Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Director: Peter & Bobby Farrelly
Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly.
Plot: Two friends encounter a briefcase that they endeavor to return to Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), unaware that it is part of a criminal ploy, with hilarious results.
“Hey Harry old buddy old pal” I find myself replicating to those who, like myself, admire this particular 90s film centred around the entertaining escapades of Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels).
In Dumb & Dumber Carrey and Daniels portray two characters who embark on an endless expedition to return a briefcase – mistaken by Christmas for being an item that belonged to his love interest, Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), when it was actually purposefully planted as part of a criminal plot, unbeknownst to them both. They set out to Colorado in order to find Mary Swanson and return the money-filled briefcase, but their mission is halted several times in the most zany of manners.
The plot is highly humorous and filled to the brim with slapstick-swamped scenes that never fail to make me chuckle, regardless of how many times I’ve watched the film itself.
One of the most memorable moments from the entire film has to be the ‘Mockingbird’ scene, which, if you haven’t seen it, follows both Carrey and Daniels singing a humorous self-titled tune in their ‘Mutt Cutts’ vehicle – much to the dismay of the criminal hitch hiker (who is sandwiched between them). The scene is humorous on many levels, mainly through the clever comedy styling of both Carrey and Daniels, who portray the archetype of the fool/jester in an incredibly accurate manner. This is evidence of how it’s not only the whimsical nature of the script that creates the protagonists’ comical, audible depiction, but also the notion of the ‘visual’ representation.
Both Carrey and Daniels utilise a number of various facial expressions in order to gain comedic effect. This presentation of humour is generally associated with Carrey as an actor as he often presents similarly outward and humorous expressions in his movies – notably ‘The Mask’ (1994) and ‘Ace Ventura: Pet Detective’ (1994). It is almost as though it has become a trademark of the comical actor himself. Lloyd Christmas (Carrey) is depicted as having a chipped tooth with a bowl haircut, whilst Harry Dunne (Daniels) is cast with messy, ruffled hair, which adds to the overall comedic tone of the film, with their appearance contrasting that of the externally ‘polished’ secondary characters, such as Mary Swanson and the suave film villain Nicholas Andre. This creates a paradox that challenges the notion of societal stereotypes, where the unlikely underdogs (Harry and Lloyd) become the heroes of the film. Sure, it’s to be expected since they are the main protagonists, but they somehow out-smarten the villainous and inherently ‘un-goofy’ characters, thus proving that they are not so ‘dumb’ or in fact ‘dumber’ after all.
The film, providing that you have not seen it, is definitely worth a watch. From the start you are greeted with hoards of humorous happenings, that are both slapstick-based as well as being linguistically aired.