Florida was America's film capital until the Puritanical residents of Jacksonville ran those industry heathens out to California in the 1920s. But Miami knows how to treat those denizens of debauchery, which is why they keep coming back to Miami to film movies. In Celluloid City, we spotlight some of those classics shot right in our own backyards.
There's Something About Mary doesn't need much of an introduction. It's another Farrelly Brother's comedy full of fart jokes and bodily fluid humor. It's also probably one of the most popular and well-known movies filmed in the 305.
In 1998, Bobby and Peter Farrelly, the writing-directing-producing team that created some of the most popular comedies of the past two decades, including Dumb and Dumber and Kingpin, settled on Miami as the location for their Ben Stiller comedy, even before they had decided on the name of their film. Dave Daniels, owner of Churchill's Pub, one of the locations used in the film, remembers that the movie's title was tentative at the time, and was only finalized after L.A. screening audiences responded favorably.
The plot is convoluted, but that doesn't really matter. The Farrelly brothers create a movie around their gags, not the other way around. And this film, like all their others, is chock full of 'em. Mary (Cameron Diaz) is the object of affection for all the main male characters in the film, which include Stiller and Matt Dillon. Of course, it being a Farrelly Brothers flick, There's Something About Mary is a comedy of errors, with penises accidentally caught in zippers and sperm mistakenly used as hair gel, arguably two of the most memorable scenes in cinematic comedy history.
The film was shot in various Miami locations, including Churchill's Pub, the Cardozo Hotel, and Big Pink Restaurant. Healy meets with with Sully (Jeffrey Tambor) at Big Pink. The Miami-Dade Cultural Center was the location for the architecture exhibit that Mary and Healy attend together and the infamous hair gel scene was filmed at the Cardozo Hotel. Churchill's Pub is transformed into a smoky, sleazy strip club for a scene with Healy.
The movie translated to box office gold and catapulted the comedic career of Ben Stiller. It also was somewhat of a comeback flick for Matt Dillon, at least it reminded us how awesome he is. Movies like these are never revered by critics, but they usually have droves of die hard fans, and There's Something About Mary continues to be among many people's favorite comedies.