The Heartbreak Kid, starring Ben Stiller and directed by the Farrelly Brothers, is a remake of a 1972 movie by the same name that starred Charles Grodin, was written by Neil Simon, and was directed by Elaine May. "That movie was better in every way," comments Roger Ebert in his review of the new one, which he calls "a squirmy miscalculation of tone." Ebert is by no means alone. A.O. Scott in the New York Times remarks that if you haven't seen the original film, "you're missing a minor, if somewhat dated, classic. ... If you haven't seen the ...new update of that earlier picture, I'm jealous." Scott calls it, "this lame, long, ugly joke of a movie." Carina Chocano in the Los Angeles Times remarks, "Why get bogged down in comparisons, when the new Heartbreak Kid stands entirely on its own merits as a grim, shrill, deluded and incredibly depressing movie, so bewilderingly mean-spirited that the trademark Farrelly Brothers gross-out scenes feel like the sweetest." And Peter Howell in the Toronto Star compares the difference between the first film and the new one this way: "In 1972, a mainstream sex comedy had to be mostly in the mind. In 2007, thanks to guys like the Farrellys, the yuks are located on every bodily orifice." But Walter Addiego in the San Francisco Chronicle concludes that the remake is "funny in spots if you can tune out ... any memory of the first movie." And Claudia Puig in USA Today concludes, "There is enough humor to keep us entertained."




05/10/2007