Hear this right at this exit... right... HERE!
EXIT 11, I-95 in RI, to Woonsocket, RI
"Welcome to Woonsocket. Off this exit a couple of the biggest Movie Moguls in Hollywood once grew up. Despite being Dumb and Dumber, Chris Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly are smart and smarter. According to the Industry Newspaper, VARIETY, the Farrelly Brothers are film-makers who create hugely popular movies that appeal mainly to teenage boys of every age. They are smart producers… And movie writers. And movie directors. And they grew up in Rhode Island. And each of the brothers' first three blockbuster films (Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary, and Me, Myself & Irene) has a plot centered around a road trip. And These trips all originate in Rhode Island. Isn't that cool? Or silly? Or Dumb?
Not really because all the films have been very profitable. Which makes the Farrelly Brothers very smart businessmen. But how do they do it? Do they have a formula?
Their movies are full of slapstick and really gross toilet humor which endears it to young men. All their protagonists are like most of us — not economically privileged if not working class. They center around a sub-average guy who has aspirations beyond his means — usually including a girl who is way beyond their grasp. Many of their films contain flashbacks that show how a character was affected by a traumatic event. This seems to touch almost everyone in the audience. It also make the otherwise insufferable protagonist very sympathetic. Of course, being slapstick comedy and fiction, in the end the average guy gets the super nova girl and presumably lives happily forever after. All audience members — except super nova beauties — wish that were the case, right?
The criticism is that the films appeal only to adolescent men — which is an avid movie going demographic and makes the studio very rich. Plus guys still buy the tickets on date nights, so they get to choose the movie. Smarter indeed. But the Farrelly’s use other tactics to lure in a wider audience.
Farrelly Brothers Movies are noted for their soundtracks. Their music selections typically feature classic and contemporary pop songs — many which were what one would consider AM Radio fluff but with which older Baby Boomers are all too familiar. In so doing they appeal through nostalgia to older demographics who can “remember when”. This then brings in an older demographic — and more money when they release the soundtrack. Not so dumb eh?
Then there is the casting of professional athletes.
Pro Athletes have huge appeal for adolescent males of all ages. Brief appearances by major Sports Stars are a common surprise. These so-called cameo appearances including Baseball great Roger Clemens, Tennis hottie Anna Kournikova and super star quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Brett Favre.
These Rhode Island road-trip movies star Jim Carey, Cameron Diaz, Jeff Daniels, Renee Zellweger, Lauren Holly, Matt Dillon, and Ben Stiller. The comedic characters — mainly the males -- are subjected to a lot of painful antics such as getting their private parts caught in zippers, becoming hooked by a fishing lure, having their tongues yanked off frozen metal, and getting in painful situations all along the road.
The ladies by contrast tend to be straighter which only emphasizes the adolescent awkwardness which we all recall.
Obviously the best reason we watch and re-watch these films is that they are all about the road — whether it is from Rhode Island to Aspen Colorado as in the “DUMB and DUMBER” franchise or Rhode Island to Miami as with “THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY”. Therefore a recurring character can be said to be America itself.
So we at RoadSpoke want to say “Thanks Farrelly Brothers… thanks for taking us on the Open Road.” That’s not just smarter. It’s smartest!"
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