The “Heartbreak Kid” is a crime. No law has been broken, but the exhumation of a corpse, in this case a script, only to rob it of dignity, can only be considered shameful and in this case lacking in entertainment value.
The remake of “Heartbreak Kid”, first released in 1972 to decent reviews, like many recent comedies, finds its punch by exceeding the bounds of decency.
Originally scripted and directed by brilliant move makers, the original production brought well-crafted humor. This latest rendition suggests an epidemic loss of taste.
It tells the story of 40 year-old Eddie (Ben Stiller) pushed by his father (Jerry Stiller), over-sexed at 72, to at least get laid, if he can’t get getting married.
One day, fate brings a real cutie into his life. Lila (Malin Ackerman) represents herself as a professional biological researcher,. Six weeks into their passionate, but unconsummated relationship, she informs him her firm requires her to move to Rotterdam.
According to her explanation, as the only unmarried person in her specialty, company policy automatically draws the short straw for her. The situation forces Eddie’s hand.
He reads this blond sexy book by her cover and ties the knot. By the time he’s gotten through the preface and into the first chapter, his romance novel has turned to pulp horror.
The nuptials now in the rearview mirror of their honeymoon drive into Mexico, Lila’s volatile temper and general lack of class spring free. She actually had no job, but rather a position as a volunteer. Her dowry, as it were, consists of a $26,000 dollar debt and a deviated septum from a cocaine habit.
But what really proves shocking to the new husband and patently trashy in its portrayal is her sexual appetite, boundlessly demanding in both style and volume. By the end of he movie she has moved beyond humans, but remains with mammals at least, to find satisfaction.
When Lila ignores the advice of her new husband to use sun-block, the newlywed wife, suffers a horrible burn. While she is confined to her room, Eddie meets Miranda (Michelle Monaghan). It’s a magic that brings both enchantment and curse.
The confusion and awkward circumstances arising from the two women being unaware of each other, plays to Stiller’s comic talents.
Not blessed with a great range, he brings a quality to his characters—a sense of genuineness and resignation in the face of bungled situations. This endearing quality, sorely missing in his peers, carries great value.
These skills are not enough to pull the movie out of the muck through which it struggles. And while this remake could have never been great, it could have been decent.