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THE HEARTBREAK KID

About The Production
"I've got to be honest here. I don't think it's possible for a guy to go on his honeymoon, fall in love with another woman and have it all end happily.” - Mac

Four years ago, when Peter Farrelly heard about an updated "The Heartbreak Kid” script, his initial reaction was to pass on the project. "'The Heartbreak Kid' is one of my all-time favorite movies,” says Farrelly. "My first instinct was ‘no way.' I didn't want to do it.” But after watching the movie again, he saw how readily the story would lend itself to gags, hijinks and assorted other Farrelly-isms.

The original film, made in 1972, was based on a short story by Bruce Jay Friedman adapted by Neil Simon and starring Charles Grodin and Cybill Shepherd. "With Scot Armstrong and Leslie Dixon's script, the thing that fascinated us and really got our attention was that they had flipped it around. In this one, Eddie marries the beautiful Cybill Shepherd character, goes on his honeymoon and then meets a woman who's more his speed, a more down-to-earth, girl-next-door type. That made it a more complex story, I thought.”

Ben Stiller, who plays the title role in the new film, is also a huge fan of the original "The Heartbreak Kid.” "It's a classic,” says the actor. "It's just a really funny movie, and I thought we had a chance to do something a little different. There is no improving the original. This is a different movie.”

One of the major challenges for both the filmmakers and their star was making Eddie, a guy who ditches his wife on their honeymoon, sympathetic.

For Bobby Farrelly, Stiller himself is the key to keeping the audience on Eddie's side. "Ben makes Eddie a sympathetic character,” says the director. "You understand where he's coming from, and hopefully you root for him. Once you want good things to happen to him, we can get away with the big jokes that we like to pull.”

"I'm married to the girl of my dreams, I've got the next three weeks off, I'm road-tripping down to Cabo – if I'm dreaming, Mac, do not wake me up.” - Eddie

"The Heartbreak Kid” marks the first reunion for the Farrellys and Ben Stiller since "There's Something About Mary” catapulted their respective careers into the stratosphere eight years ago.

"We've thought of Ben for other roles, but every time we came up with a movie he's either been unavailable or he didn't like it,” says Peter. "This one he really flipped for, and we were obviously thrilled to have him.”

"He's the best reactor in all of Hollywood,” adds Bobby. "You can do all sorts of crazy things to him and the way he takes it is just hysterical. He's also a really thorough actor. He thinks things through and he comes with a take on how that day is going to go, which is a real plus for directors. He has ideas about wardrobe, where people should sit in a scene; he's extremely hands-on. But at the same time he is open to trying new things. After a take he might say, ‘Wow, that's it,' and not do anything to tweak it because it's so good. Other times he'll say, ‘That's really good, but let's try it a little bit more somber, or a bit happier,' that kind of thing. His having such a strong point of view is a big help to us.”

Bradley Thomas, who has produced every film the Farrelly brothers have made, believes there's a basic misconception about comic actors. "People think that they show up on the set and they are just funny,” says Thomas. "That's not how it really is. With a lot of the comics, they're very, very serious. Ben is a very serious guy. He probably cares more than any actor I've ever worked with.”

Malin Akerman, who plays Lila, the spurned wife, says working with Stiller was an amazing experience. "You don't have to act much, you just kind of react to someone who's that good. We were able to banter<

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