Supposedly, Outside Providence is a movie that was written by the Farrelly brothers a long time ago, and only now, after their success with such gross-out comedies like Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary, and Me, Myself and Irene, it has been made. It is also noteworthy as to why most people would be disappointed by this film, mostly for the namesake and the comparison to the movies listed above. Outside Providence is not a "Farrelly brothers" movie, as it does not lean to the gross-out comedy, but to a more serious comedy.
The movie is about a high school senior (Shawn Hatosy) who, after running into a parked police car, is sent to a prep school by his dad (Alec Baldwin). There, he realizes how strict the school and its staff is, but also falls in love with a girl (Amy Smart). He begins to realize that his days of drugs and slacking off are coming to an end.
First off, the acting is pretty good. Shawn Hatosy plays a character that is dumb and pretty much a loser, but he also brings out a side to Dunphy (nicknamed Dildo) that allows the audience to relate. He also has a very ordinary appearance, which further helps his character. Amy Smart plays Jane, the beautiful senior at the girl's academy that becomes Dunphy's love and motivator. Smart is a rising star and one of my favorite young actresses at the time being, and I think she chooses scripts really well. The real prize lies in Alec Baldwin, however, who's pretty much a low-life dad that still has character. From his voice to his words, the character flows from Baldwin seamlessly.
As for the comedy, the movie is pretty funny, but not in a There's Something About Mary kind of way. Outside Providence can be compared to more of just the normal romantic comedies, although it is neither quite normal nor really romantic. The script does have some scenes that tend to suggest what the Farrelly brothers will end up writing, but there's nothing in the magnitude of showing Ben Stiller's testicles sticking out from between a zipper. The comedy is more laid back and subtle, but it also works. It helps that both Baldwin and Hatosy's characters are realistically dumb, so things they say sound natural but also come out funny.
There is an over abundance of swear words at times and the film probably isn't the best couple movie, but it is a good one to watch with friends, as long as they aren't expecting a modern Farrelly brother affair.
Outside Providence is extremely underrated and should be checked out.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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