The spirit of Dumb & Dumber is summed up, appropriately, in the final lines of the film. After inadvertently shooing away a busload of beautiful women seeking their company (and then some), our witless heroes Harry and Lloyd continue on their wayward journey down the Colorado highway, sinking blissfully into the little world that only they will ever occupy. After Jim Carrey bemoans their lonesome fate, Jeff Daniels stoically assures him that the duo’s time will come — “We’ve just got to keep our eyes open.” — before the inevitable game of its, no backsies, and double stamps erupts. It’s this particularly tender ending that makes us realize that the previous two hours of infantile wisecracks and slapstick of the lowest brow were actually woven together, and made far more enjoyable than they should have been, by a sweet, warm thread of love for these characters and their joint private nirvana. It’s the kindness, not the crudeness, that makes Dumb & Dumber such a special success. So we’re worried that Dumb and Dumber 2, from the looks of the first trailer for the film, might be approaching its mission from the wrong side.
The trailer works blue with jokes about cat butts, bicycle dry-humping, and the vicious yanking of active catheters… nothing that would have felt too out of place in Dumb & Dumber. But the extended focus on a scene in which Lloyd attempts to swindle an ostensibly senile old women out of her hidden diamonds, amounting in the crassest gag in the preview.
New Line Cinema via Everett Collection
While crassness isn’t a dealbreaker, it should not be the backbone of a Dumb & Dumber movie: innocence should. Harry and Lloyd were likable characters despite all the havoc and harm they caused due to their good nature and innocence. But here, that seems to be shafted in favor of an up of the ante on the crudeness that the Farrelly Brothers are so famous for. Look at lesser Farrelly films, like Shallow Hal and Hall Pass, as compared to Dumb & Dumber or There’s Something About Mary — when crudeness takes a backseat to heart, we don’t wind up with something memorable or particularly funny. We only hope that Dumb and Dumber To, as it is officially titled, does not make this fatal mistake.