When thinking of dynamic duos in movie history few come to mind: Thelma and Louise, Fred and Ginger, and Harry and Lloyd. Made in 1994, Dumb and Dumber is arguably one of the best, if not the best, comedies of all time and one of the best buddy movies. It paved the way for new comedies, began the Jim Carrey era, and is one of the most influential movies ever made.
Each month the Cinelinx staff will write a handful of articles covering a specified film-related topic. These articles will be notified by the Movielinx banner. Movielinx is an exploration and discussion of our personal connections with film. We’ll even submit reviews of the films we discuss so that you can get a better idea of what we’re talking about. This month we look at movies that are influential to us. What movies are influential to you? Feel free to add your own comments or reviews of movies that you find personally influential.
Dumb and Dumber was created in 1994 and tells the tale of two kind-hearted dimwits, Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas, that take a road trip to Aspen to return a briefcase that a pretty lady left at an airport. Along the way shenanigans ensue and the duo find themselves involved in a ransom conspiracy.
The film was written and directed by the Farrelly brothers, it was their directorial debut. It was a commercial success, with a budget of $16 million it ended up making $127 million in the United States and $247 million worldwide. Originally, the very early premise of the film was inspired by silent movie stars so that could be why it incorporates much physical (the tongue scene) and visual (the suits) comedy because it made the humor easier to translate to everyone. Fun fact, the lead characters Harry and Lloyd are actually named after silent film star Harold Lloyd.
It stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Dumb and Dumber was one of the first comedies in the early 1990’s era of Jim Carrey comedies and the first one where he had a seven digit salary ($7,000,000 to be exact). Jeff Daniels at the time only made thrillers and dramas, and this movie just proved he could do anything from physical comedy to tearjerkers and still be a highly underrated, fantastic actor. Seriously, he’s still pretty awesome.
This was one of the first films that ignited that spark inside me and that has been burning since. In fact, I actually moved across country to Los Angeles to try my hand at stand up comedy and acting for one reason and one reason only: Jim Carrey. This movie influenced me so much that I definitely would not be where I am today, I would probably be trying my hand at a completely different career. I’m sure I am not alone, growing up in the 1990’s Jim Carrey was an icon and still is for comedy, his physical comedy work and impressions are insane. I remember actually looking forward to those silly award shows like the People’s Choice Awards and MTV Movie Awards just to see how he would dress up. I wanted to be just like him, as I’m sure many other children did my age. Dumb and Dumber had Jim Carrey erupt onto the map and into our lives.
But even if you aren’t a big Jim Carrey fan it is hard not to like this movie. Last year I watched this movie with my old roommate for the first time. My old roommate claimed to not like any Jim Carrey movies, when I asked her what ones and why she couldn’t answer. So I told her to just give Dumb and Dumber a shot and let me just say we had a house warming party the photo we used for the facebook invite was the two of us as Harry and Lloyd. That’s how much she liked the movie. It was such a fun experience too watching it with her because I’ve seen it hundreds of times and watching it with someone who is just watching it and seeing her laugh and realize the jokes, just kind of makes you fall in love with the movie all over again.
Not only that but Dumb and Dumber is a great movie for everyone. Nowadays there are really great comedies still but all of the good ones that are worth seeing are R rated. The Seth Rogen and Will Ferrell films out now all involve lots of cursing, dick jokes, drug use, etc. While in film I don’t think there is anyhing wrong with that, trust me, I’m from New Jersey we curse like Tony Soprano, but sometimes it’s more fun watching a movie where everyone can enjoy. Dumb and Dumber was rated PG-13 and yes, while there is a huge poop scene among other toilet humor, it is still a lot more innocent and entertaining for anyone, young or old. It’s great to laugh at a dick joke once in a while but laughing at a joke or a situation because it’s genuinely funny, that can be better. Honestly, the silly one liners are pretty timeless too and can be enjoyed for generations to come.
The real reason why this movie wins and many people love it is because it has heart. Yes, it’s about two dummies, but they love each other, they’re best friends and no matter what they argue over Mary Swanson, triple stamping a double stamp, or the Felcher twins, they always end up together. Even towards the end where they’re threatened at gun point, they argue over whether or not they should get shot before the other. Sacrificing themselves for their friendship, that is love, buddy love.
Now anticipation is fairly high with the announcement that the Farrelly Brothers, Jim Carrey, and Jeff Daniels have finished filmed the long awaited, a whopping TWENTY years long to be exact, sequel to Dumb and Dumber. Many are nervous, many are excited, and I am both. We aren’t sure how one can top Dumb and Dumber but leave it to the original team and cast to do so. Either way, Dumb and Dumber is and will always be a standalone comedy classic.
Overall, as cheesy as it sounds, Dumb and Dumber helped shaped me as a person. I discovered a funny new world that I wanted to be apart of and now am on my journey there. It’s a great all around film with a little bit of everything, but mostly comedy, that you can go watch again and again and still laugh. The film also as a pretty good plot with a nice twist at the end just proving that Dumb and Dumber is actually a pretty smart movie.