Cast-Ben Stiller, Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, Chris Elliott, Lee Evans
Directed by the Farrelly brothers, Bobby & Peter
Mary was the It girl in her Rhode Island high school and geeky Ted was lucky enough to catch her eye when he stood up for her mentally disabled brother. They made a date for prom that ended in a hospital stay and then Mary disappeared. It’s 13 years later and he hires Healy to find her for him. Mary is in Florida, but Healy decides to throw Ted off the scent by lying to him and then moving to Florida to pursue her himself.
Why I love it- I saw this at the theater when it came out and I was scandalized. This raunchy, perfect-for-teen-boys humor was not my thing at all. I remember feeling embarrassed at some of the crude things I laughed at. It was not in my comfort zone, and yet at its heart it was a love story between two characters that I loved and was rooting for the whole way. It made me laugh and it satisfied my goofy heart.
There is something about Ben Stiller that I find charming and usually funny. He has this awkward, neurotic way about him that I always seem to respond to in a positive way. He was perfect in this role. I’m not sure how many actors could have pulled off the iconic zipper scene with such intensity. Even as I was cringing I was laughing out loud. For me, the Farrelly brothers almost always go too far, but in this movie, it is Ben Stiller and the luminous Cameron Diaz that keep the movie centered.
The two scenes with the dog, Puffy, being abused by Mary’s boyfriends are so outrageous that they are only funny because Puffy somehow manages to live another day. And I love the reveal at the end. It makes the movie end on a fun note for me. I’ve seen this movie countless times and it always makes me laugh.
As of this year this is the 5th highest grossing romantic comedy of all-time and Cameron Diaz was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Mary. Irreverent, tasteless, and very funny.
The rest of my Top 100 List.