In the introduction to “Mary at all costs”, the character played by Ben Stiller is the victim of a painful fly accident. A cult passage, for which the Farrelly brothers were inspired by a real incident.
Mary at all cost: an essential comedy
After the box office failure of their second feature film, Strike, Bobby and Peter Farrelly are convinced that their filmography will not go much further. The brothers, therefore, decide to let go through an ultimate irreverent comedy, crazy and politically incorrect. But when it was released in 1998, Mary at all costs is a huge success and saves their careers. Shot for an estimated budget of 23 million dollars, this monument of the genre brings in more than 369 million worldwide.
Mary at all cost tells the failed love story between the title role, played by Cameron Diaz, and Ted, played by Ben Stiller. In adolescence, the second is subjugated as soon as he lays eyes on the first, like all the rest of their high school. One day, Ted comes to the aid of Warren (W. Earl Brown), Mary’s mentally handicapped brother. The latter witnesses the scene sympathizes with him and invites him to accompany her to the end of the year ball. D-day, an unfortunate fly accident keeps them away…
Thirteen years later, Ted still thinks about Mary as much as ever. In an attempt to find her, he hires Pat Healy (Matt Dillon), an insurance investigator. But he has no idea that the detective will also fall madly in love with Mary, like all the men around him who seem ready to do anything to seduce her.
Lee Evans, Chris Elliott, Sarah Silverman, and Jeffrey Tambor complete the cast of this film filled with cult sequences like that of the gel, as well as all the appearances of Magda (Lin Shaye) or even the cardiac arrest of Puffy, the dog of Mary’s neighbor.
Merguez sausage or chickpeas?
But the most emblematic scene of Mary at all cost probably remains that of the fly. In the intro to the comedy, Ted goes to the heroine in her beautiful costume for the ball. As he makes a series of blunders, the teenager takes a break in the toilets, but the situation turns into a nightmare. By suddenly pulling up his zipper, the young man accidentally gets part of his genitals stuck. Mary’s parents (Markie Post and Keith David) then come to her rescue and see the extent of the damage, before a firefighter and a policeman intervene.
A hilarious and unforgettable passage, which comes from the experience of the directors. To put Ted in a particularly embarrassing situation, the filmmakers had only to draw on their memories. Asked by variety for the twentieth anniversary of the feature film, Bobby Farrelly explains that they were inspired by an episode of their youth during which their little sister had invited friends to listen to music in their basement. He tells :
My parents were upstairs. One of the children climbed into the bathroom and got caught in the zipper. He stayed there a long time. My dad, who was a doctor, had to come in and say, ‘Hey kid, are you okay?’
The parents of the Farrelly brothers did not reveal this anecdote until years later and when they discovered it, the directors were logically hilarious and did not hesitate to use it.