The Heartbreak Kid Cover On occasion desperation can make you do a lot of strange things. It can make you buy something that you don’t really want. It can make you marry someone because it seemed like a good idea at the time. And it can also make you watch this film too. This one Directed by The Farrelly Brothers; and Starring: Ben Stiller, Malin Åkerman , and Danny McBride. It was made in 2007 and lasts for 116 minutes.

The Heartbreak Kid

After forty years of being a singleton, and six weeks of knowing ecologist, Lila (Malin Åkerman), sports shop owner, Eddie Cantrow (Ben Stiller), decides to marry her, so that Lila does not have to move away to foreign climes.

Still, is this the right thing for Eddie to do? Huh? On the one hand Lila is very attractive, and she does appear to have a very sweet disposition. Whilst, on the other hand, before and during there honeymoon together in Mexico, he finds out a completely different side to her.

For example; She has bad taste in music. She is sexually aggressive in bed. She once was a cocaine addict and has damaged her septum. She’s penniless. She’s simple. And she is very stubborn as well.

Well, why else would Lila get such a harsh sunburn and spend the majority of her time in bed during her nuptials. Especially when Eddie did tell her to apply sun-cream first!

So what can Eddie do now, huh? Call his Dad (Jerry Stiller) for some advice? Yeah – he does that – but this does not help him much. OK then, what about befriending that sweet girl who is staying at the same resort he is, Miranda (Michelle Monaghan), she seems nice? Yeah – he does that too – but in doing so, Eddie becomes somewhat conflicted.  

You see, over time, Eddie and Miranda keep on bumping into each other, and they get to know each other in the process. He meets her family. He finds out where she lives. Plus on top of that, he falls in love with her too.

But wait up! Isn’t Eddie already married to Lila? Yep – a piece of information that he has not divulged to Miranda yet, because people keep on interrupting him when he tries to do so. Moreover, when Ben does make a decision – and attempts to tell Lila that he does not love her anymore, people keep on interrupting him once again.

Oh! I suppose when Miranda’s surly cousin, Eddie (Danny McBride) figures out the truth about Eddie’s union, this does him a favor really. As Eddie becomes a toilette – Eddie becomes a Mexican refugee – Eddie becomes lovelorn – and Eddie gets there in the end.

Err, kind of?

Now I like to think of ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ as the bastardized second cousin to the Farrlley Brothers other Ben Stiller film ‘There’s Something About Mary’. Well, both films are about: (1) Frequented love. (2) Involve a hidden spouse whom appears at the end of the film. (3) Includes a pal that gives main protagonist unsound advice. And (4) In addition to this, provide a ‘roller-coaster type structure’ that largely relies on misinformation and happenstance.

However, unlike ‘Mary’, this film does not capture the same jovial and original spirit, and has a more tried and tested formulaic approach to the overall package – thus making me confused.

So what do I normally do when I'm confused about a film? Correct-a-mon-do – advantage / disadvantage time.

Ben Stiller in The Heartbreak KidADVANTAGE:
(1) The last thirty minutes of this film was very-very funny. It was as if one comedic calamity happened one after the other after the other. (2) For a change, I found that some of the supporting players were really great in this movie. I especially liked the twins and the mariachi band, two ‘devices’ that worked on a congenial level for me. (3) Because this is a Farrlley Brothers style film, I have to say that their candor and boldness shone through like a bull in a proverbial china shop. But in Mexico instead. (4) Strangely enough, I did find the sexual scenes funny to watch. I hardly thought about tossing off to Malin because it was so quirky. (5) The music in this movie really did help this film at times. Elevating the whole mood to a more personable tone.

Malin Akerman in The Heartbreak KidDISADVANTAGE:
(1) Conceptually, I found that most of the characters were too single faceted to be relatable. Ben was the nervous businessman – Malin was the nutty wife – Danny was the surly cousin – etc... etc... etc... making this a rather superficial character piece. (2) Mainly due to me associating this film with ‘Mary’, I am afraid to say that this did dilute my enjoyment of this movie. I felt that I had seen it before. (3) Overall, this film is too contrasting in tone. The comedy is either crude or verbal. The people are either pretty or grotesque. And the dilemmas presented are either personally or inane. (4) I found that certain characters were used as placards to give exposition too, even if they did have some subliminal counterpoint within this tale. (5) The initial motivation behind this film relies on Ben’s character being desperate for love. This did not really come across in that way.

So that makes it ‘five a piece’, right? Although that rating may be a tad too harsh in retrospect, simply because ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ was not that bad a movie. Granted, the whole ‘love story’ aspect of this film did not really work in my opinion. That said, there are some very funny moments which make it well worth the watch. Also, I did like the initial pretext of marrying a woman that you do not really know, reminds me in some way of ‘Wedding Daze’.

Good film – great in places – flawed in others.


THE HEARTBREAK KID THE HEARTBREAK KID Reviewed by David Andrews on May 04, 2012 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.