This past weekend I was at a wedding in Los Angeles. Upon arrival to the ceremony, I ran into the groom's father, Ken. I had not seen Ken in almost ten years. I excitedly approached my friend's father, "Hey, Ken, it's been a long time!" Ken stared me down for what seemed like an unusually long time when you consider the joyous setting. He finally spoke. "I swear to God, I almost killed you once." Wait, what? Why would Ken have ever wanted to kill me? "Remember when you and Dennis just took off out of nowhere and drove to Canada? Where did you guys end up?" After I answered "Winnipeg," Ken continued: "All because of that damned movie." He then asked, "What was that horseshit movie that you two saw that night?" Bowing my head, I meekly responded, "'Dumb & Dumber'... it was 'Dumb & Dumber.'"
According to Deadline, Sean Anders and John Morris (the men who brought you 'Sex Drive') have been hired to write the sequel to Peter and Bobby Farrelly's original 'Dumb & Dumber' with the thought of reuniting the Farrellys with stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.
I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me thinks this deserves a sarcastic post like "20 Other Movies from 1994 that Should get a Sequel" ('I.Q. 2'!, 'It's Pat, Again'!) -- but the other part of me would really like to see a well made sequel (emphasis on the "well made"). Or, as the great Billy Bob Thornton answered when asked about a possible 'Bad Santa 2,' "I think if you want to do a sequel, you want to at least be on par with that one, if not better." Or, in other words: A sequel that has the possibility of inspiring two idiot college students with no money to spontaneously drive from Kansas City to Winnipeg in the middle of the winter. Oh, yeah, that -- an action that spawned a death threat 17 years later. A story that I even briefly mentioned to the Farrelly Brothers when they were promoting 'Hall Pass' (and, yes, they eventually made me tell them this whole story, which they enjoyed -- or at least pretended to enjoy).
Home from the University of Missouri for the holidays in December of 1994, I was doing what all underage college kids do when they're home in the Midwestern suburbs for the holidays: drinking beer in the basement or going to see movies. Actually, I had to be talked into seeing 'Dumb & Dumber': I despised Jim Carry in 'Ace Ventura' and, frankly, wasn't in a very good mood. You see, a girl I thought I was in love with had broken up with me right before the holidays. My friend Dennis was in a similar situation, his romantic advances having recently been spurned by a girl that he would eventually not marry this past weekend. Jim Carrey's hyper-energetic shtick did not seem appealing.
Look, I'm not at all trying to convince you that 'Dumb & Dumber' is brilliant cinema, but it had something in there. Or, to be fair, it at least it had something in there for two somewhat depressed college kids who wanted to be anywhere at that moment but in the suburbs of Kansas City. Look at these guys, Lloyd and Harry: they left Rhode Island behind and seemingly found happiness! After the movie, I started driving toward Dennis' parent's house to drop him off for the night, but, right before I pulled into his neighborhood, Dennis said, "Keep driving." "To where?," I asked. "I don't care," he said. And with that, I told him I was just going to keep driving until he said to stop. It was a game of chicken.
We happened to be traveling north, so we continued, eventually reaching I-29. And continued. And continued. And Continued.
"Hey, Dennis, we just hit Iowa."
"Dennis, I think we're getting close to South Dakota."
"Christ ... we're in Fargo?"
"Dude, I just saw a sign for the Canadian border."
This is when the two of us started to realize that our decision-making process might have been flawed. You see, Lloyd and Harry may have both just lost their jobs, but at least they had both recently had jobs in which they earned American currency. And that's not to mention that briefcase full of money they were carrying. We, on the other hand, had less than $100 between us (which was mostly gone after refilling a few times) and this was 1994, so neither of us had a cell phone, credit card or an ATM card -- not to mention that we were both exhausted from, at this point, 12 hours of driving.
We debated turning around, but then, we had never been outside of the United States. This was exciting! It was stupid, but it was still exciting! We went for it. As we approached the friendly Canadian border patrol officer whose duty it was to protect Friendly Manitoba, absolutely nothing was going to stop us now...
"Hey, fellas, what brings you to Canada, eh?," he asked.
Deciding to go with honesty, I replied, "Well, we were bored, so..."
"Pull your car over," he demanded, his tone suddenly much less friendly.
Yeah, this didn't go as planned. And I certainly didn't remember the terrorist interrogation during the film that we had just watched. But for the next two hours, an exhausted Dennis and I were questioned, in separate rooms, in an effort to -- I'm guessing -- trick us into saying something that didn't match the other's story. Or, perhaps, to even admit that we were the notorious Manitoba Murderers (I have no idea if there were ever a criminal duo known as the Manitoba Murderers -- but at that point, I probably would have admitted to being a member). After my interrogation was over, I overheard the officers speaking to each other in the hallway: "I don't know what to make of them, they both keep babbling about a movie called 'Dumb & Dumber.'"
We were set free. Well, pending a search of my car. Funny thing: that semester I had taken a class at the University of Missouri called "Acting for Non Majors" and a scene that I had performed was (of course) the confrontation between Han Solo and Greedo in 'Star Wars.' During that scene, we had used a toy blaster that had 'The Empire Strikes Back' clearly written all over it. (Making this scene even more absurd was the fact that my acting partner could not find anything that resembled a Greedo mask, so he showed up in a blue Power Rangers mask instead.) Yeah, that toy blaster was still in the trunk of my car.
"Everyone move back!!!" the officer shouted once he saw the blaster. "Someone bring a dog over!" Dennis and I were both shuffled back inside as I screamed out a desperate, "No, it's from 'Star Wars'!"
I will never forget this as long as I live: From a window, I saw three uniformed Canadian border patrol officers standing with their ears covered as the officer with my blaster fires off "a round." The next two sounds were, first, a whimsical "bzzzzzzzz" that only toy guns manufactured in 1980 have the ability to produce and, second, a hilariously serious, "All clear!" With that, we were allowed to enter Canada.
Thanks to a Western Union money transfer from our very pissed-off parents, we managed to survive a three-day stay, eventually making it home one day before Christmas: yet another reason that Ken wanted to kill me. (On the way back, the U.S. border patrol couldn't even bother to pretend to be interested in why we had been in Canada and wanted to enter the U.S. -- this has changed.)
So, yeah, I do want a 'Dumb & Dumber' sequel. Not a quick and easy money grab like the excruciating prequel that won't be mentioned here, but a real, honest-to-God sequel that might lead two other unsuspecting college kids to a foreign border patrol interrogation room. Though, if it can't do that: why bother?
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[Photo: Everett Collection]