Playing Dumb

Lars von Trier's The Idiots and the Farrelly Brothers' Me, Myself & Irene make intelligent metaphors for acting out

Granted, perhaps no movie that creates a match cut between shit and chocolate soft-serve should be taken too seriously. But it needs to be said that these Farrellys aren't just gross-out kingpins but auteurs, their oddly tender theme being that only unconditional love can cure 20-odd years of sexual humiliation. Just as familiar, there's something about the brothers' latest heroine (Renée Zellweger) that seems to bring out the worst in men. But why, in turn, would this beauty find herself drawn to a dumb-and-dumber beast like Hank? Well, let's put it this way: If Zellweger's Irene can be viewed as a stand-in for Carrey's captive audience, the movie is also about our irrepressible lust for the "bad object"--that is, Me, Myself & Irene. Indeed, able-minded kids of all ages know that drooling at the dinner table can be an act of defiance.


Method madness: The naked truths of The Idiots
Method madness: The naked truths of The Idiots

The Idiots starts Friday at U Film Society; Me, Myself & Irene is playing at area theaters.

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