Bizarro Masterpiece Theatre: Dumb and Dumberer

Film: Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003)

Director: Troy Miller

Starring: Derek Richardson, Eric Christian Olsen, Eugene Levy

Written by: Troy Miller, Robert Brener

I don’t intend to use this time to glorify what is a pretty terrible prequel.  On the whole, Dumb and Dumberer is a substandard ripoff of a film that I don’t think has aged that well in the first place.  Here, the dimwits Harry and Lloyd are teenagers bumbling around hormones and high school, handled with all the subtlety and restraint as any teen flick in the past decade.

It should be a sign that Eugene Levy, a guy who has unfortunately become a code word for a franchise’s worn out welcome (see: American Pie 8: Stifler Takes Manhattan), pulls out his stock flustered old man character for this gem.  This time around the typecast, Levy is the villain, a corrupt principal who attempts to exploit Harry and Lloyd for some nefarious financial scheme.  Throw in a bros before hos subplot and Harry’s MILF, and, wait a minute, this is an American Pie movie!

There is one aspect of Dumb and Dumberer, however, that I could appreciate.  For all of their other sins, the creators of this movie did a good job casting the lead idiots.  Though it would be impossible to replace Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey, Derek Richardson and Eric Christian Olsen fill the shoes of Harry and Lloyd as well as anyone could have.  Both actors seem to actually care about keeping the characters true to the first film, in both presentation and behavior, and as such they hit moments where the teen and adult versions are barely distinguishable.  In what is essentially a series of slapstick situations thrown at the pair, Richardson and Olsen weather the figurative and literal crap as best they could.

If the people around them weren’t a pack of shit and retard-obsessed opportunists, Dumb and Dumberer actually could have been a decent film.

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