I found it strange that one of the most successful comedies of the last 15 years (it was the third highest grossing movie in 1998, and the third highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time), There’s Something About Mary didn’t even get a mention in the original comment thread devoted to nominating the 50 Funniest Scenes of All Time. I’d considered straying from the nominations and looking into it, but — as it turned out — there’s nothing in Mary that’s held up particularly well over time.
It’s all the more strange because I loved the movie when it was released (I was 23; all 23-year-old men were obligated to do so), but it’s aged badly. It’s not entirely the movie’s fault; it’s what it spawned — Ben Stiller, the comedy of self-abuse, violent animal gags — that’s been worn out and beaten up over the last decade. It’s just not funny anymore, and by association, neither really is There’s Something About Mary.
Watching the trailer again, I was certain a few jokes would still work, but I didn’t crack a smile for 150 seconds. Nothing. The Farrellys haven’t aged well, I’m afraid. The only movies of theirs that I have any interest in seeing again, in fact, are their two least successful ones, Outside Providence and the underappreciated Stuck on You.
If somebody wants to remake Mary, be my guest.