Bobby and Peter Farrelly — the writing and directing sibs responsible for Kingpin, There’s Something About Mary, Shallow Hal, Dumb and Dumber — are dangerously close to becoming an adjective. Every one of their films, including their latest, Stuck on You, is whipped up from the exact recipe that has served them so well in the past. Their entire catalog will inspire the accepted use of the term Farrellesque, and that really is a shame. This isn’t an indictment of their work or a challenge to them to bring back the disaster flick or do the sequel to Cool Hand Luke. It’s merely a lament that everything once fresh, original, genre-bending and cool must come to an end, and in its place will be the desire to create what has worked before because the Jacuzzi needs work and the north wing of the guest house is falling apart.
Farrellesque: adj. a term to describe any film that combines the hilarious antics of lovable, mentally challenged and physically handicapped main and supporting characters combined with the incongruent elements of a deep and often disturbing pathos with politically incorrect sight gags. Often used to describe any lead character who has been bullied or abused in some fashion and yet triumphs over adversity with brazen yet cuddly stupidity and often gets laid for his or her efforts. A Farrellesque film will generally rely on the liberal use of cameos and “inside” humor, often poking fun at itself while still hanging on to its unpretentious and refreshingly naive subtext, often reinforced by a cloying and intrusive lite-rock sound track. The Farrellesque movement reached its zenith in 2011 with the film The Vice President in which Montel Williams portrayed the leprotic second-in-command trying to recover the diseased penis he lost while on a winter camping trip in the Appalachian foothills. Film is also noted for its classic “shit-eating contest” featuring Andy Dick and 13 paraplegics.
This time, the Farrellys have corralled Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear as conjoined twins Bo and Walt Tenor, who leave their sleepy Martha’s Vineyard town and the Quickee Burger restaurant they own to pursue Greg’s goal of becoming a real Hollywood actor and Matt’s hidden dream of meeting his Internet-chat girlfriend. Every conjoined twin joke is here, along with some interesting cameos, an energetic and self-deprecating performance from Cher, and one really, really funny line from Eva Mendes, who plays the boys’ sexy neighbor, April. That line, spoken poolside after seeing the twins shirtless, gives hope that the Farrellys, although shameless in their formulaic and groan-inducing creation of disposable and trifling fare, can still whip up caustic and pointed satire and intelligent social commentary for the jaded gullets of the overly entertained masses.
They’ve done this movie before and they’ll do this movie again. And we’ll keep going because no one can do a semen joke one minute and almost make us cry the next minute like the Farrellys can. God love ’em.
Dan DeMaggio writes about film for Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.