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Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
2003 - PG-13 - 81 Mins.
Director: Troy Miller
Producer: Brad Krevoy, Troy Miller, Charles B Wessler, Oren Koules
Written By: Robert Brenner, Brian Hartt, Tom Gammill
Starring: Eric Christian Olsen, Derek Richardson, Luis Guzman, Eugene Levy, Rachel Nichols
Review by: Joe Rickey
Dumb and Dumberer, the prequel to the 1994 hit comedy Dumb and Dumber, takes the characters of Harry and Lloyd back to their high school days when they first met and crafts a story of a special education class and a principal’s plan to bilk the school out of thousands of dollars. Incorporated into the story are countless jokes about excrement and other rather disgusting liquids and solids along with an attempt at a romantic subplot that, for the most part, doesn’t succeed. Maybe the problem is that there really wasn’t any need for a prequel to Dumb and Dumber when a sequel rejoining the two leads Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey would have been much more preferred by the general public after the original grossed over 100 million at the box office.

Dumb and Dumberer takes the road well traveled when it comes to teen-aimed comedies. It includes numerous jokes surrounding the members of the opposite sex, except that there is little objectification because Harry and Lloyd believe that girls are “Gay.” You see, they evidently never grew out of what they called their “cooties” phase where they are frightened of girls. The film takes advantage of this, as their behavior toward girls is rather humorous because it flies in the face of how most people would act.

Unfortunately, most of the so-called humorous material in the film falls flat. There is an extended scene of the two playing tag in a convenience store that goes on far too long as to become annoying before it concludes. The film also has the characters speaking in such a moronic way the entire time that is supposed to be funny but isn’t always because it actually grows tiresome. The writing lacks the necessary wit. The film is, for the most part, utterly vacuous and seemingly proud of it but the viewer is apt to wonder exactly how low the film will go in its quest to illustrate the stupidity of Harry and Lloyd. There simply is too much inane slapstick humor when there could have been more dialogue related humor that would have been more humorous. While the two main characters are fairly well developed the supporting characters are basically throwaway one-note personalities that fail to engage once their defining trait or tic is revealed. And, while the romantic subplot could have possibly worked, here the attraction isn’t very palatable and the dialogue so clumsily written that the angle really doesn’t work.

The acting is actually decent for what it is. The two unknowns imbue the personalities of their well-recognized personas quite well and also happen to look extremely similar in facial features as their counterparts. As the sleazy principal, Eugene Levy is once again very funny as he makes the best out of an underdeveloped character. As his assistant, Cheri Oteri is also rather funny and gifted at physical comedy.

Overall, there certainly are more good things to say about Dumb and Dumberer than one would expect going in, but the film still misfires enough that the end result is a below average effort.

Movie Guru Rating
Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable. Below Average.  Mediocre. Has substantial flaws, but is watchable.
  2.5 out of 5 stars

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