"The Heartbreak Kid" is so worn out, you can almost smell it's dirty, dated musk.
The Heartbreak Kid (2007, Blu-ray)
Directors: The Farrelly Brothers
Writers: Scot Armstrong (screenplay) and Leslie Dixon (screenplay) and Bobby Farrelly (screenplay) & Peter Farrelly (screenplay) & Kevin Barnett (screenplay) Bruce Jay Friedman (short story "A Change of Plan") Neil Simon (
Features: * Commentary * Deleted Scenes * Featurettes * Trailers * Gag Reel
Ben Stiller ... Eddie Cantrow
Michelle Monaghan ... Miranda
Jerry Stiller ... Doc
Malin Akerman ... Lila
Carlos Mencia ... Uncle Tito
Rob Corddry ... Mac
The Heartbreak Kid Blu-ray Review
Back in 1998 when the Farrelly Brothers released the comedy hit, "There's Something About Mary", we were in a bit of a comedy drought. There just wasn't anything funny coming out that didn't have the name "Sandler" attached to it and it was a grand awakening for audiences that put Ben Stiller on the mainstream map. Jump to today, ten years later and we are in a comedic revolution of sorts lead by Judd Apatow and co., Jon Stewart and co., Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, and the folks behind "The Office."
What shocked us about the Farrelly Brothers back then is hardly shocking by today's lower, but oddly wittier standards. In fact, the Farrelly Brothers' latest sex romp, "The Heartbreak Kid" is so worn out, you can almost smell it's dirty, dated musk.
The film tries to attract us with comedic talent such as Ben Stiller, Jerry Stiller, Carlos Mencia and Rob Corddry, but the film is so lazily written that the laughs are forcibly squeezed out rather than flowing out naturally. Corddry fares the best as Stiller's best friend and man-slave to his domineering wife, but his screen time is disgustingly minimal.
The film follows Stiller, a late-thirty or forty-something named Eddie, who's yet to meet his perfect match. One day he happens upon a girl named Lila (the gorgeous Malin Akerman, doing her best to look and act like Cameron Diaz) and soon, they are married. But something changes in Lila. She becomes an obsessed, controlling monster within hours of their wedding. While on their honeymoon, Eddie meets up with Miranda (the exquisite Michelle Monaghan) and he falls in love. Of course, because the film is so contrived it's sick, he doesn't tell her that he's married...and a plot that's older than Jerry Stiller ensues. *Yawn*
And that's the crux of the "The Heartbreak Kid"--it's just such a well worn, predictable story that it's hardly ever fresh. The shock humor of the film doesn't fit either because the story follows such a safe route despite its hard 'R' rating. Had the Farrelly's stuck a little closer to the 1972 original film they could have had a much funnier, and darker, film on their hands. As it stands, it's a film that wants so desperately to be "There's Something About Mary 2." Even the casting of Malin Akerman screams it. She looks, acts and feels just like Cameron Diaz. It's as though the Farrelly Brothers asked Diaz to be in the film and she turned it down. It's not fair to pigeonhole Malin like that. She's a competent and talented actress and would have done fine with a character she could actually call her own.
"The Heartbreak Kid" has a few solid laughs, but the film is much ado about nothing. It's the sort of film you'd watch on a Saturday afternoon if it was on cable. There just isn't anything shocking or hugely entertaining about it to make it a "must-see" venture out to the megaplexes. Hell, even the straight-to-DVD "American Pie" movies are more daring than this!
Film Report Card
Entertainment Value: B-
Film Value: C-
Paramount presents "The Heartbreak Kid" on Blu-ray in 2.35:1 widescreen, encoded in 1080p/VC-1 video on a BD50 dual-layer disc. This appears to be the very same transfer used on the original HD DVD. I was surprised at just how murky and occasionally flat this disc was. Sometimes it's near picture window perfect, other times; it's plagued by edge halos and other digital grain. Indoor sequences and nighttime sequences are generally flat, offering little by way of the high-def experience. This is hardly a flag ship title, to be sure, but I expected more from it. It just doesn't deliver.
At least the audio is better. Paramount gives fans a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track, but drops the Dolby Digtal Plus track from the HD DVD (it’s not really needed anyway). This time around, the edge definitely goes to the TrueHD track for presenting a very finely tuned mix. Neither track offers up a very meaty surround heavy experience, but overall fidelity and clarity is better with the TrueHD track. I’m glad it was ported over here.
Paramount has delivered a few decent special supplements for fans of the film to peruse.
• Commentary -- There’s an always amusing commentary from the Farrelly Brothers. While not their best track ever, it certainly doesn't disappoint anyone who's ever listened to one of their very talkative tracks.
• Behind-the-scenes Retrospectives (HD) -- All are mostly worth watching. The following are found on the disc: Ben and Jerry, the Egg Toss, the Farrelly Brothers in the French Tradition and Heartbreak Halloween. Most of these short featurettes deal with the onset goofing around that took place while shooting. The "Halloween" featurette is the standout.
• Gag Reel/Deleted Material (SD) -- Finally, fans are treated to a somewhat amusing Gag Reel and a series of deleted scenes. The movie was already way too long and these scenes were rightfully excised.
• Trailer (HD)
"The Heartbreak Kid" comes in an "Elite" blue case. Design is simple and in fitting with Paramount's other titles.
"The Heartbreak Kid" was certainly not the comeback film that the Farrelly Brothers had hoped for, but it does play a little better on home video. The Blu-ray presentation is fair, but certainly not reference. This one's worth a rent, but you might want to hold off on a purchase.
Blu-ray Report Card:
HD Content: N/A
Recommendation: Worth a look, but nothing more than a rental.
On Blu-ray: December 16, 2008.
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----R. L. Shaffer