Arriving a midst of Halloween inspired films, The Heartbreak Kid didn’t exactly open in the most popular time of the year for romantic comedies. Still, doing what they do best, the Farrelly brothers, whose minds brought us the wildly popular There’s Something About Mary, deliver a new take on the original 1972 The Heartbreak Kid. Dirtying it up for a new generation, the Farrelly brothers certainly won’t get any Oscar nominations that the original film did.
In his forties and still never have been married, Eddie (Ben Stiller) takes the plunge after his ex-fiancé gets married. With only a few weeks together, Eddie marries Lila (Mailn Akerman) and within the drive down to their honeymoon in Mexico, he learns that he’s made a grave mistake. Changing within hours of being married, Eddie begins to be unable to stand Lila and the situation only worsened when he met a woman he truly fell in love with: Miranda (Michelle Monaghan). With only days to decide what to do, Eddie is thrown into a world of confusion and before he can tell each woman his true feelings everything is thrown into a giant array of mishaps.
While The Heartbreak Kid manages to be thoroughly entertaining throughout, it doesn’t mix up the romantic comedy formula at all. In fact, with other films such as 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up on the market and in editions ten times raunchier and more obscene than what the Farrelly brothers have done in years. And while those films pack in the dirty, they still have a lot of heart; The Heartbreak Kid just manages to throw in a handful of obscene jokes and a generic plot that doesn’t really deviate from the winning formula.
Of course by not deviating they do create an entertaining movie. The only problem is that because there’s no deviation it might as well be the same film as every other R-rated romantic comedy. The film does mix it up a bit with its final few minutes, which I found to be more entertaining than anything else in the film. It sucks that it took that long to be truly original (or perhaps it isn’t original—I never saw the original 1972 film), but either way the film was really just an F-bomb filled comedy that was fun to watch once, but really nothing you’ll ever feel like watching more than that.
I feel I should mention Rob Corddry’s role in the film as Eddie’s friend “Mac.” He wasn’t particularly hilarious like he has been on The Daily Show, but it’s nice to see him get more exposure—and in such a big film to boot. Hopefully it’ll lead to more roles for him in the future and ones that play to his strengths as he didn’t really get to do much past act as a crutch to Stiller in scenes—obviously you can’t overshadow the star. Still, that’s not to say that Stiller or anyone else did a bad job on the film…it was humorous to watch, but as I said before…it just won’t hold up to repeat viewings.
I will say that the ending to the film was a tad bit unexpected, and closing it out with a scenario that is basically a repeat of the film itself is highly entertaining to me. Not to mention the rather random appearance of Eva Longoria, and you have yourself a fairly unique ending to what is generally a rather by-the-numbers comedy. But, as entertaining as the ending was, overall The Heartbreak Kid is a fun Rental but past that it’s really up to just how much you like generic romantic comedies (with a bit of extra added obscenity).
Standard comedy, standard home video release. Fitting, no? The Heartbreak Kid arrives in a single disc Blu-ray Elite case with inserts for firmware upgrades and a $10 rebate for upgrading from the DVD edition and the plain gray Paramount disc art. Menus are simple and easy to navigate. Oddly enough they opted to release this one almost a year since its original DVD release; I can’t imagine it sold that well on HD-DVD for them to revisit it again, but I guess it must have had big enough names to in it to warrant a re-release.
The AVC encoded 1080p transfer here is a bit disappointing, simply because there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of detail coming through. The image is overly soft and while shots in the distance such as a sparkling pool or tropical surroundings look good, what we focus on is a bit…blah. I thought it was just my general feelings towards the film, but it generally just looks overly soft to me and it just isn’t up to snuff when compared to other Blu-ray transfers. Granted it’s better than the DVD, of course, but there just isn’t’ a whole lot here to gaze upon. The accompanying Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix isn’t all that surprising either and aside from a bit more clarity in the surrounds, it’s not that much of a step up from the DD5.1 track on the previous DVD release. Also included are French and Spanish DD5.1 mixes, as well as English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitle tracks.
First up on the special features docket is a commentary by the Farrelly Brothers. Most of the time is spent joking and talking about how wonderful all of the actors were and what they did on the down time in the beautiful scenery where the film was set. They comment on some of the difficulties during filming, but for the most part it seemed like it was a breeze. Between the Ben and Jerry Stiller antics to the spontaneity of some of the scenes between Stiller and the two leading ladies, it seems like the film was more fun to work on than it was to watch it. A fair track, but really nothing that’s worth listening to unless you’re a big Farrelly brothers fan.
For the extras we have bloopers (4:01) and deleted scenes (7:27). There are seven deleted scenes and they range from extended takes to completely removed scenes; they’re entertaining in their own right, if only for the superb delivery of the lines by the entire cast.
Moving on we have a series of quick featurettes. “Ben and Jerry” (5:00) tells the on-set hijinks of Ben and Jerry Stiller as they played father in son in the movie and are in real life. This is a fun extra if only to see the two joke around with one another. “Heartbreak Halloween” (3:24) shows the crew dressing up for Halloween and who among them won for best costume, while “The Egg Toss” (8:04) is an in-depth look into the game that the cast and crew of The Heartbreak Kid played at the end of the day. Finally, “The Farrelly Brothers in The French Tradition” (16:35) covers the lives of the Farrelly brothers and their careers. Not sure why this extra is on here, but I guess they needed something to fill up disc space. A theatrical trailer is included as the only HD extra.
With the commentary providing the real only “making-of” aspect of the set, it’s not the most in-depth release. Still, the film was hardly deserving of hour long extras and what’s provided here is adequate for a film of this nature. Having said that there is really nothing of great importance to see in either the film or on this DVD; like the film, this DVD earns a Rental only—anything more and you’re either a fan of the Farrelly brothers or just like collecting romantic comedies that follow the most generic of stories.
The Heartbreak Kid arrives on Blu-ray on December 16th.