His friends would stay stop whining, they've had enough of that His friends would say stop pining, there's other girls to look at They tried to set him up with Tiffany and Indigo... But there's something about Mary that they don't know...
There's Something About Mary is a 1998 romantic comedy film, directed by the Farrelly Brothers and starring Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon and Ben Stiller. Awkward and shy high-schooler Ted (Ben Stiller) lands a Prom date with his dream girl Mary (Cameron Diaz), only to have it cut short by a painfully humiliating zipper accident.Thirteen years later, Ted is still in love - maybe even obsessed - with her. On the advice of his best friend Dom (Chris Elliott), he hires sleazy private detective Pat Healy (Matt Dillon) to track her down. Healy finds that she is an orthopedic surgeon living in Miami but falls in love with the irresistible Mary as well. As the film progresses, Ted and Pat compete for her affections as the roster of other suitors rapidly snowballs.
Anti-Villain: Pat Healy - he's a total sleazebag and will say anything to get in Mary's pants, but he actually grows to love and care for her. In fact, he thinks he's doing her a favor by stealing her from Ted, who he views as a creepy stalker..
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Inverted, when Ted is falsely accused of murder, but he thinks he's only in trouble for picking up hitchhikers and unintentionally soliciting gay sex.
This in itself becomes a subtle, yet heartwarming, moment when Ted leaves Mary to be happy with Brett, but not before he lifts up Warren's headphones to say goodbye to him. Warren doesn't react badly. Since Mary had earlier said that Warren won't let people touch his ears unless he trusts them, it convinces Mary of her feelings for Ted.
Braces of Orthodontic Overkill: There's no parts that stick out of 1985 Ted's mouth or around his head, but it's still a pretty sizable set even for the 1980's.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: An interesting version at the very end. At the end Seabass reveals that he was only having sex with Magda to get to Mary, and shoots at Ted, hitting one of the Greek Chorus members instead, thus bringing them into the movie proper instead of them just being inframe narrators. Of course it's the final scene in a comedy and for the Rule of Funny, so it has no bearing on the plot.
Career Resurrection: Matt Dillon again became a bankable star after this movie.
Not sure if it's the correct trope or not, but the songs "Buttercup" by the Foundations and "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" by Joe Jackson were both brought back from obscurity by the movie and "Buttercup" in particualr is now a regular on oldies station's playlists.
The Chessmaster: Woogie. He advises Ted to hire Pat Healy to find Mary, advises Ted to contact her, drives Ted to Miami and then sends an anonymous letter to get both Ted and Pat out of the way, leaving him free to swoop in and steal her shoes all without Ted suspecting anything. Even his friendship with Ted appears to be an early move in his game.
The Chew Toy: Poor Ted gets mauled by a dog, nearly murdered by a hitchhiker, snagged on the lip by a fishhook, and beaten up by Warren. Oh, and then there's the whole zipper incident...
The conversation between Mary and her friends about "Brett". On a repeat viewing, you can catch a few clues about his identity, with one friend calling him "Pack Man" and Mary also talking about how he lived "up north."
Cluster F-Bomb: Healy: We agreed I wouldn't fuck you, and you wouldn't fuck me until we got this....fuck outta the fuckin' picture!
Cultural Translation: Unfortunately averted - non-American viewers might not have understood what was so extraordinarily special about Brett being in love with Mary too. (For those who don't know, Brett Favre is a very famous American Football player.)
I Am One of Those Too: When Pat tries to impress Mary by pretending to be a suave architect. Cue her architect friend. Who was also only pretending.
I Never Told You My Name: Ted is confused on how Dom knows about the zipper incident, since he never told him. Dom does a Hand Wave to this by saying he only lived four towns away. This seems like a minor throwaway moment, but comes back later when Dom is revealed to be "Woogie", Mary's high school boyfriend prior to meeting Ted, which also shows how he knew about said incident.
Let Me at Him!: Parodied. Ted is suspected of being a twisted Serial Killer by a pair of detectives, but it's in fact a huge mix-up and Ted only ran into the real culprit without even knowing. This starts a Mistaken Confession where Ted casually admits his habit of "picking up hitchhikers". When he says that he might have had up to fifty hitchhikers in his life and makes light of this fact, the more unnerved of the two cops bashes Ted's head into the table in rage.
Love Dodecahedron: A Type 3 Triang Relation extended into a Love Dodecahedron with Mary at the center. Everybody is in love with/stalks Mary, including the main character and even football star Brett Favre. Naturally, Mary choses the main character even over Brett. (She's a Niners fan.)
Off on a Technicality: Mary's architect friend, who was actually a pizza delivery boy, claimed Pat was a murderer who stayed in prison for five years until a technicality got him off. It wasn't true.
Playing against type: Matt Dillon had previously been known for playing rebellious teens. His turn in this as a hilarious sleazy Private detective was completely different than anything he'd done before.
Keith David as well who'd been primarily in actions and dramas to this point. His reaction to seeing Ted's predicament is arguably the funniest moment in the film.
Poor Man's Porn: Ted uses a newspaper brassiere ad before the "Hair gel" scene
Precision F-Strike: When Tucker informs Mary of the fact that Pat Healy never went to Harvard, Healy, whos eavesdropping, launches one.
Shown Their Work: Though Warren is played for laughs he's a very accurate portrayal of an individual with mild mental retardation with autistic-like tendencies. He's often in his own little world, self-stimulates, has his routines and possessions which he holds dear, and is tactile defensive (does not like to be touched in certain areas). He is also functional and capable of establishing relationships and trust. Most indicated by the very subtle moment at the end where he allows Ted to touch his ears without going off. It is a Farrelly Brothers movie and they do a lot of work with individuals with disabilities and as a result always show such indiduals accurately and in a positive manner. This was also clearly demonstrated during the scene where Mary brings lunch to the other individuals from Warren's group. Though I have no confirmation it seems they were obviously played by actual individuals with mild mental handicaps.