There should be a cardinal rule for remakes....If one's not going to make it better, one shouldn't mess with the original. Well, the Farrelly Bros certainly didn't make a better film than the original "HEARTBREAK KID," however, they've put their own stamp on it, and it's got more than a fair share of laugh out(though excessively crude)scenes to please those fans won over by their earlier "THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY," and "KINGPIN."
Ben Stiller assumes the Charles Grodin role of the original film this time out, playing Eddie Cantrow, a sports equipment salesman, who in rapid succession, meets a pretty girl, marries her, and only on his honeymoon realizes he's turned off by her and in love with someone he just met. There are large variations in the narrative between this "remake" and the original, most of which hurt the film. To begin with, in order to reach a wider audience(one can assume) the "Jewish vs Wasp" subtext of the first film is completely gone from the plot, and it was a particularly effective theme, further showcasing the wide gap between Kantrow and Cybil Shepherd's family and culture in the original. In this remake, the Farrellys have decided to highlight the complete insanity and horrifying(by any culture's standards) habits/quirks of the new bride, intentionally trying to persuade the viewer from having any sympathy for her, and justifying Kantrow's sudden decisions and change of heart. While one was meant to be turned off at the new bride in the original version, one didn't hate her and her unattractive features weren't meant to define her, but here they are meant to, and it's not only a cheap shot, but also showcases a certain mean streak that lies throughout the film, wherein the Farrelly's other films actually offered an underlying sweetness(beneath the excessive crudeness)
The film would've also benefited greatly with editing, as it just feels too long by its end. And, the ending offers a conclusion that's completely disturbing and altogether unfitting, if trying to make the film endearing in any way. With all that said, the film still managed to make over 110 million at the box-office, so there are legions of movie-goers who appear to have liked it and passed on good word about it.
PARAMOUNT/DREAMWORKS has released the film on dvd and hd-dvd simultaneously. Both versions are presented in the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The dvd is enhanced for 16:9 and the hd-dvd offers 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 resolution. Both formats offer stunning visual quality, with perfectly rendered colors. The dvd offers great detail that's as perfect as possible for 480 resolution. The hd-dvd offers even richer colors and notably improved detail in every scene. Contrast is perfect, even with scenes pushed towards brightness. The HD-DVD offers a sensational high-definition viewing experience throughout.
PARAMOUNT/DREAMWORKS offers a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for dvd and Dolby TrueHd 5.1/Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 options for HD-DVD. While the dvd offers an enjoyable mix, most of the surround moments are delegated to enhance the score and songs, more than the occasional ambient effects. The HD-DVD offers a more lively mix than the dvd, with notably more effects presence than the dvd and greater dynamic range in comparison to virtually every dvd scene.
Both formats offer a variety of extras, including featurettes(all in hd on hd-dvd)and deleted scenes and gags(all in 480 on both formats). For some reason, we had difficulty in accessing the extras on the hd-dvd with the HD-XA2 model, but after shutting it off and restarting the equipment, everything became accessible without a problem.