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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Unscrupulous behavior is rampant and played strictly for laughs. Everyone stalks Mary, violating her privacy, spying on her, and lying to her. Healy lies to Ted about what Mary looks like and Ted lies to Mary about why he's in Florida. Norman pretends to be a disabled architect to attract Mary, and sends Mary anonymous notes lying about her boyfriends to make her break up with them. Healy stalks her, listens to her phone calls and conversations in her home, and caps his teeth to attract Mary. Woogie lies to Ted about who he is and violates a restraining order. He also tries to steal her shoes.
Positive Role Models
Characters lie, cheat, and steal -- all in the name of humor.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of comic violence, including Warren beating up Ted. Ted gets his penis stuck in his zipper, Healy drugs Magda's dog and then sets it on fire (luckily the dog very much looks like a stuffed replica). Policemen beat Ted's head against a table. Warren catches Ted's lip with a fish hook.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A part of the film's over-the-top comedy comes from crude sexuality behavior including: a shot of an old woman's saggy boobs, constant insinuation that Ted is gay and extensive talk about masturbation. Ted gets his genitals caught in a zipper and is rushed to the hospital. Dom's wife gives him oral sex as he watches TV. Ted is caught in a gay sex raid. Ted masturbates and famously gets his semen stuck on his ear, which Mary unknowingly puts in her hair. Healy and Norman go to a strip club. Healy has nudie calendars on his wall.
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Lots of degrading language about women, including "cocktease," "whale," etc. There's also lots of salty language, such as "f--k," "ass," "bitch," "numbnuts," "s--t," "dick," "bulls--t," "bastard," "prick," and "dips--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mary and her friends drink beer. Magda drinks martinis. Healy smokes cigars and feeds Magda's dog tranquilizers. Norman gives Magda and her dog speed.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that There's Something About Mary is a gross-out movie that features rampant unscrupulous, shocking, and inappropriate behavior to elicit laughs. It's funny stuff for the right crowd of adult comedy aficionados and a well-made movie for the often-maligned genre. Kids will want to see it because of the star power of Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller and its notorious shock value as a Farrelly brothers film. But consider this while you listen to them beg: the film features lots of jokes about male sexual insecurity, including getting caught masturbating (falsely and then really, when Mary finds ejaculate on Ted's ear and mistakes it for hair gel), injuring their genitals, gay male sex, and rape. It also makes light of sociopathic behavior, as one character stalks Mary and all the other men in her life continually deceive her. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Sure, the plot may sound like your typical romantic comedy -- but not with the Farrelly brothers at the helm. These are the same guys who brought you Dumb and Dumber, with its toilet humor and political incorrectness. Instead, this is a frat guy's idea of a romantic comedy, full of jokes at the expense of disabled people and women. Sure, the guys who fall for Mary are the ultimate joke; undeveloped man-boy idiots drooling over her charms -- how many leggy blondes are doctors who love beer and football?
If you can't stand this kind of humor, stay clear. And it's certainly not the thing for anyone with dating horror stories -- Chris Elliot's character won't be funny at all. But the film definitely has enough to satisfy adult gross-out humor fans.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.