Movie Review

There's Something About Mary

MPAA Rating: R for strong comic sexual content and language.

Reviewed by: Dave Rettig
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Romance Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 59 min.
Year of Release:
1998
USA Release:
July 15, 1998
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Lying in the Bible

Truth

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

My boyfriend wants to have sex. I don’t want to lose him. What should I do? Answer

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Fornication

Couple in love. Photo copyrighted
TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

NUDITY—Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer

Featuring: Cameron Diaz (Mary), Matt Dillon (Healy), Ben Stiller (Ted), Lee Evans (Tucker), Chris Elliott (Dom), Lin Shaye (Magda), more »
Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Producer: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Frank Beddor, Mark Charpentier, Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Marc S. Fischer, Patrick Healy, James B. Rogers, Michael Steinberg, Bradley Thomas, Charles B. Wessler
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

“Warning: The guys who did ‘Dumb & Dumber’ and ‘Kingpin’ bring you a love story.”

The happiest moment in Ted Stroehmann’s (Ben Stiller) life happened thirteen years ago when Ted met Mary Jenson (Cameron Diaz). Thirteen years ago, Mary asked Ted to escort her to the prom. But as fate would have it, Mary and Ted’s prom night was not to be. Flash forward to 1998, and now Ted wants to find Mary. Enter Pat Healy (Matt Dillon)—a private investigator of sorts—hired by Ted to find Mary. However, when Healy falls in love with Mary, the real story begins and you’ll understand why “There’s Something About Mary.”

Any film which proudly claims to its credit “brought to you by the people behind “Dumb and Dumber” and “Kingpins”” has two strikes against it already; however, the teaser for “There’s Something About Mary” made the film look so harmless (well, semi-harmless) and cute. So I attended a showing. The plot is cute—Cameron Diaz plays a nice girl looking for love and ending up with a gaggle of con men and a lovelorn flame-wannabe following her around like puppies. There are several laugh-out-loud funny scenes and some great physical humor. However, the moral content is so offensive that it overshadows any positive fun the story contains.

“There’s Something About Mary” contains nudity, gross sexual innuendo, and profanity. What could have been a fun, romantic comedy turned into a nauseating excuse for a string of teenage sexual jokes. I cannot even begin to discuss the content of this film on a Christian site; however, this movie contains things you would normally expect to see only with an “X” rating attached.

Do not go to this movie. There is nothing of value here for anyone of any age for any reason. Discourage your friends, Christian or not, from seeing this abomination of a film.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
racy, crosses taboos, yet enjoyable
The film _is_ racy, but there is far less nudity in the film than in many PG-13 films. The film _does_ cross taboos, making slight fun of the mentally handicapped, disabled, and interracial marriage. But I truly enjoyed the film. The taboos were crossed because they were truly funny, and because their apparrent offensiveness was clearly a negative reinforcement of what is truly right. And Mary is a great role model—giving her time to help the mentally handicapped, for example. I am a Christian, and although this film isn’t for everybody, had a better time with this film than most of the “comedies” that are out there today.
—Nicholas Kleszczewski
entertaining, but not for everyone
The commercials were hilarious, and that’s the main reason my wife and I went and saw it. I also loved Dumb and Dumber, and anyone who took that movie too seriously should loosen up. I realize that bathroom humor is not for everyone, which is why some people wil hate “There’s something about Mary.” There are some VERY crude and distasteful scenes, that ruin what is otherwise a very very funny move. The opening scene was hilarious and very entertaining, as is every scene with the little dog. However, this movie should be rented, so that the discerning viewer can fast forward through the distasteful parts.
—Jeremy Phillips
do not see this film
As a Christian young woman, I was very disappointed in myself and have been repeatedly asking God for forgiveness for the fact that I did not walk out of this movie. The language is horrible, almost every single joke is crude and perverse, and I don’t believe that ANY Christian, no matter how old, should be going to this movie and calling it “entertainment”. For those of you who made the comment that there was no nudity-I remember off the top of my head seeing an older woman’s bare chest twice, not to mention a glimpse of Ted’s genitals stuck in the zipper. If that does not qualify as nudity, I would like to know what does. If you are reading this and have not seen this movie yet, PLEASE do not! Be a better steward of your money and time, and go rent a real romantic comedy like While You Were Sleeping.
—Anon.
“absolutely disgusting”
I walked out of this movie telling my husband that I was embarrassed to tell anyone I know that I saw this movie. Yes, there were some very funny moments, and I did like the story. BUT, the movie was absolutely disgusting and I’m very sorry I saw it.
—Susan, age 36
We had seen clips of the movie a number of different times and thought it looked very funny. I finalized realized after the particular scene about hair jell that we had wasted our money on this movie that started out with so many good possibilities that just degraded into ?? I don’t know what! And the unfortunate thing is we had taken our 15 year old son who should have never, as well as us, seen this movie. I will not go to a movie again without reviewing some Christian site and their review of the movie.
—John, age 44
vulgar and filthy, yet witty and humorous
“There’s Something About Mary” is not recommended viewing for a Christian audience. Christians are to be warned that material of a sexual and perverse nature is abundant. The dialogue and action action sequences tend to be grosse and offensive. Filthy language is also commonly used, though I do not recall any scenes of nudity. Quite frankly, the film offers no redeeming Christ-like values. Having said this, from a secular perspective, the film will probably prove to be the best comedy of the year. The humor is shocking and orginal. Humorous sequences are brilliantly edited and frequently leave the viewer crying with laughter. However, it is a film which makes a Christian feel guilty about watching and laughing, so if you do see it, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Critically, on a scale of 0-10, I give the film a 9, and predict that it will finish the year ranked as the #20 best film of the year, foreign and domestic, and #1 in the comedy genre.
—Jonathan, age 31
“very distasteful”
This movie was very distastefully done! It made me realize how liberal the rating system for movies is becoming. (The f-word is now okay to be in PG-13 movies—more than once! And the scenes and sexuality that can be seen in R movies—this one for instance!) I did laugh out-loud in a few scenes, but I can’t believe I wasted almost $5 to see it. I don’t think I would have even wanted to pay to see it on video! I was very offended by the way the movie portrayed the mentally handicapped and thought that the way Ted stalked her was incredibly ridiculous and offensive! The comedy was slightly more distasteful than Adam Sandler movies (which I didn’t think could get any worse!) Don’t waste your money if you are an adult (especially a Christian adult!). Anyone under 17 should not even be allowed to view this WITH or WITHOUT an adult!
—SUE, age 20
porn
I should have listened to your reviewer, this movie aside from the love story was downright disgusting!! I also think that they used handicapped people in a very disrespectful way. To me it was Porn, make no bones about it. I had to ask my wife for forgiveness after having sat thru this trash. One thing is for sure, I know that I am a christian, cause my spirit was definitely having a fit. I have learned a very valuable lesson here. I will not make the same mistake again. You can bet on that!
—Terry, age 41
rauncy, gross, and perverse
This movie is the most raunchiest, grossest and most perverse film I have ever seen… It contains many instances using the “f” word and many gross innuendos including some scenes that will shock you greatly. This is not a family movie…
—Matt
This is hardly a movie that a christian would want to go see. True, there are some rather amusing scenes, but not worth seeing the whole movie for. The plot, in my opinion, really isn’t even that great. But if you like sex and bad language, this movie is for you!
—Dale Adamson
Comments from non-viewers
previews do not make “Mary” look harmless
…I have seen the previews many times. They do not make it look harmless or cute. The previews clearly show that there is a scene in which damage is done to the lead character’s private parts by his zipper—and they even have him rushed to the ambulance with the line “Look out! We have a bleeder!” The previews also have two scenes which depict the leading woman in nothing more than a bra—which is in the process of being removed. In the movie, there is no nudity unless you count foam rubber breasts used in a cheap visual joke. The previews then show the basic plot—multiple men all fighting for the same woman. Rarely do fighting men make a “cute” movie. “Dumb and Dumber” and “Kingpin” are important here. Both movies are designed for Mad Magazine addicts—as is “Something About Mary.” I normally say that I will wait for such junk films to make it on TV before I watch them, but after all the rude material is cut out of this film, I doubt they will have enough to fill a 30 minute slot.
—Chris, age 29