Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
Grade: D+
Year: 2003
Director: Troy Miller
Writer: Robert Brenner
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13
By Scott Spicciati

I walked into “Dumb and Dumberer” expecting the most dumber and dumbest comedy of the year. Surprisingly, I laughed more watching this movie than I did watching “Bruce Almighty.” Yes, “Dumb and Dumberer” has a few moments, but the story is so painfully awful, and the non-gags completely swallow the funny ones, that no amount of good humor could save this soon-to-be forgettable sequel.

A prequel to the first popular comedy starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, “Dumb and Dumberer” is about the same two characters but when they first met as high school students back in, well, high school. The good thing about this movie is that the actors look like Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Now that I’m finished describing the good things about the movie, let’s move to the plot.

Harry Dunne (Derek Richardson) is about to start his first day of high school after being released from his mother (Mimi Rogers) who has home-schooled him since the beginning of his education. While on his way to school, he runs into Lloyd Christmas (Eric Christian Olsen).

The setup of the movie is Harry and Lloyd. It depends on them. We are expected to like them, and in-turn we are supposed to like their antics. Some times it works, but most of time it doesn’t. The problem is that these guys are too stupid. Yes I know, that is what the movie is supposed to be all about, but it gets too ridiculous scene after scene. For example, we learn Lloyd lives in the school with his father (Luis Guzman) who is the head custodian. But before he can go to school, he must catch the bus. His father yells, “But you’re already here!” as his son runs out the door and to a distant bus stop.

Here is the plot: Evil high school principal, Mr. Collins (Eugene Levy), knows his school will receive $100,000 for having a “Special Education” class. He spots Harry and Lloyd hanging from the flag pole and figures these two will be the first students enrolled in the class. Then he has the cafeteria server (SNL’s Cheri Oteri) be the pretend teacher of the class, and recruits a handful of other students to fill the seats. I’m sorry to report that the talented Disney star, Shia LaBeouf, is one of these students. With a full functioning “Special Ed” class, Collins will collect the money at the climax of the film and pocket every penny. Will Collin’s scheme work? Will he profit from this ingenious plan? Only those who sit through the entire movie will find out (like you don’t already know).

But wait, there’s more: School newspaper reporter, Jessica Matthews (Rachel Nichols), doesn’t believe in Collins’ honest efforts, and decides to solve the case. Of course she is hot, and immediately befriends Harry and Lloyd, because loser outcasts, at least in Hollywood movies, always get the attention of the hot girl. Her character eventually ditches school to follow the cafeteria lady who is taking her class on a school field trip in order to prove the school has a “special Ed” class.

Now I admit, I couldn’t help but chuckle during the chase scene involving Jessica’s station-wagon and the class’s short bus. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen a lot of chases in movies lately, but seeing the short (really short) bus ramp curbs and railroad tracks was a hilarious point in the movie. That said, the movie still blows.

Troy Miller, the guy who was supposed to direct the movie, goes straight for the funny gags and abandons everything else. There’s no actual direction in the movie, and things like that easily bother me. In one scene, Harry and Lloyd are riding a shopping cart “jackass” style in pursuit of the high school principal. They get as close as holding the back bumper yet the principal and the passenger don’t notice the tailgating shopping cart. In the same scene, a major car collision happens right in front of the principal’s car yet he doesn’t notice it, either that or road accidents don’t phase him. Now I don’t know about you, but I turn my head every time I see a cop giving someone a traffic ticket, let alone a major car accident.

Normally, this is the part of the review where I say even though the sequel is horrible, fans of the original will see this one anyway. It is not the case here. The majority of fans from the 1994 original classic already know this movie shouldn’t be attached to “Dumb and Dumber.” Everything is different, from the film creators to the film cast.

There will be people laughing. Oh, but not any of the audience members. It will be the Farrelly Brothers, creators of the original, who are about to see their royalties increase now that sales from the original will surely increase. Check for it on the new releases shelf at Blockbuster next to the original “Matrix.”

I did laugh a few times. But I didn’t laugh because “Dumb and Dumberer” is a good movie. It isn’t. I didn’t laugh because it’s funny. It’s not. I laughed because Bob Saget has a cameo in it, and it’s a part only actors who haven’t been on the big screen in over nine years would take. For those of you who must know, Saget takes on the toilet humor scenes responsibility. I recommend viewers of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” save the embarrassment.

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