Peter and Bobby Farrelly (“The Farrelly Brothers”) are some of the most accomplished directors in Hollywood. They are brave artists that do not shy away from innovative and creative plots, with a knack for exploring storylines where others might tread lightly. The ending result is a high-wire attempt where they either succeed and triumph, or fall uglily. Here are all 12 Farrelly Brothers movies ranked from worst to best.
Some of these might be memorable to you, some might tickle you to the bone, or just outright gross you out. Either way, you’ll find yourself watching a film uniquely made by one of Hollywood’s distinctive filmmakers.
12. Dumb and Dumber To (2014)
In this 2014 film, the Farrelly Brothers try to replicate the success they had with the Dumb and Dumber. However, where they struck gold with that film, the opposite can be said about Dumb and Dumber To. Twenty years after the events of the first film, the film follows Harry (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd (Jim Carrey), on a journey across the country to find Harry’s long-lost daughter.
Many might flock to watch the movie, only due to nostalgia from the first film but many might leave disappointed as well. The film tries excruciatingly hard to be funny, so much so that it often crosses the line of being offensive, tasteless, and downright unfunny. Over-the-top scenes are put together to squeeze out a punchline that fails to deliver.
Jokes are recycled and overused. Pranks and gags were executed but the result was just cringe-worthy. This almost gives an impression that the writers were just trying to create a cash grab half-assed movie.
Our main characters are devoid of the humor and charm that everyone loved from the first movie. In this film, they become obnoxious pranksters who carry out their pranks and come off as just being rude and mean bullies. From accidentally murdering a man with rat poison pills to screaming at the speaker in a convention, the main characters seem to be just puppets trying to pull off some laughs at any means possible, even if it does not fit their characters.
A horrible parody of the first film, you might find some laughs but it is better to re-watch the original classic and just forget about this one.
11. The Heartbreak Kid (2007)
If there is an example of a love story gone wrong, this would be it. The Farrelly Brothers team up with Ben Stiller once again to produce a rom-com to woo the audience. Except for this time, they seem to have lost their touch.
Stiller plays Eddie who weds Lila (Malin Ackerman) after a short fling. During their honeymoon, Lila reveals her true colors and Eddie realizes that he’s made a terrible mistake marrying her. He soon falls for Miranda (Michelle Monaghan) and sets out to free himself from his wife.
The Farrelly Brothers’ signature humor magic in their previous works seems absent in this film. Where they once were able to string audiences with the right blend of humor and heart, here they did the opposite. The tone and messaging of the movie is brash, nasty, and surprisingly unfunny.
It is hard to relate or connect to the protagonist when he seems to be unlikeable. While Lila is the monstrous and obnoxious wife, Eddie himself is an indecisive, shallow, and selfish creature. It might not seem obvious at first as the writers try to spin it off as consequential that Eddie decides to leave Lila due to her true nature.
It is hard not to compare this to There’s Something About Mary. This film overall starts with a plot with potential but unfolds out to be a miserable form that is hard to enjoy. Not exactly the result of a comeback Stiller-Farrelly team-up we wanted but unfortunately, it’s what we got.
10. Hall Pass (2011)
Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis play two married men in rocky relationships with their spouses respectively. Their wives grant them permission slips to do whatever they want for a full week, without marital consequences.
The Farrelly Brothers play between the concept of “what if” and “boys will be boys” in this film. A simple premise mixed in with middle-aged men, where the humor and sequences are kind of expected and meh.
The Farrelly Brothers have been a staple in the comedy genre but the level of the film doesn’t quite match their previous work. The balance between cringy and outrageousness is there, with some provocative dialogue, toilet-joke scenes and raunchy sequences. Anyone looking for just a few laughs would probably be satisfied. I found myself enjoying it quite a bit, bearing in mind not to keep my expectations high.
Some gross scenes might appeal to some while others find it disgusting and lame. You might find yourself either grossed out or laughing out loud at the sequences involving body fluids, full-frontal nudity or gun violence. However, there simply isn’t much to explore and the movie leaves me somewhat wanting and forgetting about it not long after.
9. Osmosis Jones (2001)
The movie shows us, in vivid colors, what happens when you eat an egg from the floor that you just pried off from a monkey’s mouth. It centers around Frank, a zookeeper who eats the aforementioned egg. Soon, the insides of his body enter into a germicidal frenzy as they try to keep a dangerous virus at bay from killing Frank.
The film consists of live-action segments and animated segments showing us the insides of Frank’s body at a cellular level. Even though it is billed as a Farrelly Brothers film, the brothers only directed the live-action segments, which unfortunately does not match up to the animated segments (directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon).
The live-action sequences offer nothing much except as a narration to what is happening to Frank. As the movie swings back and forth between live-action and animation, I can’t help but to just glaze over the live-action sequences as I wait for the movie to bring me back to the colorful, larger-than-life insides of Frank’s body.
Fast-paced, entertaining, and fun, the animated sequences are filled with their brand of clever humor. Most of these are visual gags that might require you to do a little thinking before getting the punchline. Overall the movie is inventive and gives a decent entertaining family movie experience.
8. The Three Stooges (2012)
The Three Stooges is a comedy film inspired by the original comedic trio from the 1930s who are famous for their slapstick-buffoonery comedic shorts.
In this adaptation divided into three segments, the Stooges attempt to raise money and save the orphanage they grew up in, inadvertently being involved in a seedy murder-infidelity plot against a millionaire. The plot may be similar to a certain Farrelly Brothers movie (Dumb and Dumber), but anyone who is watching it is certainly not here for the story but rather for the nostalgic reminiscence of the original slapstick trio.
The Farrelly Brothers took a risk in meddling in one of America’s beloved properties but managed to create a modern adaptation that is true to the original trio. They succeed in injecting the look and feel of the classic Stooges, preserving their anarchic spirit and comic essence.
The main casts playing the leading roles of Larry, Moe, and Curly are critically applauded, and rightly so. They can project and emulate the original comedians down to their personalities, rhythms, and mannerisms like a true copy. Their onscreen chemistry and presence, even just executing the simplest of gags, can generate genuine and funny moments.
Though some might argue that it is a poor copy of the original with nothing new to offer, audiences should still find it enjoyable, with plenty of laughs as it pays homage to the original classic.
7. Me, Myself and Irene (2000)
After the success of Dumb and Dumber, Jim Carrey and the Farrelly Brothers team up once again to deliver us a film that shows how far they can go in displaying outrageous humor. Where Dumb and Dumber showed a little heart and charm, here the brothers go all out, without reservation in living up to its R-ratings.
Carrey plays Charlie, a Rhode Island state trooper suffering from a split personality disorder. He has a gentle, smiley, and kind personality who is an all-around nice guy. Unfortunately, once he runs out of his medication, his alter ego “Hank” rolls out, being the complete polar opposite of what Charlie is.
Carrey displays a solid performance playing the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona. Playing as the destructive Hank, he really lets himself go. Adding into his rubberish facial gestures, he tops it up by being more vulgar, profane, and coarse than he has ever been in his career.
A zany and over-the-top comedy, those with a warped sense of humor would find the movie a hoot from start to finish. There are a lot of jokes on defecation, urination, and sexual flashing that some audiences might find funny and others would find it hard to swallow.
As much fun as the movie is, the writers made a mistake by focusing too much on the film’s second half loses its humor momentum as the movie tries to chase after the storyline. Perhaps it would have been better for the audiences to just enjoy it as is, a crude comedy, rather than taking itself too seriously.
6. Shallow Hal (2001)
“Have you heard of the phrase beauty is in the eyes of the beholder?” Tony asks. “Well, have you heard the song who let the dogs out?” Mauricio remarks. This conversation from a section of the movie will always be funny. Jokes aside, however, Shallow Hal is a fairly conventional rom-com that touches on the issues of inner beauty vs outward looks.
Hal (Jack Black) only has eyes for women with absolute physical perfection. His views change after an encounter with self-help guru Tony Robbins, who hypnotizes him to see the inner beauty in people instead, even in the least appealing women. Hal then meets and falls for Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow). In his hypnotized eyes, she’s a slender beauty with a heart of gold. In reality, she’s about 300 pounds.
The Farrelly Brothers, known for their staple in gross-out comedies, take a bold step in creating the funniness out of this central theme of inner beauty. Hidden beneath all the laughter and banter is a touchy message for the audience. True beauty is seen with the heart, not eyes.
However, the Brothers seem to misdirect their message by announcing that unattractive people are nice people, and good-looking people are awful. There are also elements of stereotyping obesity that might tick audiences in the wrong ways. Perhaps the Brothers could have done with some check and balance on this aspect.
With a unique plot, great performances by the cast and plenty of quality Farrelly-branded humor, this movie should not be passed up. Just remember to take the messaging with a pinch of salt.
5. Stuck On You (2003)
By the time this movie came out, the Farrelly Brothers would have been known for bringing out the humor whilst dealing with issues surrounding stupidity, schizophrenia and obesity, among others. So it doesn’t come as a surprise when a movie about conjoined twins gets the Farrelly treatment.
Surprisingly out of character for the Farrelly Brothers, they show a generous amount of heart in this film. Throttling back on the gross-out gags, envelope-pushing raunch, and sexual humor, they provide us a film that centers on being funny but touchy and kind-hearted as well.
The movie centers around conjoined twins Bob and Walt Tenor, played by Matt Damon and Grek Kinnear respectively. While the timid Bob is content with their lives flipping burgers, Walt has a more outgoing personality, with ambitions to be an actor. The pair travels to Hollywood to fulfill his dream, where love and fame knock on their doorstep.
Damon and Kinnear own their roles with their chemistry and they give us a natural and down-to-earth portrayal of Bob and Walt. As much as you want to see them free to live their lives normally, it is captivating to see the amiable brothers display their sibling love for one another.
Although many of the jokes in the film center around the challenges the brothers face due to their physical condition, they do not directly make fun of their disabilities. The sequences of the physical humor are executed carefully to avoid being insulting or disrespectful, whilst serving a generous amount of comedy.
4. Kingpin (1996)
Fresh off their success with the smash hit Dumb and Dumber, the Farrelly Brothers display another form of movie genius with this sports comedy. If you laughed at Dumb and Dumber, you’ll find this movie hilarious as well. Some of the jokes are well executed to catch the audience off guard. The Farrellys here are not going for cheap punchlines or gags but rather well-thought-out comical sequences.
The strength of this movie is further enhanced by its main quartet; Woody Harrelson, Bill Murray, Randy Quaid, and Vanessa Angel. The actors’ chemistry and ability in playing their characters with such precision and clarity, gives us plenty of memorable and quotable scenes to enjoy. Props have to be given to Murray who portrays Ernie in glorious fashion.
Roy (Harrelson) is a former bowling champion who gets tricked by a double-crossing wise-cracking bowler Ernie (Murray), into a con game that results in Roy losing his bowling hand. Reduced to a life of being a sleazy, small-time hustler, Roy meets Ishmael (Quaid) an Amish bowling prodigy and decides to train Ishmael into winning a bowling championship.
The movie is silly and inspiring, yet it does not fall into the same gutter as those that take themselves too seriously. There is a certain charm in its wittiness, over-the-top, dark humor sequences. A must-watch movie for everyone. It is able to deliver a solid enjoyable movie experience, with humor that you can find back in the ’90s that is absent in modern comedies.
3. Fever Pitch (2005)
Any relationship involves give and take, sometimes even extreme sacrifice. The Farrelly Brothers emphasize this theme in what seems to be one of their most down-to-earth films ever. With the absence of crude, grossed-out, profane gags, it almost seems like a non-Farrelly movie.
The story follows Ben Wrightman (Jimmy Fallon) who is a school teacher. One day he meets and dates Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore), a successful workaholic executive. They fall in love but Lindsey soon realizes that Ben’s obsession for baseball is getting in the way of their relationship.
The film runs on the “boy meets girl, loses her and subsequently, wins her back” -formula. But it also pitches the elements of balancing our passions, and the difference between loving something (or someone) that loves you back, and something that doesn’t.
This touchy-feely film balances various elements perfectly. While Ben is portrayed as boyish and obsessive, the film does well not to mock fellow sports addicts. Spouses of sports fans can also relate to Lindsey’s plight as she accommodates and accepts Ben’s passion.
This may be a sweet, touchy-feely film, but do expect plenty of hilarious moments in the film sans the excesses that the brothers are well known for. Not one to pass up, Fever Pitch marks as one of the Farrelly Brother’s best works.
2. Dumb and Dumber (1994)
The Farrelly Brothers came under Hollywood’s radar with this film. A film that came out as weird and literally dumb as the title suggests, became an all-time favorite that uniquely stood out among other comedies. The film delivers its own definition of funny – with jokes and over-the-top gags that are executed impeccably well by the cast.
These are not just simple cheap one-liners said for the sake of delivering a punchline but well-placed quips and gags that work perfectly, leaving the audience in pools of giggles and laughter.
Dumb and Dumber tells the story of dim-witted best friends Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) and Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey), who stumble upon a briefcase full of money. They set out halfway across America to return it unaware that the briefcase is connected to a kidnapping.
As simple as the plot may be, the movie focuses on the chemistry between Harry and Lloyd that could execute even the simplest gags to utter comedy gold. Carrey’s exaggerated facial expressions and movements together with Daniel’s silliness and charm created an onscreen chemistry duo that creates a fun experience to watch. Their perfect comic timing and charisma make it easy to digest even the dumbest and cringe-worthy moments in the film.
Years after its release, the film not only remains as one of the most rewatchable movies but also one that has given quotable and memorable scenes. You may find moviegoers going “mock, yeah!”, “Big Gulps, huh? Alright!” or “kick his ass, sea bass”, as they retell their favorite scenes of the iconic comedy. If you find that weird, you’re the weird one.
1. There’s Something About Mary (1998)
After the success of Dumb and Dumber and Kingpin, the Farrelly Brothers deliver their take on a rom-com that became arguably a modern classic loved by many. The film also ushered in an era of R-Rated rom-coms and was ranked as No. 27 of the 100 greatest American comedies by the American Film Institute.
The story follows present-time Ted (Ben Stiller) as he recounts his experience in high school where he flops on a prom date with hottie Mary (Cameron Diaz) due to an incident. Realizing that he still can’t forget her, he hires a private investigator Pat Healy (Matt Dillon) to track her down. Things get complicated when he realizes later that he is not the only guy who is in love with Mary.
It’s the writer’s ability to build upon a single comedy moment to create a chain of unpredictable and absurd comedic sequences that makes this movie so fun to watch. An example is a scene where Ted is mistaken for being a peeping Tom while urinating. Then he gets his genitals stuck in a zipper. Soon after, his predicament is invaded by strangers who stumble out of nowhere in an attempt to either help him or embarrass him more.
The Farrelly Brothers challenge each scene and build it with a chain of outrageous comedy one after another, to keep you fixated if not, giggling in delight. Never crossing the boundary of being lame or cliche, the comedy develops and unfolds well.
The plot is just a simple playground for the Farrelly Brothers to imbue with their humor, which works fine. After all, everyone will expect Ted and Mary to end up together. But it is rather the journey than the destination that the audience is looking forward to and it sure is paved with unpredictable fun.