Starring: Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear
Director: Bobby and Peter Farrelly
THE Farrelly Brothers, Bob and Peter, have built up a reputation over the last 10 years of being the comic writers and directors of questionable, if not bad taste.
They have made sport of the intellectually impaired in Dumb and Dumber, of the uptight (Something About Mary) and mental illness (Me, Myself and Irene).
Their focus now is on conjoined twins. However, while they do walk a thin line at times, their tone is much gentler this time, even sweet at times, but nonetheless humorous and even challenging.
Because Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear are so engaging as the twins, Bob and Walt, audience sympathy is instantly with them.
It comes as rather a shock to hear people refer to them as freaks. We have got to know them so well, we don’t think of them as freaks.
This is part of the Farrelly technique – to involve us emotionally with ‘different’ people and then show us how they are derided and discarded so that we see and feel the injustice.
Damon and Kinnear work so well together (in a lot of funny scenes, often with slapstick) so that we share their dilemma when Walt wants to go to Hollywood for an acting career while Bob is prone to panic attacks even when unobtrusively on stage behind Walt.
Things work out in Hollywood quite differently from what we might expect as Walt stars with Cher in a terrible TV series called ‘Honey and the Beaze’ (Bob still there and having panic attacks). Cher gets to send herself up unmercifully.
A nice surprise is co-star Meryl Streep as herself, proving, especially in the grand finale, what a good sport she is.
It is enjoyable to speculate on how Bob and Walt, being so close and connected, sharing their lives, their physical, psychological and emotional dependence, indicate how close the Farrellys themselves are.
Actually, this is a very nice film.