The Marx Brothers. Laurel and Hardy. Abbott and Costello. Jerry Lewis. Every generation has their dose of silliness. The 1990s had Jim Carrey. And along with him came the phenomenal hit "Dumb and Dumber," a simple tale of two numb skulls who journey to Aspen in search of a woman and happiness.
Our tale begins when Lloyd (Jim Carrey) is escorting a young woman named Mary Swanson (the gorgeous Lauren Holly, who Carrey eventually married and then divorced) to an airport. He falls in love with her in the few minutes they share in the limousine, and after he has dropped her off, he watches her from the outside in his limo and sees her leave behind a black briefcase on the floor inside the airport. Rushing inside, he grabs the briefcase, only to find someone closing the gate to her plane. "It's okay, I'm a limo driver!" he yells to a ticket checker, rushing down the airport jet way and running straight off of it, falling onto the cement runway below.
After retreating to his apartment, he convinces his pal Harry (Jeff Daniels) to come with him to Aspen to return the briefcase to Mary. Harry, the smarter one (or is that dumb-less one?), at first hesitates, and then reluctantly agrees, and so they are off. Little do they know that the briefcase they carry is actually ransom money that Mary was trying to pay to get her husband returned to her. Now with hitment on their tail, Lloyd and Harry make it to Aspen only to wreak even more havoc.
Comedic timing is everything in a comedy like this. Carrey and Daniels have chemistry and timing. Check out the scene where they are at the National Preservation Society Gala, and stand at a bar in bright, tasteless suits. The way they stand, talk, and interact is as if they really are bosom-buddies, two idiots without a clue.
The film is directed by The Farrelly Brothers, Peter and Bobby. You may remember them as the men who brought us the hilarious "There's Something About Mary." But truth be told, "Dumb and Dumber" is even better than "Mary." Whereas "Mary" was a fun summer comedy with big laughs and tons of crude sex jokes, "Dumb and Dumber" is a true comedic gem, and carefully borders the line of tastelessness and taste, something "Mary" crosses over and never turns back to.
Is this movie "dumb"? Yes, absolutely. Will it offend you? Perhaps if you're a snob. And I'm sure some film elitists will complain that there's nothing substantial or of artistic merit here.
I don't think it matters. This movie is meant to entertain and it does so wonderfully. In the past I've given negative ratings to films of the same genre that are just meant to be brain-less, silly fare (such as "Me, Myself & Irene") - the difference here is that "Dumb and Dumber" manages to come across as both likable and entertaining, while still managing to feature characters we can actually, in some crazy way, find ourselves liking.
In the end, this is just a very funny movie that is well-made and memorable - much more so than some of its other 1990s "stupid-comedy" counterparts.