Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003) Movie Review

Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd film summary

Title: Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
Year: 2003
Genre: Comedy
Play time: 1h 25min
Director: Troy Miller
Starring: Derek Richardson, Eric Christian Olsen, Eugene Levy

“There’s only one way to settle this. Make out contest.”

The Dumbest of Comedies – Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd

This is a scandal. That a script as irredeemable, vapid and unwatchable as this one made it through all stages of the film-making process unscathed is a development that merits FCC investigation, if not FBI. Sitting through the disaster that is Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd very nearly left me speechless. It has always been easy to make me laugh — those who know me will tell you that I laugh at practically anything — and thus I am easily amused by the dumbest of comedies, but this, this is something else entirely. My God.

The Selection of Cast for Dumb and Dumberer was a Total Mistake!

I mean, there’s bad and then there’s unspeakably bad, the kind of stuff that might have been written by a particularly loquacious three year-old. Dumb and Dumberer falls squarely into the latter category. It is a dead zone. There are two chuckles. Certain scenes inspire utter disbelief at the fact that someone thought them somehow worthy of being included in a theatrical feature film. There is a Bob Saget cameo that makes the downfall of his career official.

It’s telling, I think, that until essentially the last minute, New Line Cinema did its best to conceal the fact that Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, the stars of the hugely popular original, were not returning for this prequel. Nor were the Farrely Brothers, whose direction of the first film skyrocketed them into a hugely successful Hollywood career. I guess it’s gratifying to see that these talents had the wherewithal to bow out of this bastardization of their original work, which was at least half-decent. Then again, they could have insisted that the script be rewritten. Or scrapped entirely. Would have been nice.

Comedy Through Brain Freeze

The movie’s idea of funny is to bring Bob Saget — a naturally funny man — in for a cameo and simply have him say the word “shit.” A lot. Like, twice a sentence. And when we think we’ve finally gotten rid of him, he comes back to do it again. Then there is an entire scene in which the two protagonists try to give themselves brain freeze with a convenience store slushie. There’s no twist to the scene, no idiosyncrasy to make it amusing; they simply stand there and try to get brain freeze.

Though Carrey and Daniels are gone, there are plenty of talented actors who signed up for this project only to wind up with nothing to do. I am willing to wager the deed to your home that Eugene Levy signed his contract before seeing the script and then stared in disbelief at what he was given, he does turn out to provide the movie’s only actual laugh. Shia LeBouf, so great in Holes, Cheri Oteri, Mimi Rogers and Elden Henson are among the other reputable performers who make an appearance and have no impact on the quality of the project. It seems there’s certain material one just can’t transcend.

Carrey & Daniels Could Have Played the Script Better Than Erik Christian Olsen & Derek Richardson

Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne are now played by Erik Christian Olsen and Derek Richardson, respectively; the latter making his film debut, the former having appeared in such gems as The Hot Chick and Not Another Teen Movie. They are hardly outstanding comedians, but as I mentioned, I doubt that anyone, including Carrey and Daniels, could have made much of a dent in this script as it’s written. Richardson at least gives us a convincing dimwit; Olsen mugs more than Jim Carrey, and less convincingly.

A big problem is that though the Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne of Dumb and Dumber weren’t the sharpest peas in the basket, they could not be classified as mentally retarded. Here, they’re stupid enough to be institutionalized, and that’s just not funny. It is, however, a pretty apt metaphor for the movies themselves. Dumb and Dumber was plenty dumb, but Dumb and Dumberer is much dumbererer.

Reporting news from the industry. Always looking forward to upcoming sequels.

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