Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd Review
By Shawn McKenzie 06/13/2003
Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd is one of those movies that critics love to trash, just as they did with its 1994 predecessor. As of this writing, the movie is getting a 17% Freshness Rating on the Rotten Tomatoes? Tomatometer (www.rottentomatoes.com) and that seems right about where I thought it would be. If my reviews were counted towards the Tomatometer, it might be slightly higher, since I liked this prequel.
It is 1986, and Harry Dunne (Derek Richardson) is going to public school for the first time. He had previously been home schooled by his mother (Mimi Rogers), but she feels he needs friends that aren?t imaginary. She sends him to Providence High School, where another student, Lloyd Christmas (Eric Christian Olsen), lives with his adoptive dad/school custodian Ray (Luis Guzm?) in the basement. Harry and Lloyd literally run into each other on the first day of school as they are heading for the school bus, giving Lloyd his famous chipped tooth. Even though Lloyd lives at the school, he feels the need to have to ride the bus to school. Anyway, the two become friends, and hang out together at school at and the convenience store, where they torture the clerk (Brian Posehn.) Lloyd tries to show Harry the ropes by introducing him to the ?cool kids,? like Turk (Elden Henson), the Mohawk-sporting punk who beats Lloyd (and now Harry) up routinely. The ?un-cool kids? seemed to be mainly cheerleaders and jocks. One girl turns Harry?s head though. That girl is Jessica Matthews (Rachel Nichols), a reporter for the school?s newspaper assigned to do a story on Harry?s home schooling. Meanwhile, the school?s leader, Principal Collins (Eugene Levy), and his girlfriend, head lunch lady Ms. Heller (Cheri Oteri), have been bilking the school out of money for years. Their latest scheme is to set up a phony ?special needs? class in order to take advantage of $100,000 in grant money for themselves. All they need are students dumb enough to pose as special needs students, and they choose Harry and Lloyd after seeing them hanging off a flagpole. Ms. Heller poses as the teacher for the class, and the first assignment she gives them is to recruit more students. They first sign up Tony (Josh Braaten), a skater who has a cast and crutches due to a skating accident, because they think he is crippled for life. He agrees to sign up only if his girlfriend, Terri (Teal Redmann), can join as well. They sign up a foreign exchange student named Ching Chong (Michelle Krusiec), because they think she can?t speak any English. Ching?s inclusion makes Turk want to join, and he forces his way in, since the class meant they didn?t have to do any real school work. Harry and Lloyd then sign up Carl (William Lee Scott), a football player who takes a header into the goalpost, which makes them think he is perfect for the class. Finally, they sign up Lewis (Shia LeBeouf), a kid they think is half man/half horse, but is actually the school?s mascot with the bottom half of his stallion costume still on. As the class does various phony things, like field trips to the museum, Jessica becomes suspicious. She invites Harry to her house to have dinner with her mom and dad (Julia Duffy and Bob Saget), and find out some information. While trying to get some information on the class, she discovers that Lloyd lives at the school and has keys to all of the rooms in the school, including the principal?s office. She asks Lloyd to let her into his office, an acts that sparks the jealousy of Harry. She doesn?t find anything, but after she leaves, Lloyd finds a chest that he thinks is the treasure that Harry had been looking for on a treasure map given to him by his mom. In actuality, it was all the evidence linking Collins and Heller to the corruption. Lloyd shows it to Harry, and they decide to add it to the Thanksgiving Day float. It is a tribute to Collins, and it portrays him as a pirate. Collins realizes that he needs to get the chest back before Superintendent Zimmer (Roger Eschbacher) and Richard Moffit (Dana Gould), the man giving the grant, find out about its existence.
Why did I like this movie when I?m clearly in the minority here? It is because the movie delivered exactly what it was promising?one of the stupidest tales ever brought to the silver screen. If it is so stupid, then why did I like it? I was a fan of the original inane movie, the first one helmed by the Farrelly Brothers, and the movie that cemented Jim Carrey?s superstar status. Despite the fact that no one from the original movie, except for the studio, is involved in this one, it didn?t scare me away. Troy Miller, a close pal of the ?Mr. Show? guys, and director of their yet-to-be-released movie Run Ronnie Run, helmed this one. Looking over his resume, he has only made one bad misstep in the form of directing the horrible Michael Keaton snowman movie Jack Frost. Otherwise, he has mostly done TV-related stuff, with a lot of it involving ?Mr. Show? alum. He has done a decent job taking over for the Farrelly Brothers. Olsen and Richardson do a great job mimicking Carrey and Jeff Daniels from the original. I wasn?t expecting much from the story or even the supporting characters, who are all not given much to do. It was all about Harry and Lloyd being dumb, and they actually managed to be dumber in high school than they were as adults.
There were a couple of things in the story that I chalked up to as an homage to the original movie, though some might see it as lazy writing. First, there was the fight between Harry and Lloyd over Jessica, which was similar to their fight over Lauren Holly?s character Mary Swanson. Second, in a tribute to Harry?s laxative bathroom scene in the original, Harry has a similar disgusting bathroom scene involving a melted candy bar being mistaken for poo. Actually, that scene was more gross than it was funny, but I thought it was an interesting tribute.
I do have to make one continuity gripe though. The movie takes place in 1986, yet Lloyd dances to an LP of Vanilla Ice?s ?Ice Ice Baby,? which didn?t exist until 1990! I know the movie is supposed to be stupid, but that doesn?t mean it can?t be historically accurate!
If you liked the first movie, you aren?t a movie critic, and you will like Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. It?s not as good as the first movie (as good as Olsen imitated him, you just can?t beat Carrey when he is on a role), but it is actually dumber than the first one?which, ironically, is a good thing.
Get the original 1994 movie:
Buy this DVD at
SEE THIS MOVIE!
Catch this movie at the theater if you can...
Wait until it comes out on video...
Wait until it plays on HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc...
Demand your money back, even if you saw it for free!