N.Y. Times critic A.O. Scott says he’s “not dogmatically opposed to remakes, and I’ve admired much of the Farrelly brothers’ earlier work. At their best — in Shallow Hal or Kingpin, say — they show a rare ability to mix the nasty and the nice, to combine humor based in the grossness of the body and its functions with a sweet, humanistic spirit.
“But that generosity seems to have abandoned them here,” Scott observes. “Their squeamish, childish fascination with bodily ickiness, when crossed with the iffy sexual politics of the original, yields a comic vision remarkable for its hysterical misogyny.”
Precisely, and the Farrellys don’t present this squeamishly. They stick to their guns. They stand up, don’t back off. Their viewpoint probably won’t wind up warming the hearts of a significant moviegoing sector — i.e., intelligent women, not to mention guys like Scott — and you have to at least respect the willingness of the Farrellys to ride that horse right into the valley. The Heartbreak Kid is not “nasty and nice” — it is much more single-minded in its view of male-female relationships, and it explains this pretty well.
To repeat: “I’ll tell you the secret to a happy marriage. It is grovelling and kowtow- ing and jumping through hoops whenever she barks for decades and decades as you wait for the sweet embrace of death.”