By Jonathan Lawrence
CALGARY — What do 1994’s Dumb and Dumber and Stephen King have in common? Believe it or not, there is a connection, if not pointless trivia. It so happens that both King and Jim Carrey, star of the cult comedy, stayed in Room 217 of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, which also served as the fictional Danbury Hotel in the film. However, while the esteemed writer emerged having written The Shining, the latter inexplicably checked out after only a few hours.
Maybe he had a ghostly vision of Dumb and Dumber To.
It’s just not a true buddy comedy unless there’s a road trip gone awry involved. When a beautiful woman leaves a briefcase at an airport terminal, the two dummies in question, Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels), struggling to get by, travel from their ramshackle apartment in Rhode Island to Aspen, Colorado to return the forgotten briefcase to the woman – perhaps for a decent financial reward or the reward of love. Either way, in true buddy comedy fashion, their friendship will be tested along the way. Unbeknownst to them, however, the woman intentionally left the briefcase at the airport which contained ransom money for her kidnapped husband.
Jim Carrey’s breakout role as the lovable dimwit Lloyd Christmas (film rule #22: dimwits are always lovable), which, along with that year’s Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and The Mask, helped launch him into pop culture mainstream. From the awful, yet distinctly ‘90s haircuts that Harry and Lloyd don to the iconic Mutt Cutts van (actually a 1984 Ford Econoline), Dumb and Dumber is a classic full of iconic images to anyone who grew up in the ‘90s.
“It’s the epitome of Jim Carrey’s classic physical humour,” says Kevin Rosmer, long-time Carrey fan. “It’s a comedy that revolves around the characters rather than a concept,” a notion that Rosmer feels is missing from modern comedies where it’s both easy and effective to simply cast a Rogen or a Sudeikis and call it a day. He likened the film to the new generation’s Three Stooges – simple, slapstick comedy that doesn’t depend on effects or the times; it simply works on its own charm and cleverness.
While the film was ultimately a huge success and grossed nearly a quarter-billion dollars, Jeff Daniels undoubtedly got the short end of the stick, receiving only fifty thousand dollars for the flick versus Carrey’s $7-million deal (nearly half the film’s budget). Granted, Carrey had much more comedic influence; Daniels had only previously been known for working on dramas and with Woody Allen.
In fact, Daniels’s agents urged him not to do the film, and insisted that his co-star would overshadow him and that the serious actor was “heading for an Oscar one day.” Nevertheless, Daniels chose to follow his instincts and do the film, and we’re glad for it. He knocked it out of the park and played “dumber” like we’d never seen before (and fired his doubtful agents shortly after).
Carrey fans won’t want to miss this event. After the showing of Dumb and Dumber, a secret midnight screening of another Carrey classic will be shown, and even Alonso Melgar, one of the organizers at The Fifth Reel, doesn’t know which one it’ll be.
“We had a similarly-themed Arnold Schwarzenegger night a couple years back…[the first was] Predator, and Commando was the secret movie, and people really loved it,” he said. “We chose Dumb and Dumber because it is, in my opinion, the most quotable movie of the 1990s, and Jim Carrey in particular really lays the magic down.”
In fact, many of those infamous quotes were adlibbed by Carrey himself, such as “We’ve landed on the moon!,” “Woah, Big Gulps huh?,” and Lloyd’s rendition of the most annoying sound in the world.
As always, the evening will be hosted by the Kinkonauts, who warm up the crowd with their hilarious antics and audience challenges. Past highlights include human-proton-pack ghost hunting, Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation contests, and life-sized Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em robots. Each Fifth Reel event features different shenanigans by the Kinkonauts, so what they have planned this time is anyone’s guess.
This Fifth Reel event’s musical guest is John Lesbian Seagull, whose bio reads as “a shared affinity for loud guitars, beer that comes in 20 packs, and suck knobs that are not broken off… We carry on turning our amps as loud as they go, and we don’t hate each other.” What else could you want in an opening act?
Don’t miss the Jim Carrey Double Feature on July 29 at the Plaza Theatre. And if you really want to feel like Lloyd Christmas, you can go hang by the bar and put out the vibe. In an orange suit and bowtie, of course.
The Fifth Reel presents Dumb and Dumber at The Plaza Theatre on July 29th with performances by the Kinkonauts and John Lesbian Seagull. Stick around after for a surprise second Carrey-starring feature.AB, Alberta, Dumb and Dumber, Plaza Theatre, The Fifth Reel