There’s something about a movie that’s equal parts side-stitching hysterical and stomach-churning crude. When those two reactions join together in one crowd-pleasing comedy, you’ve got There’s Something About Mary. The Farrelly brothers, who brought to the silver screen such romps as Dumb & Dumber and Kingpin, wrote and directed this unorthodox, not-so-romantic comedy. From autographed baseballs to well-tanned neighbors to misplaced hair gel, there’s little this hit won’t do for a laugh — and there’s something good about that.
The Synopsis: Thirteen years ago, Ted Stroehmann (Ben Stiller) was asked to the prom by Mary Jensen Matthews (Cameron Diaz), the most popular girl in school. After a disastrous turn of events — "we’ve got a bleeder!" — and a crush that still won’t go away, Ted decides to hire Pat, a sleazy private investigator (Matt Dillon) to check on her whereabouts. Soon enough, everyone — from Pat to an "architect" to Brett Favre — is pining for Mary’s affections.
Ten Things You Didn’t Know About There’s Something About Mary
1. 20th Century Fox was initially reluctant to allow Stiller — the directors’ first choice — to star, so the brothers decided upon a then-unknown Owen Wilson. When the studio was even more reluctant to let Wilson star, they agreed to cast Stiller.
2. The high school scene was shot at Plantation’s City Hall in
Florida. Upon seeing a rough — and rather raunchy — cut of the film,
council members requested that Plantation not be acknowledged in the
3. Diaz was the body inside the bag carried by the hitchhiker, played by Harland Williams.
4. The dialogue between Mary and Ted about how there aren’t enough meats on cones was originally written for an episode of Seinfeld that never aired. The Farrellys bought it for use in the movie.
5. Bill Murray, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Vince Vaughn were all considered for Dillon’s role of Pat Healy.
6. Dropping Ted on the stretcher wasn’t scripted. When it happened, they cut to make sure Stiller was okay but then left it in.
7. Football star Steve Young was originally supposed to play one of
Mary’s suitors. However, as a practicing Mormon, he declined to be in
such a suggestive movie.
8. Diaz and Lin Shaye were mooned by one of the Farrelly brothers
during the filming of the scene in which the two actresses look
downwards out of the window Puffy had jumped from.
9. Diaz’s father was on set during filming, so the Farrellys let him
in the movie. In the scene where Stiller is released from prison, her
dad is the jeering inmate with a beard and long hair.
10. The scene in which Ted encounters a group of homosexuals outside
a rest stop is based on a real incident of people having anonymous sex
along the highway, discovered by South Carolina troopers. Almost all of
those in the movie were members of the film crew.