‘There’s Something About Mary’ (1998) Review

After a disastrous prom date with the beautiful Mary, Ted loses touch with her after she moves away. Years later, he finds himself thinking of her and reluctantly hires a PI named Pat Healy to track her down. The problem is, as soon as Healy finds Mary, he falls in love with her and misleads Ted into believing that Mary is now an overweight mother of four.

Healy quickly quits his job and moves to Miami to win over Mary by stalking and manipulating her. Ted realizes he wants to see Mary anyway and heads to Miami where he discovers Healy’s deception… and realizes he and Healy are not the only people who want Mary’s affection.

When There’s Something About Mary was released, it caused quite a stir. In true Farrelly Bros. form, the movie was full of outrageous sight gags and raunchy humor. But like most of their movies, TSAM also has a lot of heart.

It could be because I’ve seen much worse on screen since 1994, but the gross out humor of There’s Something About Mary did not affect me as much as it did when I first saw it. Honestly, it felt kind of tame compared to today’s R-rated raunch-filled films. But it’s still funny and the infamous “hair gel” scene is still as great as it was in 1994.

Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz both do what they do best. Diaz is a ball of sweet, smiling sunshine. So genuine that you can’t help but adore her. Which is important, because you need to understand why Ted, Healy and the others are so desperate for her love.

Stiller is so good at playing the everyman, especially when the everyman is awkward and well-intentioned but still finds himself in horrifyingly embarrassing situations. Together they have a very charming, believable chemistry and one of my only gripes of this movie is that they’re not on screen together as much as they should have been.

Matt Dillon, Chris Elliot, Lee Evans and Lin Shaye are all fantastic as the supporting players, providing their own brand of humor to balance out Diaz and Stiller’s (mostly) normal characters.

All in all, the movie works as a raunchy rom-com. It teeters on being more com than rom, but that’s forgivable for the quality of the rom that we do get. For a moment, you really do wonder if Ted will win the girl… I won’t spoil if you haven’t seen it, but… come on.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."