There's Something About Mary

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There's Something About Mary
There's Something About Mary POSTER.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Farrelly
Bobby Farrelly
Produced by Michael Steinberg
Bradley Thomas
Charles B. Wessler
Frank Beddor
Screenplay by Ed Decter
John J. Strauss
Peter Farrelly
Bobby Farrelly
Story by Ed Decter
John J. Strauss
Starring Cameron Diaz
Ben Stiller
Matt Dillon
Chris Elliott
Lee Evans
Lin Shaye
W. Earl Brown
Narrated by Jonathan Richman
Music by Jonathan Richman
Cinematography Mark Irwin
Edited by Christopher Greenbury
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • July 15, 1998 (1998-07-15)
Running time
119 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $23 million[2]
Box office $369.9 million[2]

There's Something About Mary is a 1998 American romantic comedy film directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly. It stars Cameron Diaz as the title character with Ben Stiller, Chris Elliott, and Matt Dillon all playing men who are in love with her and vying for her affections.

The film was placed 27th in the American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Laughs: America's Funniest Movies, a list of the 100 funniest movies of the 20th century. In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted it the fourth-greatest comedy film of all time. Diaz won a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, an MTV Movie Award for Best Performance, an American Comedy Award for Best Actress, a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Actress. She also received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.


In 1985, 16-year-old high school student Ted Stroehmann (Ben Stiller) lands a prom date with his dream girl Mary Jensen (Cameron Diaz), which is cancelled after a painful and embarrassing zipper accident. After the ordeal gains the attention of numerous members of the household and community and Ted is carted off to a hospital, he subsequently loses contact with Mary.

Thirteen years later, in 1998, 29-year-old Ted is still in love with Mary. On the advice of his best friend Dom (Chris Elliott), he hires a smarmy private detective named Pat Healy (Matt Dillon) to track her down. Healy finds that she is an orthopedic surgeon living in Miami with her friend, Magda, and quickly falls in love with Mary as well. He lies to Ted about her, saying she is grossly overweight with many children, to discourage him from having any contact with her. Healy resorts to lying, cheating, stalking, and even drugging Magda's dog to win Mary over, but is exposed by Mary's architect friend, Tucker (Lee Evans), who is heavily reliant on crutches and speaks with an English accent. Enraged, Healy tails Tucker and discovers him to be a fraud himself: he is an able-bodied, entirely American pizza delivery boy who is also in love with Mary. For years, Tucker has been driving away potential rivals through slander, including one oft-mentioned suitor referred to only as "Brett."

Meanwhile, Ted decides he still wants to reconnect with Mary and, assisted by Dom, drives down to Florida and discovers the truth about her. Ted seems to have won Mary's love, until an anonymous letter exposes his connection with Healy, and she breaks contact with him. Ted confronts Healy and Tucker, and Mary is accosted by Dom, who is revealed to be her former boyfriend "Woogie," who "got weird on her" back in high school, stealing all her shoes. When Mary is finally together with all of her deceitful suitors, Ted realizes that the only one who did not resort to lying and manipulation to win Mary was Brett, who turns out to be NFL quarterback Brett Favre. After reuniting Brett and Mary, Ted leaves tearfully until Mary chases after Ted, saying that she would be happiest with him.

The film concludes with the two engaging in a kiss while a guitarist (Jonathan Richman), who periodically narrated the story in song throughout the film, is accidentally shot by Magda's boyfriend, who was trying to shoot Ted so he could win over Mary.


Bill Murray was considered for the role of Pat Healy, but the Farrelly brothers thought he was too old for the part.[4][5]


The movie was filmed in Miami, Florida. The makeup effects and animatronic animal effects were the handiwork of Makeup Effects Designer Tony Gardner and Alterian, Inc.

Reception [edit]

This sleeper hit was the highest-grossing comedy of 1998 in North America as well as the fourth-highest-grossing film of the year. It also catapulted Diaz and Stiller into the limelight. The film made $369 million worldwide, including $176 million in the U.S. alone.[2]

The film was generally critically acclaimed. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 83% based on 83 reviews, and an average rating of 7/10, with the consensus: "There's Something About Mary proves that unrelentingly, unabashedly puerile humor doesn't necessarily come at the expense of a film's heart."[6] Metacritic gives the film a score of 69 out of 100 based on reviews from 29 critics.[7]

Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars, stating "What a blessed relief is laughter. It flies in the face of manners, values, political correctness and decorum. It exposes us for what we are, the only animal with a sense of humor."[8]

Gene Siskel ranked the film No.9 on his 10 Best films of 1998 (the final "best of" list he did before passing away).

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:


  1. "There's Something About Mary" (Jonathan Richman) – 1:47
  2. "How to Survive a Broken Heart" (Ben Lee) – 2:47
  3. "Every Day Should Be a Holiday" (The Dandy Warhols) – 4:02
  4. "Everything Shines" (The Push Stars) – 2:27
  5. "This Is the Day" (Ivy) – 3:33
  6. "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" (Joe Jackson) – 3:36
  7. "True Love Is Not Nice" (Jonathan Richman) – 2:13
  8. "History Repeating" (The Propellerheads feat. Shirley Bassey) – 4:04
  9. "If I Could Talk I'd Tell You" (The Lemonheads) – 2:51
  10. "Mary's Prayer" (Danny Wilson) – 3:54
  11. "Margo's Waltz" (Lloyd Cole) – 4:01
  12. "Speed Queen" (Zuba) – 3:44
  13. "Let Her Go Into the Darkness" (Jonathan Richman) – 1:19
  14. "Build Me Up Buttercup" (The Foundations) – 2:59[13]


  1. ^ "THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 1998-07-22. Retrieved 2012-01-02. 
  2. ^ a b c There's Something About Mary at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ "Don't Forget: 'There's Something About Mary'". Yahoo! Movies. February 23, 2011. 
  4. ^ Locke, Greg W. (26 August 2011). "The Top 25 Roles Bill Murray Didn't Take". Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Evans, Bradford (17 February 2011). "The Lost Roles of Bill Murray". Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "There's Something About Mary". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  7. ^ "There's Something About Mary". Metacritic. CBS. 
  8. ^ Roger Ebert. "There's Something About Mary". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  9. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  10. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  11. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees (10th Anniversary Edition)" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-17. 
  12. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10 Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-19. 
  13. ^ "There's Something about Mary Soundtrack". 1998-07-14. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 

External links[edit]