The Heartbreak Kid (2007) Movie Poster Image

The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

(i)

 

Hard-R Farrelly bros. remake offers crude laughs.
  • Review Date: December 26, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 116 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A married man cheats on his wife within days of the wedding; his bride, on the other hand, appears to morph into a horrid version of herself within the same amount of time (it turns out that she's been somewhat misrepresenting the truth); characters do drugs, act dopey, hit each other, threaten bodily harm, etc.

Violence

A man bludgeons another man's legs with a baseball bat; some slapping during sex; some police brutality -- but it's all played for laughs.

Sex

Lots of innuendoes and discussions about sex (one character calls sex "crushing p---y"); a few scenes in which bare breasts are flashed during sex, with a couple shown in awkward positions; in one envelope-pushing scene, a woman urinates on a man, and her private parts (or what looks like them) are shown in close-up.

Language

Strong and frequent. Words include: "damn," "c--t," "a--hole," "s--t" and "f--k," and various combos of them all.

Consumerism

Signs of touristy things to do at the Mexican resort; characters sing recognizable lyrics to songs loudly as they drive in the car; some liquor bottles are prominently displayed, as is the cover of a porno movie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Much vacation drinking (tequila shots, champagne, cocktails) and one scene in which a couple shares marijuana.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this hard-R comedy about a man who pursues another woman three days into his marriage (and doesn't seem to see a problem in that) will appeal to teens who love the Farrelly brothers and Ben Stiller, but the material is decidedly adult. There's enough sexual banter and outright nudity to make anyone blush: A couple is shown a number of times in non-traditional positions, with the woman shouting out orders about what the man should do to pleasure her; a man is said to have placed a married woman's hand on his genitals; a septuagenarian is shown in a hot tub with a much younger woman, with her massively implanted breasts bobbing in the water; etc.. Plus, there's profanity galore (from the usual suspects like "f--k" and "s--t" to some pretty imaginative combinations of those two and lots of their buddies), lots of drinking, and a pot-smoking scene.

What's the story?

In the Farrelly brothers' remake of Elaine May's 1972 film, San Francisco sporting-goods-store owner Eddie Cantrow (Ben Stiller) is 40 and single and desperately lonely. After attending his ex-fiancée's wedding, he's goaded into throwing caution into the wind and marries Lila (Malin Akerman), a stunning environmentalist he meets while trying to stop a mugger who steals her purse. But while on their honeymoon in Mexico, Eddie realizes that Lila may not be the dream girl he envisioned her to be -- an epiphany that's made more complicated by his growing attraction to Miranda (Michelle Monaghan), a fellow vacationer who may in fact be the true woman of his dreams.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

On its own merits, The Heartbreak Kid is an entertaining-enough comedy, with a decent dose of laughs. Silly/extreme sight gags are particularly plentiful. But the film can't be judged purely on its own merits, because it's a remake. While the Farrellys have changed their version enough to make it different, they chose not to change the title -- and maybe they should have, because their film just doesn't compare to the 1972 version. Whereas the original was layered, the new movie stays as close to the surface as can be, content to make viewers laugh not at the human condition but at whatever gross-out moment is unwinding onscreen. A crucial scene in which the husband breaks off with his new bride -- which put the heartbreak in the original film -- lacks punch here, diluted with yet another gag. And while May's movie ends on a wistful, almost painful note that immediately shifts everything that came before it into brilliance; the Farrellys just try to get away with one more joke (bitter as it may be).

All of that said, the new Heartbreak Kid does have Stiller, who rises to the occasion once more, never overplaying a scene; the same is true for his dad, Jerry Stiller, who plays Eddie's pervy-but-supportive father in the movie. (Akerman seems to be channeling Cameron Diaz, to some success, and Monaghan's passable.) Still, the Stillers alone aren't enough to buoy this film to There's Something About Mary greatness. Since that movie was released in 1998, Judd Apatow has arrived on the scene and, in a way, proceeded to out-Farrelly the Farrellys. Maybe that's part of the problem. When the big moment (involving a Man o' War and a bodily function) arrives in the end, we're not shocked enough. Nor are we laughing out loud.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why comedies like this one seem to target younger viewers (particularly teens), even though much of the subject matter skews older. Teens: Why do you want to see this movie? What makes these "over the top" comedies funny? (Or, if you're not a fan, what makes them unfunny?) Are the extreme sight gags necessary? Or have we become used to them and therefore immune to their impact? Is that good or bad? Families can also discuss who exactly the movie is making fun of -- is it just Ben Stiller's character, or men in general? What of the women -- do they fare any better in the gender wars?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 4, 2007
DVD release date:December 26, 2007
Cast:Ben Stiller, Jerry Stiller, Michelle Monaghan
Directors:Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:116 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong sexual content, crude humor, language, and a scene of drug use involving a minor.

This review of The Heartbreak Kid (2007) was written by

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Parent Written bymattbruns3 October 27, 2015

This is the most adult Ben Stiller movie

This movie has wild sex scenes.
Teen, 14 years old Written byBestPicture1996 February 16, 2010

Very crude

Stiller is good in almost everything (Tropic Thunder, Night at the Museum, etc.) he stars in, but this remake doesn't get out alot of belly laughs, it's more just entertaining to see what the poor schmuck is going to do next.
Adult Written byDanny21 February 26, 2016

Not suitable for people under 15.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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