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The Heartbreak Kid: a Gross Miscalculation


Ben Stiller is looking old these days. He looks and acts like he could be Jason Biggs‘ dad.

Even before seeing the Farrelly brothers’ latest romp, The Heartbreak Kid, I was a bit worried. The trailers depicted the flick to be a below-average attempt at updating the 1972 cult classic of the same name. Slapstick, teenage gross-outs and love – the Farrelly brothers have traveled down this road countless other times, and each one was better than this painfully-lacking retread.

Stiller, tired but game, plays Eddie Cantrow, a 40-year-old unmarried man (and sporting goods owner) who’s under the constant pressure of his eternal wingman Mac (Rob Corddry) and his father (Jerry Stiller, natch) to get hitched ASAP.

Cantrow, jaded and lonely, does exactly that: upon meeting the bubbly blonde Lila (Malin Akerman) he gets on the fast track to holy matrimony. As expected – and seen in the tell-tale trailer – things don’t work out between Cantrow and his mystery wife.

I’ll cut to the quick: man falls for woman, marries her; their relationship has a falling out and man finds himself truly falling in love for another woman (Miranda, played by Michelle Monaghan). Wifey don’t likey, so the claws come out. Rowr!

As sassy as that all sounds, the entire affair ends up being too formulaic to handle.

Not many can top the Farrellys’ brand of gross-out humor, and therein lies the problem: The Heartbreak Kid is merely a vehicle to produce icky incidents instead of, you know, being a stand-alone movie. You know that feeling you get when a TV spot for a movie feels like it has nothing more to offer than what’s on display? Go with your gut on this one.

If it wasn’t for the great Rob Corddry bringing his A-game – he easily steals every scene he’s in – Heartbreak would be a total misfire on every account.

Did I mention that Carlos Mencia has a cameo? Yeah, he does. Any movie that casts Mencia as a hotel worker has its work cut out.

Like the marital decision that anchors its storyline, The Heartbreak Kid is a gross miscalculation.

  • COED Writer