CINEMA: Grossing Out

Dumb and Dumber scores high with low, low comedy

High in the Himalayas lives the Guru of Low Comedy, surrounded by his tapes of Laurel and Hardy, W.C. Fields and the brothers Zucker. "Great Master, what is the secret of a hit?" ask Hollywood's best and richest when they are ushered into his presence. "Make 'em laugh," is the inevitable reply, "any damn way you can."

It is said that fastidious filmmakers retreat in dismay muttering, "Does he mean, like, bathroom jokes?" Ignoring the advice, they end up dying out there with cute, cautious comedies like Speechless and I.Q. (not to mention spineless farces like Mixed Nuts). Meanwhile, Dumb and...

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