Dumberer is the prequel to the hugely successful comedy Dumb and Dumber, starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as two social misfits on a road trip looking for love in their canine car. This time around, we see just how the pair met, and became friends. After being home schooled for years, Harry (Eric Christian Olsen) and Lloyd (Derek Richardson) are finally ready for public high school (either that or their parents got sick of their childishness). As fate would have it, on their first day of school, Harry and Lloyd literally run into each other. Attracted to the other one's stupidity, they not only become inseparable, they also become the first students of the school's new special needs class.
The class is just a fraud set up by principal Collins (Eugene Levy) and his lunch-lady love Ms. Heller (Cheri Oteri) to milk the school district out of $100,000 for offering the class. Harry and Lloyd are tasked with recruiting other special needs kids for the class, but all they can find is a group of slackers pretending to fit in with them. Perky student reporter Jessica (model Rachel Nichols) soon gets word of the scam, and sets out to expose it with the "help" of Harry and Lloyd.
The laughs Dumberer tries (and fails) to elicit come predictably at the expense of Harry and Lloyd's stupidity as they play repeated games of tag, and become punching bags for the school's bullies. The infantile humor never works; in fact, it gets fouler as the film goes along. Director Troy Miller has no use for a film with a plot and is so satisfied with the crude material that he abandons any chance to extend the film's one joke further. Dumberer misses some great comedic opportunities that exist with the principal/lunch-lady affair - most of the Levy/Oteri material is shamefully just a throwaway.
Dumberer has no purpose other than to capitalize on the success of the original film; however, the original film stands well enough on its own without this installment. Who really remembers Dumb and Dumber from nine years ago enough to make or want to see another film anyhow? Dumber's target audience is now older, hopefully more mature and looking for more intelligent movie choices. The talented lead actors from Dumber have grown into better roles, and Dumber's directors, the Farrelly brothers, have moved on to perfect their gross-out filmmaking with the superbly crafted There's Something About Mary.
I will admit Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd did get one chuckle out of me when Jessica's father, played by Funniest Home Videos' Bob Saget, goes on a four letter verbal rampage describing the melted chocolate on his bathroom walls as something else - yummy! It can't get much dumber than that, or should I say dumberer?
Editor's DVD update: Levine may have been way too hard on Dumberer, which deserves a minor rediscovery on DVD. Tons of deleted scenes and extras are worthwhile, but it's the screen tests and casting sessions with the eventual stars (who look nothing like their idiot counterparts) and the co-stars (who all tried out for the leads) that really makes the disc. Call me stupid, but I liked it.
Do you remember where we left the script?
Run time: 85 mins
In Theaters: Friday 13th June 2003
Box Office USA: $26.1M
Distributed by: New Line Cinema
Production compaines: New Line Cinema
Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 10%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 107
IMDB: 3.4 / 10
Director: Troy Miller
Producer: Oren Koules
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