Dumb and Dumber To

Shortly after the Republicans claimed victory in the past election, this film grossed more money in its first week than any other movie. What could that mean?

Dumb and Dumber ToFor all the criticism this foolish film has received, you almost feel the need to apologize for seeing it. I avoided that possibility by insisting that my grandchildren and foreign exchange student go with me so I could blame them for the whole experience. Given that Calin (my granddaughter) had seen the film two days earlier and laughed hysterically, what did I really have to lose?

So let’s start by simply saying that it is not God-awful! Critics should simply get off their pristine high horse and accept the fact that the movie is not entitled “Smart and Smarter To”! You know what you’re going to get, so why complain?

Obviously, it is rude, crude and occasionally quite funny. Both Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels are losers who embrace stupidity as life’s principal goal, and no one on Earth has ever enjoyed being made a fool of more than the two of them.

While this is the one time that I could give away the entire plot without inviting criticism, I’m going to simply leave it to your imagination. Let me just say that one of them fakes a mental illness that has keep him confined in an institution for 20 years; the other fakes the need for a kidney transplant that causes a needless organ donation; they both conclude that each had fathered the same child 20 years ago by a nasty woman who turns out to be an old prostitute; the suspected daughter turns out to be dumber than either of these two functional idiots, and the rest of the movie dissolves into a mindless adventure.

I know that all of you want to know if either of the boys is the father of this attractive yet demented young woman (Rachel Melvin) as opposed to a deceased old friend known as Pee Stain, but why give away the joke. I’ll only alert you that our boys end up on a road trip with Travis, played by Rob Riggle, a hitman who becomes so annoyed by our boys fart jokes that you get the feeling that he would just as soon kill himself.

I’ve got to admit that one of my favorite moments on-screen was the appearance of Kathleen Turner, the callous mother of the wayward daughter. Though she looks more like Meryl Streep’s witch in the forthcoming Into the Woods rather than her voluptuous younger self in Body Heat (1981), she deserves credit for being willing to absorb some brutal jokes from our hayseed stars.

Additionally, though I frequently was left doing little more than shaking my head, I have to admit that watching my young companions’ contagious laughter was fun in and of itself. I could only tell them after the movie ended that this was a film made for teenagers and adults who still recalled what it was like to act like a teenager.

One final comment about my granddaughter. She told me that while she refused to see Ouija because of her hatred of horror films, three of her friends went and sat in the top row of the theater. Calin was later told that one of the girls kept a hood pulled over her head and moaned during the entire film while the three of them hugged one another in outright fear. As one of the girls watched the movie and told them what was happening, the one with the hood over her head actually screamed and urinated down her leg. Aw, you’ve got to love teenage girls!