playing his father on-screen but Mr. Stiller’s timing is off and he looks uncomfortable throughout. Physical gags, the Farrellys’ strong point, generally work, particularly when Lila "saves” Eddie on the beach, but the laughs are few and far between.

The Heartbreak Kid starts off as a fun romp but doesn’t deliver in the end. Wait for the DVD. (Dreakworks/Paramount)