When Harry Met Lloyd: Dumb and Dumberer Review

by Shannon Patrick Sullivan (shannon AT morgan DOT ucs DOT mun DOT ca)
June 23rd, 2003

DUMB AND DUMBERER: WHEN HARRY MET LLOYD (2003) / **

Directed by Troy Miller. Screenplay by Robert Brener and Miller, from a story by Brener. Starring Eric Christian Olsen, Derek Richardson, Eugene Levy. Running time: 85 minutes. Rated PG by the MFCB. Reviewed on June 20th, 2003.

By SHANNON PATRICK SULLIVAN

Synopsis: When home-schooled Harry Dunne (Richardson) attends a public high school for the first time, he quickly meets fellow oddity Lloyd Christmas (Olsen), the son of the janitor. Harry and Lloyd become the focus of a plan by the sinister Principal Collins (Levy) to embezzle money earmarked for schools with a special needs programme. But when beautiful student reporter Jessica (Rachel Nichols) gets suspicious, Harry and Lloyd may be her only hope to foil Collins.

Review: The original "Dumb & Dumber" was the progenitor of the legion of gross-out movies which followed in its wake during the past decade. And while its memory has perhaps been tainted by the inferior quality of many of those later efforts, it remains an unlikely classic. I'll freely admit that scenes like the one in which Harry and Lloyd are accosted by a state trooper ("Pull over!" "No, it's a cardigan!") still make me chuckle. Its inevitable if long-delayed sequel, "Dumb And Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd", however, features neither the original cast nor writers/directors the Farrelly brothers. And, unfortunately, it also boasts little of the mad inventiveness which made "Dumb & Dumber" such a hit. What "Dumberer" doesn't realise is that stupid isn't funny. Over-the-top, ridiculously exaggerated stupidity -- now that's funny. So while the new film sometimes wanders into this territory (a scene involving a melted chocolate bar and Bob Saget comes to mind), for the most part the jokes are obvious and mundane. "Dumber" astonished us with Harry and Lloyd's antics; "Dumberer" just bores us. To their credit, Richardson and especially Olsen are pitch-perfect in their impressions of the main characters, but they are given little material to work with. Similarly, Levy is utterly wasted on cliched, unfunny role. This is a movie which lives down to its title.
Copyright 2003 Shannon Patrick Sullivan.
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