The One Thing Director Peter Farrelly Would Change In There’s Something About Mary [Exclusive]


Leading up to the release of Peter Farrelly’s “Ricky Stanicky” (starring the exceptionally funny John Cena), a return to comedy after winning an Oscar for “Green Book” in 2018, we spoke with the filmmaker about the state of comedy, especially with regards to the hesitation to lean into more provocative material. Farrelly acknowledged and lamented that precarious situation when it comes to finding laughs:

“People are afraid, afraid to offend. Like stand-up comedians, they don’t want to go to college campuses, because they’re afraid. I think that’s why studios are afraid. I think it’s a similar thing. They get letters and they’re saying, “Oh, we can’t make that, we can’t do this.” But you gotta remember, you’re always going to offend somebody, and if you don’t, it’s gonna be mush, you know? It really is. So you just have to say, if your heart’s in the right place, and the character’s heart’s in the right place, and you trust it, then you can defend it. And that’s how I feel.”

However, before you think Farrelly is totally opposed to the progress that has been made when it comes to comedy’s treatment of certain social and cultural communities, think again. Farrelly added, “Let me also say, the whole PC movement and all these movements in the last five to six years are great. They’ve been important, but there’s a point where you say, ‘Okay, let’s calm down here now.’ There’s these changes and they’ve been awesome. But that doesn’t mean you can’t tell any more jokes. You gotta be able to have a little freedom as a human being to say stuff that you wanna say.”

Then the director continued by referring back to “There’s Something About Mary,” and he acknowledged what he would change based on the evolution of our societal norms.

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