The Heartbreak Kid (15)

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The Independent Culture

Gross-out kings the Farrelly brothers return, and how I wish they'd chosen not to remake the Elaine May-Neil Simon 1972 classic. Ben Stiller plays a single guy who thinks he's got lucky by marrying a gorgeous blonde chick (Malin Akerman, below, with Stiller) only to discover on honeymoon in Mexico that his new wife is a godawful nightmare with a fat mom, no job and a stentorian snore. Then he meets the lovely Michelle Monaghan and decides after two days that she's the one he ought to have married.

Whatever else Stiller is, he's not a "kid", and his behaviour as a 40-year-old looks even more ludicrous than Charles Grodin's did in the original. The opening 10 minutes, in which he attends the wedding of his ex, are very funny, but then the comedy withers and the Farrelly farce machine grinds into action. The cruelty and class distinctions of the original – it was almost a horror movie – are completely lost amid the buffoonish crudity.

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