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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

There's Something About Mary (1998) ft. Shane Rogers and Christine Duncan


Guest: Christine Duncan and Shane Rogers, Comedian and Host of Midnight Facts for Insomniacs


Cast:

  • Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Directors/Writers

  • Ed Decter and John J. Strauss, Co-writers

  • Jonathan Richman, Music

  • Cameron Diaz as Mary Jensen

  • Matt Dillon as Pat Healy

  • Ben Stiller as Ted Stroehmann

  • Lee Evans as Tucker/Norm Phipps

  • Chris Elliott as Dom "Woogie" Woganowski

  • Lin Shaye as Magda

  • Jeffrey Tambor as Sully

  • Markie Post as Sheila Jensen

  • W. Earl Brown as Warren Jensen

  • Keith David as Charlie

  • Sarah Silverman as Brenda

  • Willie Garson as Dr. Bob "Zit Face"

  • Brett Favre as himself

*Recognition:

  • There's Something about Mary was released on July 15, 1998.

  • The film was 1998's third-highest-grossing film in North America as well as the fourth highest-grossing film of the year globally making a rough total of $370 million on a budget of $23 million.

  • It received numerous accolades from critics at the time, and the AFI has recognized it on the following lists:

    • 2000: AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs – #27

    • 2002: AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions – Nominated

    • 2007: AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) – Nominated

    • 2008: AFI's 10 Top 10 – Nominated Romantic Comedy Film

  • In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted There's Something About Mary the fourth-greatest comedy film of all time.

  • There's Something About Mary currently holds an 84% among critics on RT, a 69 score on Metacritic, and a 3.2 out of 5 on Letterboxd.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: How stupid men are in the presence of a pretty girl who notices and is nice to them.


Plot Summary: "There's Something About Mary" is a hilarious romantic comedy that takes a fresh and often outrageous approach to the classic boy-meets-girl story. The film follows the misadventures of Ted Stroehmann, a kind-hearted and love-struck young man, who has been infatuated with Mary Jensen since their high school days.


The story begins with Ted's fateful prom night when he plans to take Mary as his date. However, an embarrassing zipper incident leads to a mortifying and unforgettable disaster. Ted's chances with Mary are dashed, and he becomes the laughingstock of his classmates.

Thirteen years later, Ted (Ben Stiller), is still haunted by the memory of Mary. His best friend, Dom (Chris Elliott), suggests hiring a private investigator named Pat Healy (Matt Dillon) to track her down. However, Pat becomes smitten with Mary himself and decides to manipulate the situation to his advantage. Ted, fueled by his persistent infatuation, decides to take matters into his own hands and also heads to Florida to win her heart. But Ted's clumsy attempts to impress Mary lead to a series of comical and cringe-worthy situations.

The film hilariously explores the lengths people are willing to go to pursue their desires, while also shedding light on the absurdity of idealizing someone from afar.


"There's Something About Mary" is a raunchy yet heartwarming comedy that delves into the complexities of love, attraction, and the hilarity that ensues when reality clashes with fantasy.


Did You Know:

  • According to Bobby Farrelly, the scene where Ted accidentally gets his scrotum stuck in his pants fly was inspired by a real incident, when their sister was listening to some records with some eighth grade students in the basement of their house: "One of the kids went up [to the bathroom] and he zipped himself up. He was in there for a long time. My dad, who was a doctor, actually had to go in and say, 'Hey, kid. You alright?'" His parents never told them the story until years later because they wanted to save the kid embarrassment. "When they told us, we were laughing so hard, we were like 'Oh, my God.' So we just worked it into the story."

  • The studio was initially reluctant to allow Ben Stiller - the Farrelly Brothers' first choice - to star, so the brothers decided upon a then unknown Owen Wilson instead. When the studio was even more reluctant to let Wilson star, they agreed to allow the Farrellys to cast Stiller.

  • After the financial losses suffered from Kingpin (1996), the Farrelly brothers thought their next film would probably be their last. So they decided to go all out and deliver the most hysterically black comedy they could dream up. When this film became a box-office smash hit, the Farrelly's careers were safe to continue.

  • Chris Farley was considered for the part of Warren. He later died during the time this film was being made.

  • According to Peter Farrelly, Cameron Diaz had a better swing than the golfer hired to stand in for her.

Best Performance: Ben Stiller (Ted)/Matt Dillon (Pat)/Bobby and Peter Farrelly (writers/directors)

Best Secondary Performance: Matt Dillon (Pat)/Chris Elliott (Woogie)/Bobby and Peter Farrelly (writers/director)/Lee Evans (Tucker)

Most Charismatic Award: Matt Dillon (Pat)/Cameron Diaz (Mary)/Chris Elliott (Woogie)

Best Scene:

  • Prom

  • Healy in Miami

  • Hitchhiker/Arrested

  • Tucker

  • Hair Gel

  • Brett and Woogie

Favorite Scene: Prom/Hair Gel/Hitchhiker-Arrested

Most Indelible Moment: Brett and Woogie/Hair Gel


In Memorium:

  • Chip Dox, 80, American production designer and art director (General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, Nightshift)

  • Jamie Christopher, 52, American assistant director (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Guardians of the Galaxy, Harry Potter, Knives Out)

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Norm: Really? Where would I have seen your work?

Pat Healy: Well, have you been to, uh well, let me see... Santiago, Chile?

Norm: Twice last year. Which building's yours?

Pat Healy: Are you familiar with the soccer stadium?

Norm: Did you build the Estadio Olimpico?

Pat Healy: No, just down the street the Celinto Catayente Towers. It's quite a fine example, in fact. I recommend that next time you're up that way that you drop in and take a gander at it yourself.


Dom: Tell me you spank the monkey before any big date. Oh my God, he doesn't flog the dolphin before a big date. Are you crazy? That's like going out there with a loaded gun! Of course that's why you're nervous. Oh my dear friend, please sit, please. Look, um, after you've had sex with a girl, and you're lying in bed with her, are you nervous? No, you're not, why?

Ted: Cause I'm tired...

Dom: Wrong! It's 'cause you ain't got the baby batter on the brain anymore! Jesus, that stuff will fuck you're head up! Look, the most honest moment in a man's life are the few minutes after he's blown his load - now that is a medical fact. And the reason for it is that you're no longer trying to get laid, you're actually... you're thinking like a girl, and girls love that.


Mary's Step-Father: Oh man! How'd you get the beans above the frank?


Hitchhiker: 7's the key number here. Think about it. 7-Elevens. 7 dwarves. 7, man, that's the number. 7 chipmunks twirlin' on a branch, eatin' lots of sunflowers on my uncle's ranch. You know that old children's tale from the sea. It's like you're dreamin' about Gorgonzola cheese when it's clearly Brie time, baby. Step into my office.

Ted: Why?

Hitchhiker: 'Cause you're fuckin' fired!


Mary: Who needs him? I've got a vibrator!


[after Mary addresses Ted by name]

Ted: I couldn't believe that she knew my name. Some of my best friends didn't know my name.


Mary: Did you really mean what you said up there?

Ted: Uh-huh. I just want you to be happy Mary.

Mary: But I'd be happiest with you.

Ted: You're fucking with me, right?

[Shakes her head, while smiling]

Ted: What about Brett Favv-ruh?

Mary: What did I tell you the first time we met? I'm a Niners fan.

[Ted laughd, then blows out a breath while walking towards Mary, and then they kiss]


Brenda: Hmm... a fatty who likes golf and beer. Gee, Mary, where are you gonna find a gem like that?


Paramedic in 1985: We got a bleeder!


Mary: Is that... is that hair gel?


Pat Healy: Exceptional, my ass!


Ted: But you're married! You have a wife, beautiful kids!

Dom: [rolls his eyes up to the ceiling] Ted, if you love them so much, please, be my guest!


The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 6.5

Impact/Significance: 8.13

Novelty: 6

Classic-ness: 3.88

Rewatchability: 6.25

Audience Score: 7 (79% Google, 61% RT)

Total: 37.76


Remaining Questions:

  • If Ted didn't know who Brett Favre was, why would he know that Brett doesn't play for Mary's beloved 49ers?

  • Why is Ted so gullible?

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