A comedy centered around four couples who settle into a tropical-island resort for a vacation. While one of the couples is there to work on the marriage, the others fail to realize that participation in the resort's therapy sessions is not optional.
Eddie is forty, owns a sporting-goods store, and is still single. After watching his ex-fiancée walk down the aisle, he meets Lila, an environmental researcher, who seems too good to be true. Pressured by his father and best friend, Eddie pops the question and marries Lila after only 6 weeks. However, as he almost instantly discovers, his new bride is a nightmare with more baggage than he can handle. She's immature, foolish, a monster in bed, owes a tremendous amount of money to various sources, and as it turns out, is only a volunteer and doesn't actually have a job. While on their honeymoon in Cabo, Eddie meets Miranda, a down-to-earth lacrosse coach who is visiting with her family. Sparks fly, and Eddie falls for her. Now comes the tricky part of breaking off his marriage to crazy Lila, all while keeping the truth from Miranda about why he's in Cabo in the first place...Written by
During the scene when Lila gets mugged and Eddie is trying to help her, the same red car comes down the street and stops at the intersection twice. See more »
Look, you want to know the secret to a happy marriage? Do what I do. Plaster on a fake smile, plow through the next half century, sit back, relax, and wait for the sweet embrace of death!
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After the completion of the end credits, a scene showing Eddie Cantrow's (Ben Stiller) bunkmate at camp saying good night and then snorting cocaine (in reference to the deviated septum scene in the film). See more »
I have always pictured Ben Stiller as the poor middle-aged schmuck who must go through all the available crappy situations before getting a break at the end... and a nice, beautiful girl. Not saying all his roles follow the 90% loser-10% winner pattern, but his most memorable certainly do. Interestingly that's how it all starts in the Farrelly brothers' remake "The Heartbreak Kid", Eddie is a guy in his early forties who just saw his ex-girlfriend walking down the aisle and question whether he can or will find the right one. You just want to hug him and comfort him, at the end, his princess will come.
That's good old Stiller and from the throwaway jokes directed at him during the wedding to the pseudo-encouragements from his sex-addict father (played by Ben's own father Jerry) and a friend who's such a henpecked husband he uses the "Wicked Witch" them as his wife's ringtone, you know it'll be a long road before Eddie finds any comfort in his life. Yet against all expectations, he meets that special someone in Lila (Malin Akerman), a young environmentalist researcher named like her 1972 counterpart. Everything goes fine until she announces that she's going to move to Rotterdam because it's part of her company's policy for unmarried employees. This prompts Eddie to take the big step.
Now, let's have a pause and get back to Elaine May's original film and remember that Charles Grodin played a nebbish self-centred boy instantly dissatisfied with his newly wed wife and chased another one who was everything she wasn't, breaking a marriage only five days after to follow a Viking-like goddess. His name was Lenny and he was such an unlikable protagonist that the film had to end on a bittersweet note, he just couldn't triumph. Besides, Grodin looked exactly like the kind of jerk to pull such tricks with his timid smile and embarrassed manners, he was that guy you wanted to punch on the face... if he wasn't so strangely attractive.
And un-likability and handsomeness aren't exactly the traits we'd most associate to Ben Stiller's so the Farrelly brothers take up a rather difficult challenge to make Ben Stiller portray the kind of selfish prick who could have been more fitting for actors like Jim Carrey or Owen Wilson (as a matter of fact, Grodin's facial expressions reminded me of Wilson a little bit). Still, they went for Stiller and as if they aware of the 'limitations' of the main character's appeal, they decided to go for a less subtle and a zanier tone, portraying Lila as an unbearable girl by objective standards, she's loud, annoying, has weird sexual fantasies and so dumb she believes she wouldn't get sunburns because the Ozone works differently in Mexico. Was she too over-the-top? Yes. Did it hurt the film? That's debatable.
Indeed, the only way to build some empathy toward Eddie is to see him enduring all these shenanigans with Lila. Of course, the realization that she's not exactly the girl of his dreams isn't treated in the introspective way or cultural clash the other film did (what did you expect from 2007?), the original was a social commentary about relationships within marriage and Lenny's faults were handled in a "What have I done" or "Now, what?" tone, that one explores various tonalities of "Oh, crap" that are usually perfect for Ben Stiller. It goes so far we don't have time to think about ethics.
At the end, there are enough crude jokes, many involving the vacation resort owner Uncle Tito (Carlos Mencia), a group of mariachi popping up at the worst possible time, funny misunderstandings, and awkward moments to get us to the ending with a good ratio of one joke at least every minute, and there's certainly one of the funniest scenes ever involving a freight train to go to the US border. Still, it's hard to empathize with Stiller no matter how hard the film overplays Lila's weirdness and Miranda, the "good one" Miranda (Michelle Monaghan) doesn't need much to touch us, but she's so good that we're somewhat satisfied when at some point of the film, Eddie still doesn't get here.
Which leaves us to the dead-end at the end, so to speak, a comedy like "The Heartbreak kid" can't end happily, but even with the Farrelly brothers, for all the film's zaniness, it couldn't also be a totally happy conclusion for Eddie. The ending is well-thought though but it could have done without the sex joke in the middle of the credits, the Farrely Brothers proved to be master of visual humor but maybe they forgot they were handling very fragile and sensitive material. If they treated the original material with more respect, something I think the other directing siblings (the Coens) did with "Lady Killers", the film could have been something on the level of "There's Something About Mary".
Still, it's a good and fun comedy of the 2000s far better than what the harsh critics imply.
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