One of the strangest things about “Dumb and Dumber To,” and there are plenty, is watching Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey step back into the characters they last played twenty years ago. The film was part of the first big push of Jim Carrey's movie stardom, and it was the announcement of the Farrelly Brothers as comedy filmmakers. Jeff Daniels was, by far, the most experienced part of the puzzle. For all of them, the film was a very special moment.
When I recently sat down with Carrey and Daniels, the main question I had for them was about making something now that somehow honors or lives up to not only the first film, but also the way people feel about that film.
When I walked into the room, I had my kids with me. They attend a lot of these on weekends when we're out doing things together, and they've got the routine down. Normally they say hello to whoever it is I'm speaking to and then head into the adjoining room where they can sit and wait. In this case, Jim Carrey saw them walking through and when they said “Hello,” Jim invited them to stay.
“Come on,” he said. “We'll have fun.” I could see that Jim liked the idea of having kids ask questions and playing around with them on-camera as an alternative to the more traditional interview. My kids were immediately struck shy, though, and try as he might, Jim couldn't convince them. What I found really interesting was seeing that moment where Jim gets an idea and sees an opportunity for himself comedically, and if my kids had said yes, it would have been a chance to see how he takes a run at an idea.
The thing that makes the reunion of Carrey, Daniels, and the Farrellys exciting is that the filmmakers understand how to set the stage for those moments for Jim and Jeff, and how to encourage those comic runs when they happen. At this point, there's nothing left or Carrey to prove comedically, so it's got to be about having fun for him to do it, and that's what it all comes down to.
“Dumb and Dumber To” is in theaters on Friday.