Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Heartbreak Kid

LW & I went to an advance screening last night at Soho House of the Ben Stiller vehicle The Heartbreak Kid, out here & in London on October 5. A remake of the same-titled 1973 Neil Simon Oscar nom-ed pic, it's truly dreadful: overlong with clunky pacing, and more ham than my local deli counter.

The Farralley brothers do love their frat boy humour and gross out gags (Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary) but the misogyny and racism in this movie are jaw-dropping. Set mainly in Mexico, the film never misses a chance for an offensive Mexican gag, whilst women are vapid, vain, neurotic, one-dimensional, ultimately disposable sex objects.

The movie starts out well, with a neat set-up and an accurate evocation of singledom hell at a wedding. It all goes rapidly downhill from there, and whilst there are a couple of laugh out loud moments, but they didn't make up for the rest of the deathly unfunny movie.

Ben Stiller's mendacious, slimy bottom-feeder takes any trace of hero out of the concept of the anti-hero.

There were several (female) walkouts, although I stayed to the bitter end (never say die). I noticed a distinct cultural divide: the Americans in the audience were creased up, the English were playing with their crackberries and twitching. Variety gave it a rave, so maybe I'll be proved wrong at the box office.