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There's Something about MaryThere's Something About Mary's DVD

Special Edition

By Jim Bray

One of 1998's top money makers, "There's Something about Mary" is brash, tacky, very politically incorrect, and laced with sexual humor. It also provides more than a few bellylaughs.

The DVD adds to the package, too, with extras like a series of outtakes (some of which are a hoot), a copy of the film's music video (including a Karaoke version, of all things), and a running commentary by the Farrelly brothers, creators of the film.

I didn't really know what to expect with "Mary," except that I'd mildly enjoyed Peter and Bobby Farrelly's first feature "Dumb and Dumber," which wasn't as dumb as the title suggested. And "Mary" was far more than I expected, too.

Not that this flick is going to challenge one's intellect...

The story follows ordinary nice guy Ted (Ben Stiller) who became obsessed with Mary (Cameron Diaz) during their one, ill-fated "almost date" thirteen years in the past. He sends a private investigator (Pat Healy, played by Matt Dillon) to find her, but the dick (in more ways than one) also becomes obsessed with Mary and rains all over Ted's parade.

The rest of the film is Ted, Healy - and just about everyone else who comes in contact with Mary - vie for her attention and affection through various adventures and misadventures.

About the only person in this film who comes across as remotely sane are Mary and, to a lesser extent, Ted. The rest of the not particularly supportive supporting characters are a mix of sleaze, desperation, air-headedness, and canine confusion.

Sure, it's crude and it's rude - but I found myself laughing out loud more than once, usually in connection with that damn dog, Puffy.

The widescreen (1.85:1) picture is terrfic, and so's the Dolby Digital sound, but 20th Century Fox has once again had this disc programmed to default to Dolby Pro Logic audio - and that really rubs me the wrong way. It's a minor point, to be sure, but most DVD players and A/V receivers will automatically switch to Dolby Pro Logic decoding if there's no AC-3 circuitry present, so having the disc default to Digital makes more sense. The way it is now, you have to deliberately access the "languages" menu and switch to Dolby Digital.

Liner notes are limited to the rear panel of the box, but as mentioned above there are lots of other extras. Besides those already mentioned there are the usual chapter stops and theatrical trailer, cast/crew bios, etc. The running commentary isn't nearly as funny as I expected from these unconventional filmmakers; they seem to take their jobs a lot more seriously than their subject matter.

"There's Something about Mary" is a lighthearted, lightweight romp - and a good example of DVD technology, too, eexcept for the audio default problem.

There's Something about Mary, Special Edition, from 20th Century Fox Home Video
119 minutes, widescreen (1.85:1), Dolby Digital
starring Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller, Matt Dillon, Lee Evans, Chris Elliot
Story by Ed Decter & John J. Strauss, Screenplay by Ed Decter & John J. Strauss and Peter Farrelly & Bobby Farrelly
Produced by Frank Beddor & Michael Steinbegt and Charles B. Wessler & Bradley Thomas
Directed by Peter Farrelly & Bobby Farrelly


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Updated May 13, 2006