But even more surprising than Rock's performance is the departure that Osmosis Jones takes from the usual Farrelly fare. As the brothers' other films (e.g., Dumb & Dumber, There's Something About Mary) have consisted almost entirely of slovenly and disgusting characters, the likes of which Frank would relate to perfectly, it's no small stretch for the pair to attempt to teach Frank (and the audience) that the body is a temple to be worshiped. Cleverly demonstrating the myriad repercussions of the lifestyle that has long been their characters' trademark (They are what you eat might be the movie's motto), the Farrellys almost seem to have awoken with a deep sense of guilt about the legions of children who stuck their tongues to frozen poles and fed their buddies laxatives after routine screenings of Dumb & Dumber. (That the Farrellys' forthcoming Shallow Hal has to do with a model-loving guy who unexpectedly falls for an obese woman even suggests that their current interest isn't in bodily humor so much as body politics.)
Osmosis Jones may be a kids' movie by definition. But especially since grown-ups have spent the better part of the summer starving for a studio movie that appeals to more than just a childish desire for explosions, we adults might be allowed to partake of this somewhat guilty pleasure as well. And at least until Rock's live-action skills improve (or until he releases a new standup special), we can be forgiven for taking his stronger performances where we can get them.