Advertising Focus: Woe to Thee, Farrellys

Written by Film

Warner Bros. has to remind us that Hall Pass was made by the guys that brought you There’s Something About Mary. What if the promotions department had to tell you the truth?

You don’t have to feel sorry for the Farrelly Brothers, but I do. I realize that a lot of the flack they get is directly related to their brand of gross-out humor which they’ve been dragging along since their first big success with 1994’s Dumb & Dumber. Since then, their arc of “growth” has spanned little more than the ever-increasing viscosity of the bodily-fluids that constitute jokes in their movies.

In movies, and specifically in comedies, there is a very unique point at which a creator is the absolute zenith of the form, becomes synonymous with that sort of comedy and, when the tide turns, is dragged into the undertow with all the rest. Just as it is no longer a necessarily good thing to be saddled with being called a Judd Apatow comedy, it certainly doesn’t help to be labeled a Farrelly Bros. comedy either. In both cases, these creators failed to recognize they were in the process of trapping themselves.

In this, none are more unfortunate that Bobby & Peter because of their greatest success, the most memorable of their efforts, and the rotten, stinking corpse of an albatross around their necks, 1998’s There’s Something About Mary. Even if they are complicit in their fate, studio advertising guys simply don’t have anything to tie them to, and Lord knows they can’t just find a pithy tagline to use at the top of their posters (because that would, you know, take some effort), so we’ve been getting this for the past thirteen years…

This is the equivalent of saying, “…Because nobody really saw Shallow Hal, Stuck On You, Fever Pitch, or The Heartbreak Kid, so we can’t use those titles.”

The further injustice is that this is coming out of the studio’s promotion department and, therefore, the Farrelly Bros. likely have no control over the advertising. Most people don’t recognize the distinction and, therefore, will interpret that blurb as, “I scored four touchdowns in the big game for Polk High! Peg, get me a beer!”

We cannot, for a moment, pretend advertising is something it most certainly never was: truthful. Taking my sympathies away from Freres Farrelly momentarily, what would the ad guys at Warner Brothers actually slap on that poster? “Seen a good sperm gag lately?” If we actually lived in a world such as that, we’d also see these…

I Am Number Four

Just Go With It

The Roommate

Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son

 

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