Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Before the film even begins, with the title alone, the film manages to sully the memory of two comedies. Not only does it destroy whatever franchise value Dumb and Dumber might have had, but it also makes an unworthy attempt to bathe in the glow of When Harry Met Sally.

Come to think of it, it sullies Harold Lloyd as well.

I grant you that Dumb and Dumber was not the ideal movie upon which to build a franchise. The script was inconsistent, and the characters were really too damned silly to carry a film in the first place. The film worked fairly well, but only because of the unique blend of sentiment and lowbrow humor produced by the Farrelly Brothers and Jim Carrey, making it possible to identify with the characters while you were laughing at them. Without Jim and the Farrellys, there wasn't much hope for the series, but this prequel was worse than could have been expected.

The kid who plays Lloyd does a pretty good impersonation of Jim Carrey, and I may have laughed a couple of times.

  • For example, Harry was home schooled, and was held back three years. "My mom was tough, but fair.
  • At one point, Lloyd brushes away his inability to get a girlfriend by saying, "girlfriends are for fags".

OK, those lines aren't great, but they required some wit, so they represented the rare comic oasis in this desert of slapstick. Most of the humor consists of stuff like a brain-dead football player walking into (and through) things, and a guy saying, over and over again, "My house is covered with shit. There's shit everywhere". He must have said that about a half dozen times, but the filmmakers obviously thought the gag had even more legs to it, because the same guy later babbled, "My car is covered with shit. There's shit everywhere."

Too bad. I think they could have had some fun with these characters.

For example, the script places Harry and Lloyd in a bogus "special ed" class taught by the lunch lady. (It's a scam concocted by the principal to merit a big grant, which he intends to embezzle.) Imagine if President Bush had visited the class on a day when they acted extra stupid, and the Prez had then denied the principal a federal grant, saying, "You can't fool me. That can't really be a special ed class. Those guys are way too smart."


There is a brief look the the bottom half of Cheri Oteri's behind, when her skirt comes up to her waist in a standing sex scene. This scene is not visible on the DVD!

Mimi Rogers appears in a bikini top.

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • several documentaries

  • full-length commentary

  • a couple of short joke commentaries (3 minutes)

Now that might have been funny. Especially if the film had ended with George W, Lloyd, and Harry playing tag in the Oval Office, destroying priceless artifacts while arguing about take-backs and do-overs.

Unfortunately, the actual humor consisted mainly of two seventeen year olds playing tag by themselves and acting like four year olds, which was funny for, oh, about a nanosecond of the 82 minutes it lasted.

The Critics Vote

  • USA consensus: no stars. Berardinelli 0/4, not reviewed by Ebert, Austin Chronicle 0/5

  • UK consensus: one star- Daily Mail 4/10,  Daily Telegraph 3/10, Independent  2/10, The Guardian 4/10, The Times 2/10, The Sun 5/10, The Express 2/10, The Mirror 2/10, BBC 1/5

  • Metacritic.com. 17/100. One of the worst of the year. I scanned through this year's films, and the only one I saw below 17 was Kangaroo Jack.

  • movies.yahoo.com. average grade: D+. That's about as low as Yahoo's averages ever go.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 3.9/10, Yahoo voters 2.5/5, Guardian voters 3.6/10
  • Box Office Mojo. Production $20 million, marketing $20 million. So far it grossed about $26 million. It had a good start based on goodwill from the first film, but a steep decline was caused by bad word of mouth.


Special Scoopy awards for excellence in criticism go to:

Order of merit in style: Mark Savlov of the Austin Chronicle. Even with its scant running time, this nightmarish travesty barrels along with all the whipcord speed and nimble comedic grace of a loved one’s funeral.

Order of merit in humor: John Patterson of L.A. Weekly. At 82 minutes it feels longer than “Lawrence of Arabia” -- and a lot less funny.

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this film is a D. Skip it. Even the people who liked the original hated this one.

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