Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Butchering a Classic.

This film was selected from ‘The 250’

When I picked movies for ‘The 250’, my concern wasn’t for finding good movies, but rather movies a lot of people have heard of that I haven’t yet reviewed. It could be good, bad, famous, or infamous. There’s actually a number of movies on there that I don’t want to review, but feel it’s important to get my voice out there as perhaps…a warning. Back in 2003, the prequel to Jim Carrey’s classic hit, Dumb & Dumber, was released. I can personally remember how much I was looking forward to it. I couldn’t express how disappointed I was when I first saw it, but now… I can.

To increase the funding for their high school, Principle Collins (Eugene Levy) and his secret girlfriend, Ms. Heller must create a special needs class – and to do that, they enlist the help of idiot friends Harry Dunn and Lloyd Christmas – who gather other weird students for the fradulent class. Together, they experience the hijinks of life while thinking there’s hidden treasure somewhere in the school, all the while fighting over the prettiest girl in school.

I’ll first start off by explaining why I was interested in this movie before I saw it. First and foremost, it is another edition to one of my favorite comedies of all time. I always knew that the Farrelly brothers had no part in this film, but I didn’t really care, because it was all about the characters. The posters and promotion done for this film were actually pretty good. They use the right shots from the right scenes that made these two really seem like Lloyd and Harry. I remember distinctively a poster that made Eric Christian Olsen look identical to Jim Carrey. Needless to say…I couldn’t wait.

One of the Farrelly actually said something very smart in regards to a prequel to the franchise. When asked to make one, he immediately said not a chance, because the magic of Dumb and Dumber wasn’t only the characters, but the very fact that they were in their 40’s and still acting stupid. That every sixteen year old is already stupid, so you just don’t get that dynamic. This was before the movie ever came out, and he was right on target. 16 year olds are stupid, so they had to do the next best thing, which was make everyone in the movie stupid, including the adults. Well that’s just great, because now the movie stops being special, doesn’t it? Harry and Lloyd are just random students in a world full of stupid people. They are really watered down when in all actuality – they should be the sole focus of the film while everyone else is normal. Their very interaction with each other and the world around them is supposed to be what the movie is. That’s what these people didn’t get.

Not only that, but Dumb & Dumber is an adventure movie with a clear end goal. They are trying to get to this point to deliver this package. This prequel had no sense of adventure, or heck, even a plot. The most it had was about the Principle and his girlfriend trying to get extra money for the school, and even that is reaching. I can’t say it enough, the people making this film failed on almost every angle.

I did understand what they were going for, though. While they didn’t focus very much on storytelling, they did try very hard to get those Harry and Lloyd characters right. Same goes for how hard the actors tried to get it right as well. Like I said, their look…isn’t bad, and there’s honestly some fleeting moments where you think – yeah, these are definitely the same guys I remember way back when. At the same time, the rest of the movie just tries too hard. You’ll notice when it tries to copycat the same scenes and lines of the original movie. It’s like it knew it would be horrible, so it had to grasp at straws to convince you that these really are the characters you know and love. Sorry. That doesn’t fly with me, instead it’s really cheap. Even so, there are scenes with the guys that don’t add up at all – especially with the fantasy scene.

The Good:

Hey, I gotta give them a D for effort as far as trying to get the spirit of the characters back in the game. You would probably agree that they did an okay job casting actors that actually look and sound a bit like Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Some of their interactions may also trigger some nostalgia.

The Bad:

The entire movie just butchers everything that was good about the classic. Heck, I have this theory that the whole reason they are making Dumb and Dumber To is to erase this movie from existence; to not have the franchise end on that massacre. Don’t watch this.

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