Monday, March 9, 2009

DVD: There’s Something More About Mary

Directors: Bobby and Peter Farrelly
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller, Matt Dillon
Year made: 1998

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

Thank God for the Farrelly brothers. Without them, guys around the world might still be going out on dates with loaded guns – and as we know, “People get hurt that way.”

This was just one of the many lessons to be learned from There's Something About Mary, as well as a multitude of new ways to describe ‘choking the chicken’. Only the most anti-PC viewer can watch without realising there is something grim about the brothers Farrelly. No joke is too rude, crude or lewd in their so-called gross-out comedy fashion. And if you can’t stand the heat get the disc out your spinner.

From painful zipper encounters to particularly salty hair gel, the Farrellys succeed in their efforts to shock and entertain. Ted (Stiller) is in love with Mary (Diaz). He hasn’t seen her for 13 years and sends private detective Pat Healy (Dillon) to find her, who in turn also falls for Mary. Despite all its attempts to turn your head in disgust at the gall of their humour, Mary has a tender, heart-warming streak a mile wide running through it that’s impossible to ignore.

On first inspection this looks to be a quality special edition. However, it does seem to be one of those examples of quantity over quality. The disc includes a second version with 14 extended scenes, which dilute the overall tone and pace of the movie.

While the Farrellys’ commentary is intermittently enjoyable it does frequently descend into a holiday slideshow, with Peter and Bobby taking great pains to point out all their friends and family. ‘Getting Behind Mary’ is the best of the rest. It features loads of behind-the-scenes footage cut with interviews of Diaz, Stiller and Dillon. The other extras are disappointing filler-fodder, while the interview roulette with Harland Williams is just not funny at all.

Definitely more about Mary, just not enough.

Film 5 stars
Extras 3 stars

If you like this why not try…

Kingpin (1996)
Underrated Farrellys film, sitting somewhere in between The Hustler and The Big Lebowski.

Special Features
• Audio commentary by directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly
• Audio commentary by writers Ed Dector and John J Strauss
• 14 extended scenes with seamless branching (25 mins)
• ‘Getting Behind Mary’ documentary (43 mins)
• ‘AMC Backstory: There’s Something About Mary’ featurette (20 mins)
• ‘Comedy Central Reel Comedy: There’s Something About Mary’ featurette (21 mins)
• ‘Best Fight’ spoof award footage (Ben Stiller And Puffy The Dog) (3 mins)
• ‘Frank And Beans: A Conversation With W. Earl Brown’ featurette (6 mins)
• ‘Touchdown: A Conversation With Brett Farve’ (6 mins)
• Interview roulette with Harland Williams (7 mins)
• ‘Puffy, Boobs And Balls’ featurette (11 mins)
• Outtakes
• ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ Karaoke video
• Music video
• Theatrical trailer
• Easter eggs

The review first appeared in DVD Review #64