There's Something About Mary
|There's Something About Mary|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Farrelly|
|Produced by||Jerry Falwell|
|Screenplay by||James Dobson|
|Narrated by||Hal Smith|
|Music by||Billy Graham|
|Distributed by||Focus on the Family|
|Release date(s)||April 12, 1998|
|Running time||666 minutes|
|Budget||Philippians $2:3 million|
|Box office||Psalm $36:9.9 million|
“Virgin Mary is not my lover; she's just a girl who says that I am the one, but the kid is not my son!”
There's Something About Mary is a controversial 1998 religious comedy film, of which few movies have ever received as much media attention as. It stars Cameron Diaz as the titular Virgin Mary, with Matt Dillon, Ben Stiller, Lee Evans, and Chris Elliot all playing Gods who are in love with her and lewdly vying for her affections, with hee-lar-ious escapades resulting.
The first full-length motion picture filmed in Aramaic, this picture delves into the early years of Virgin Mary (Cameron Diaz) as she is pursued by Jehovah (Matt Dillon), Poseidon (Ben Stiller), Allah (Lee Evans), and Buddha (Chris Elliot) among other gods, each longing to impregnate her in order to fulfill an ancient prophecy and dominate the world's religions for the next three millennia.
Much of the film is a nouveau style of "Deific Slapstick" where the gods do their best to seduce Mary while thwarting the others and, in turn, getting thwarted themselves. The viewer is surprised and titillated by little vignettes interspersed throughout the film, showing the Not-So-Virgin Mary at the height of ecstacy with each and every God, Goddess, and Godling, unbeknownst to the others. There is a running gag throughout these scenes as Mary cries out "Oh! OH!! YOU!!!" Thus the film is transformed from a "Whodunnit?" to a pornographic "Whodunnitfirst?"
In a surprise twist at the end, the audience discovers that Satan (Keith David) had already beaten them to the punch, impregnating her with his evil seed.
Inspired by Charlton Heston's classic Who Framed Jesus Christ, the film was written by and directed by Peter, Bobby, and Chris Farrley (collectively known as "The Farrley Brothers"), the former two of which went on to produce such blockbuster hits as Deuce Bigalow, Tommy Boy 3: The Revenge, and There's Something About Mary 2: Electric Boogaloo. Chris could unfortunately not relish with his brothers in their success, as he died during filming in 1997.
A source of consternation for many people — even those who enjoyed the film — was the necromantic raising of Who Framed Jesus Christ's Marlene Dietrich from the dead in order to reprise her role as Mary Magdalene (Jesus' wife, not to be confused with the "other" Mary as played by Cameron Diaz). Though not the first celebrity to be raised from the dead (see Tupac Shakur, Elvis, John F. Kennedy), she holds the distinction of being first female celebrity to be raised for a filmic role.
Part comedy, part historical docu-drama, but mostly pornography, There's Something About Mary was the subject of no less than 27 protests, three riots and a failed protest-by-starvation, all of which led to the deaths of 666 people total.
Despite these protests, though probably because of them, this film was one of the highest-grossing films of North America, Europe, and Mars. Until the release of The Passion of the Christ, There's Something About Mary was the highest grossing religious-themed movie of all-time, followed closely by Who Framed Jesus Christ.
Cult following and influence
Like The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Who Framed Jesus Christ, sexually-charged religious movies quickly develop a cult following. In theaters around the globe, fans of the film dress as their favorite Gods and attend midnight showings of the film. As the costumed fans act out scenes from the film, the showing gradually evolves into a massive Mary-fucking orgy, to the delight of all.
The "docu-porn" style of this film was very influential over the next decade, inspiring such greats as Godspell, Kingpin, and King Kong. The lines "Oh! OH!! YOU!!!" have appeared in twelve subsequent movies, including Passion of the Christ, Dogma, Bruce Almighty and Disney's Monsters, Inc..
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