Making the Grades
Dumb and Dumber was a pioneering movie in the "gross out" genre. Now, thanks to the antics of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels -- along with the millions who put their money into this Dumb investment -- we have seen a torrent of films featuring comedy based upon noises and smells we make doing things that were never spoken of in public.
In Dumber and Dumberer, we come expecting to get more of what we asked for. Surprisingly, perhaps because I've been desensitized by the PG-13 comedy club, this film isn't as revolting as it is just plain well dumb!
Best called a prequel, the movie takes us back to the moment when Harry (Derek Richardson) and Lloyd (Eric Christian Olsen) first bump into each other on their way to high school. Sharing similar learning disabilities (or as this movie would say "retarded"), the two slow learners become fast friends.
Their friendship works into a ridiculous plot where school principal Mr. Collins (Eugene Levy) is attempting to embezzle a $100,000 grant for special education projects from the school board. All he needs to do is prove he has a special education program operating for mentally challenged students. With the help of Harry and Lloyd, he manages to put together a group of misfits who meet in "class" in the school tool shed.
Watching all of this is Jessica, the attractive school newspaper reporter. Desperate to uncover the real story behind the new special ed. class, she begins asking Harry questions. But her attention is misconstrued by the love struck boy, who is convinced one of the most beautiful girls in school is after him.
There are some obvious flaws within this premise, not the least of which is the idea of generating comedy by portraying two people with serious mental challenges. Even tossing the ethics of that debate aside, how long can we snicker at two guys trying to put food in their mouths without getting it all over their faces? As the humor stales, we're left wondering how long the film will last.
Then there's the problem of watching Eric Christian Olsen playing Jim Carrey playing Lloyd Christmas. The guy must have been watching Carrey movies for months, and now spends every moment on screen doing the rolling eyes and rubber mouth tricks that we haven't seen Carrey do for years. Fortunately the character of Harry was more of a "one shot" for Jeff Daniels, allowing Derek Richardson to work out his own methods.
Still banking on audiences laughing at gags like a bathroom covered in melted chocolate which is mistaken for human excrement, we can only hope it's another decade before we meet Harry and Lloyd again
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd.
What is your opinion about movies that create comedy by portraying people with mental challenges? Does the humor help us to better understand their difficulties or is it simply degrading?