What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that There's Something About Mary is a gross-out movie that features rampant unscrupulous, shocking, and inappropriate behavior to elicit laughs. It's funny stuff for the right crowd of adult comedy aficionados and a well-made movie for the often-maligned genre. Kids will want to see it because of the star power of Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller and its notorious shock value as a Farrelly brothers film. But consider this while you listen to them beg: the film features lots of jokes about male sexual insecurity, including getting caught masturbating (falsely and then really, when Mary finds ejaculate on Ted's ear and mistakes it for hair gel), injuring their genitals, gay male sex, and rape. It also makes light of sociopathic behavior, as one character stalks Mary and all the other men in her life continually deceive her.
- Families can talk about the appeal of this movie and the whole gross-out genre. Do you think these extremely flawed characters are funny? What do you think about angelic and idealized Mary in comparison?
- Is this film equally funny to men and women? Why or why not?
- Were there parts of the film you found more offensive than funny? Would you seek out other movies like this or stick to lighter comedy fare?