Q&A with Director Peter Farrelly Page 2

Photo GalleryAlthough it comes very close to that. Because the end - which I'm not going to give away here - suggests that he's hooked into a pretty disturbing pattern, that he's always going to make sure things don't work out. Yeah, he's self-destructive and it's never going to work out for him. That's what it was like in the first one, where he finally marries this beautiful WASP-y girl from Minnesota, and you think it'll be happily ever after. But he's sitting there at the wedding and you can see something's missing, he's not happy. And he's never going to be happy.

That's sort of like The Graduate. Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, it's funny because the original was directed by Elaine May, and of course she was partners with Mike Nichols, who did The Graduate.

Another thing about The Heartbreak Kid - Charlie Wessler, your producer, once told me that when you guys were working on Dumb & Dumber, you said that plots are for pussies. My brother Bobby said that. I don't agree entirely. You know, he said that after Dumb & Dumber because we really felt that movie was about a couple of dumb guys, and it really was gag-oriented as opposed to plot-oriented. We had a loose plot where they're following a kidnap case, unbeknownst to them, but really it was about each time they stopped someplace, laying on a gag. But I wouldn't say that Bobby's exactly accurate. I mean, if you look at Something About Mary and even Kingpin, they're very complicated. They had twists and turns. And this does, too.

Well, that was my point, because Heartbreak is very finely tuned. People always bring it up that Bobby said that. But, in fact, Dumb & Dumber had a lot of other little twists and turns, but we eventually cut them out because who cared? They weren't important to the story. The important thing was to set up these guys in a situation where they could be dumb.

But the way you crafted Heartbreak - all the little twists and everything - is very expressive of Ben Stiller's character. And it was great to hear the audience sort of gasp every time one of those things would come up. You know, we didn't want to cheat. He marries this woman, and she turns out to be no box of chocolates. But we didn't want to make her so horrible that you would just say, "Well, leave her and go to the next one." We wanted you to feel his anxiety. So every time we pushed her to a point where she's really repulsive, we brought her back a little. She either apologizes or she does something sweet. And the audience realizes she's a human being. And, despite all these flaws of hers, she's not a liar. She doesn't lie about anything. It's just stuff you wouldn't know about somebody if you went out with them for 6 weeks. She didn't trick him into marrying her. It's just that she put on her best face.

And you make it clear that he didn't ask a lot of the questions he could have. Exactly. It happened too fast.