Film Review: There’s Something About Mary (1998)


**Note: This film contains pervasive, coarse language and really awkward situations.**

There’s Something About Mary is one of those under-the-radar films that you hear about for awhile, then it got huge. When it came out in 1998, I was too young to have seen it right away, but I knew it’s impact early on. There were a lot of quotes and references to it, and Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz shot into the spotlight through this movie.

It is hilarious. That being said, it’s a very dirty film, right from the get-go. It’s painfully, awkwardly so at times, but in unique ways. It doesn’t go for the nudity (not in the traditional sense), but there’s just the subtle, pervasive presence of gross all throughout it.

It’s got a simple plot, with swirls of crazy twists and turns throughout it (can you have swirly, crazy, twisting and turning? I think so…). Ted (Ben Stiller) has a disastrous first date with the beautiful, nearly unattainable Mary (Cameron Diaz), which coincided with their high school prom (Franks and Beans!). 13 years later, he’s still obsessing over her–not in a necessarily creepy way, mainly because you as the audience see his inner thoughts, though it’s obvious that his hiring a PI to find Mary could be misconstrued by her as stalking. However, it got blown out of proportion that the PI (Matt Dillon) also falls for Mary and tries to trick her into sleeping with him.

It seems that, throughout Mary’s life, every guy she meets falls madly in love with her. This is mainly because she makes everyone feel really good about themselves, which leads to stalking and creeping–what’s the message there? Obviously: don’t be nice to anyone or they’ll creep on you and get nervous rashes. Gross.

I think that this holds its place on the Top 100 Modern Classic Movies because of its impact at the time, and the intelligence of the writing and acting. It has a precarious position, for me, but I’ll let it stay for now…

Favorite Quotes:

[Sung by a troubadour with a guitar and bongo accompaniment–while sitting in a tree] “His friends would say stop whining, they’ve had enough of that. / His friends would say stop pining, there’s other girls to look at. / They’ve tried to set him up with Tiffany and Indigo, / But there’s something about Mary that they don’t know. / Mary, there’s just something about Mary.”

“Oh man! How’d you get the beans above the frank?”

There are a lot of other quotes I’d like…but they’re too dirty…

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4 thoughts on “Film Review: There’s Something About Mary (1998)

  1. Hmmm… I would have been old enough to be aware of it, but managed to have never heard of it. Can you name one Ben Stiller film worth wasting my time on?

    Good review.

  2. Zoolander is an awesome movie, so are the Night at the Museum films. Dodgeball is funny, particularly because of Ben Stiller, though a lot of it is only OK. I’m looking forward to his newest movie Greenberg, because it looks a little more dramatic, but who knows!

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