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The Heartbreak Kid




Last time Ben Stiller played victim to the gross-out shenanigans of the Farrelly brothers, the result was a 1998 critically acclaimed box-office smash called "There's Something About Mary." Nearly a decade later, the same ingredients fortune with neither critics nor audiences. To be honest, it got a bad rap.

As Eddie, Stiller stars in usual Stiller mode: hapless, harried and hurting in the heart. While all his friends are getting married, he's still single. A meet-cute with adorable environmental researcher Lila (Malin Akerman, "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle") quickly turns to love, and even quicker to a trip down the aisle.

Trouble is, once she says "I do," Lila shows her true colors, and they ain't as pretty as she is. From a coke-induced deviated septum to zero common sense, his new wife proves wholly annoying on their honeymoon, sending his affections toward a woman he meets at their hotel, the far cooler Miranda (Michelle Monaghan, "Mission: Impossible III").

"Heartbreak" is intermittently hilarious. Seriously, what was the disappointment buzz all about? Folks laughed at the frank-and-beans and hair gel jokes in "Mary," so why not the jellyfish and donkey gags here? The humor isn't strictly based on being disgusting; in fact, the film's final line is laugh-out-loud "? all two words of it.

Those prone to hating hard-R comedies are going to find it as excruciating as Lila's sunburn, but those with a solid sense of humor and an open mind should enjoy.

"?Rod Lott


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