There's Something About Mary

There's Something About Mary is a 1998 American romantic comedy film directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly. It stars Cameron Diaz as the titular character with Matt Dillon, Ben Stiller, Lee Evans and Chris Elliott all playing men who are in love with Mary and vying for her affections.

The film was placed 27th in the American Film Institute's 100 Years, 100 Laughs: America's Funniest Movies, a list of the 100 funniest movies of the 20th century. In 2000, readers of Total Film magazine voted it the fourth-greatest comedy film of all time. Diaz won a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, an MTV Movie Award for Best Performance, an American Comedy Award for Best Actress, a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Best Actress. She also received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. It won 4 out of 8 MTV Movie Awards, including Best Movie.

There's Something About Mary
There's Something About Mary POSTER
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Farrelly
Bobby Farrelly
Produced byMichael Steinberg
Bradley Thomas
Charles B. Wessler
Frank Beddor
Screenplay byEd Decter
John J. Strauss
Peter Farrelly
Bobby Farrelly
Story byEd Decter
John J. Strauss
Narrated byJonathan Richman
Music byJonathan Richman
CinematographyMark Irwin
Edited byChristopher Greenbury
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • July 15, 1998
Running time
119 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$23 million[2]
Box office$369.9 million[2]


In 1985, 16-year-old high school student Ted Stroehmann is about to go on a prom date with his dream girl Mary Jensen when he gets his scrotum stuck in a zipper. He is hospitalized when it bleeds after being unzipped, which cancels their date. Ted subsequently loses contact with Mary.

Thirteen years later, 29-year-old Ted is still in love with Mary. On the advice of his best friend Dom, Ted hires private detective Pat Healy to track her down. Healy discovers that she is an orthopedic surgeon living in Miami. After observing her for a few days, Healy falls in love with Mary. Healy returns to Boston and lies to Ted about Mary, telling him that Mary is overweight and has four kids by three different men. Healy quits his job and returns to Miami to pursue Mary. Healy resorts to lying, cheating, and stalking to win Mary over. Healy spends several weeks dating Mary before Mary's friend Tucker, an architect with serious spine damage who uses crutches, exposes Healy as a fraud. Tucker claims Healy is a serial murderer, which enrages the eavesdropping Healy. An enraged Healy tails Tucker and discovers him to be a fraud himself: he is an able-bodied pizza delivery boy named Norm Phipps who is also in love with Mary. For years, Norm has been faking an injury to get close to Mary so that he could drive away potential rivals.

Meanwhile, Ted decides he still wants to reconnect with Mary and drives down to Florida. During the drive down, Ted picks up a hitchhiker who turns out to be a mass murderer. The murderer leaves a body in Ted’s car when Ted is caught with a group of gay men while he tries to take a leak. Ted is mistakenly arrested for the murder and bailed out by his friend Dom after the police catch the real killer. Ted finds Mary, discovers the truth about her, and they resume their relationship. Ted seems to have won Mary's love, until an anonymous letter exposes his connection with Pat, and she breaks contact with him. Ted confronts Pat and Norm, and Mary is accosted by Dom, who is revealed to be her ex-boyfriend "Woogie" that she has a restraining order against, and was the one who sent the letter. He wants to reconnect with her as well, which she quickly refuses, so he tries to steal her shoes (he has a shoe fetish, which is why Mary got the restraining order in the first place). Ted, Norm, and Pat arrive, and, when Mary is finally together with all of her deceitful suitors, Ted realizes that the only one who did not resort to lying or manipulation to win over Mary was Brett, who he learns is NFL quarterback Brett Favre; after learning the truth about Pat and Norm, Ted guessed that Norm was the reason Mary broke up with Brett for the apparent insulting comments he made about Mary's brother Warren. After reuniting Brett and Mary, Ted leaves tearfully until Mary catches up to Ted, saying that "I'd be happiest with you".

The film concludes with the two engaging in a kiss while singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman, who has periodically narrated the story in song throughout the film, is accidentally shot by Magda's boyfriend, who was trying to shoot Ted so he could win over Mary.



There's Something About Mary was directed by the Farrelly brothers, who had previously worked on Dumb and Dumber in 1994 and Kingpin in 1996.[3] According to Bobby Farrelly, the scene where Ted accidentally gets his penis stuck in his pants fly was inspired by a real incident, when their sister was listening to some records with some eighth grade students in the basement of their house: "One of the kids went up [to the bathroom] and he zipped himself up. He was in there for a long time. My dad, who was a doctor, actually had to go in and say, 'Hey, kid. You alright?'"[3] Most of the film was shot in Miami, Florida. The Big Pink Restaurant is where Healy meets with Sully and the Miami-Dade Cultural Center was the location for the architecture exhibit Mary and Healy attended together. The hair gel scene was filmed at the Cardozo Hotel, while Churchill's Pub was used as a strip club for a scene with Healy.[4] The makeup effects were the handiwork of makeup effects designer Tony Gardner.[5]

Besides Ben Stiller, actors Owen Wilson and Jon Stewart were considered potential candidates for the role of Ted Stroehmann.[6] Bill Murray was considered for the role of Pat Healy, but the Farrelly brothers thought he was too old for it.[7] Because the Farrelly brothers were fans of the New England Patriots, they originally wanted to cast quarterback Drew Bledsoe as Mary's football-playing boyfriend, but he could not do it due to a mosh incident he had in a club. The Farrelly brothers later offered the role to Steve Young, but he turned it down due to the film's coarse nature. Ultimately, the role was given to Brett Favre.[8]


There's Something About Mary was 1998's third highest-grossing film in North America as well as the fourth highest-grossing film of the year globally. The film made $369 million worldwide on a budget of $23 million, with $176 million coming from the U.S. and Canada.[2] It was released in the United Kingdom on September 25, 1998, and topped the country's box office for the next two weekends.[9][10]

The film received positive reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a score of 83% based on 83 reviews, and an average rating of 7/10, with the consensus: "There's Something About Mary proves that unrelentingly, unabashedly puerile humor doesn't necessarily come at the expense of a film's heart."[11] Metacritic gives the film a score of 69 out of 100 based on reviews from 29 critics.[12]

Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars, stating "What a blessed relief is laughter. It flies in the face of manners, values, political correctness and decorum. It exposes us for what we are, the only animal with a sense of humor."[13]

Gene Siskel ranked the film No.9 on his 10 Best films of 1998 (the final "best of" list he did before passing away).

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:


  1. "There's Something About Mary" (Jonathan Richman) – 1:47
  2. "How to Survive a Broken Heart" (Ben Lee) – 2:47
  3. "Every Day Should Be a Holiday" (The Dandy Warhols) – 4:02
  4. "Everything Shines" (The Push Stars) – 2:27
  5. "This Is the Day" (Ivy) – 3:33
  6. "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" (Joe Jackson) – 3:36
  7. "True Love Is Not Nice" (Jonathan Richman) – 2:13
  8. "History Repeating" (The Propellerheads feat. Shirley Bassey) – 4:04
  9. "If I Could Talk I'd Tell You" (The Lemonheads) – 2:51
  10. "Mary's Prayer" (Danny Wilson) – 3:54
  11. "Margo's Waltz" (Lloyd Cole) – 4:01
  12. "Speed Queen" (Zuba) – 3:44
  13. "Let Her Go Into the Darkness" (Jonathan Richman) – 1:19
  14. "Build Me Up Buttercup" (The Foundations) – 2:59[18]


  1. ^ "THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 1998-07-22. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
  2. ^ a b c "There's Something About Mary". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on October 27, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  3. ^ a b King, Susan (July 14, 2018). "'There's Something About Mary' at 20: Cameron Diaz, the Farrelly Brothers on 'Hair Gel' Scene and Other Raunchy Gags". Variety. Archived from the original on July 14, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  4. ^ Goyanes, Ily (September 1, 2010). "Celluloid City: There's Something About Mary Filmed at Churchill's Pub and Big Pink". Miami New Times. Archived from the original on January 11, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  5. ^ Lee, Chris (September 26, 2004). "One of the tops in the trade". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 13, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  6. ^ Smith, Patrick (December 18, 2014). "Peter Farrelly interview: 'Jon Stewart was nearly the lead in There's Something About Mary'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on November 23, 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  7. ^ Evans, Bradford (February 17, 2011). "The Lost Roles of Bill Murray". Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  8. ^ Brinson, Will (November 5, 2014). "Brett Favre was third 'Something About Mary' choice behind Bledsoe". Archived from the original on July 10, 2018. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  9. ^ "Weekend box office 25th September 1998 - 27th September 1998". Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Weekend box office 2nd October 1998 - 4th October 1998". Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  11. ^ "There's Something About Mary". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
  12. ^ "There's Something About Mary". Metacritic. CBS.
  13. ^ Roger Ebert. "There's Something About Mary". Chicago Sun-Times.
  14. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  15. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions Nominees" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  16. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees (10th Anniversary Edition)" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  17. ^ "AFI's 10 Top 10 Nominees" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2016-08-19.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  18. ^ "There's Something about Mary Soundtrack". 1998-07-14. Retrieved 2013-01-15.

External links

1999 MTV Movie Awards

The 1999 MTV Movie Awards were hosted by Lisa Kudrow. Musical performances included Kid Rock, Robbie Williams, and Will Smith with Dru Hill, Nine Inch Nails and Kool Moe Dee.

1999 Teen Choice Awards

The 1999 Teen Choice Awards ceremony was held on August 1, 1999, at the Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport. The event didn't have a designated host, however, Britney Spears introduced the show with Christina Aguilera, Blink-182, NSYNC & Gloria Estefan, and Britney Spears as performers.

Bobby Farrelly

Robert Farrelly (born June 17, 1958) is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. He is one of the Farrelly brothers, alongside his brother Peter, and together are known directing and producing quirky, slightly offensive comedy films such as Dumb and Dumber, Shallow Hal, Me, Myself and Irene, There's Something About Mary, and the 2007 remake of The Heartbreak Kid.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Michelle Diaz (born August 30, 1972) is an American actress, writer, and former model. She has frequently appeared in comedies throughout her career, while also earning critical recognition in dramatic films. Her accolades include four Golden Globe Award nominations, three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, and a New York Film Critics Award. In 2013, she was named the highest-paid actress over 40 in Hollywood. As of 2018, the U.S. domestic box office grosses of Diaz's films total over $3 billion USD, with worldwide grosses surpassing $7 billion, making her the fifth highest-grossing U.S. domestic box office actress.Born in San Diego, California, Diaz was raised in Long Beach. While still in high school, she signed a modeling contract with Elite Model Management. She made her film debut at age 21 opposite Jim Carrey in the comedy The Mask (1994). She was subsequently cast in a supporting role in My Best Friend's Wedding (1997) before appearing as the titular Mary in the Farrelly brothers' hit comedy There's Something About Mary (1998), which brought her increased notoriety and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. Her following two projects—the sports drama Any Given Sunday, and Spike Jonze's surrealist fantasy Being John Malkovich (both 1999)—lent Diaz a reputation as a dramatic actress, the latter earning her her second Golden Globe nomination.

Diaz earned a third Golden Globe nomination for her supporting role in Vanilla Sky (2001), and appeared in numerous high-profile films in the early 2000s, including Charlie's Angels (2000) and its sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), as well as voicing the character of Princess Fiona in the Shrek series (2001–2010). In 2003, she was cast in Martin Scorsese's period epic Gangs of New York, for which she earned her fourth Golden Globe nomination. Her subsequent films included the dramatic comedies In Her Shoes (2005) and The Holiday (2006), and the psychological thriller The Box (2009). Diaz appeared in supporting parts in The Green Hornet in 2011, followed by starring roles in the comedies The Other Woman and Sex Tape (both 2014).

After appearing in Will Gluck's 2014 film adaptation of Annie, Diaz confirmed she was formally retiring from acting. Diaz is the author of two health books: The Body Book (2013), a New York Times bestseller, and The Longevity Book (2016).

Chris Elliott

Christopher Nash Elliott (born May 31, 1960) is an American actor, comedian, and writer. He is best known for his comedic sketches on Late Night with David Letterman, starring in the comedy series Get a Life on Fox TV and Eagleheart on Adult Swim, as well as his recurring roles as Peter MacDougall on Everybody Loves Raymond and as Mickey Aldrin on How I Met Your Mother. He has also starred in the films Cabin Boy, There's Something About Mary, Scary Movie 2, and Groundhog Day. He is currently starring as Roland Schitt on CBC Television's Schitt's Creek.

Daniel Greene (actor)

Daniel Greene is an born in 1956 American actor, best known for his role as Dwayne Cooley in the television series Falcon Crest.

Other TV credits include: Alice, Dynasty, Three's Company, Matt Houston, Emerald Point N.A.S., The A-Team, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Night Court, Remington Steele, L.A. Law, Santa Barbara and Matlock.

Film appearances include: Weekend Warriors, Pulsebeat, Hands of Steel, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself & Irene, Shallow Hal and Stuck on You.

Ed Decter

Edward I. "Ed" Decter (born May 19, 1959) is an American film director, film producer and screenwriter.

His credits include, There's Something About Mary, The Santa Clause 2, The Santa Clause 3, The New Guy, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, and television series Boy Meets World, In Plain Sight, and Shadowhunters.He frequently collaborates with fellow producer and writer John J. Strauss.

Decter graduated from Wesleyan University in 1979.

Farrelly brothers

Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly, collectively referred to as the Farrelly brothers, are American screenwriters and directors. They have made eleven films, including Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, Hall Pass, Me, Myself & Irene, Shallow Hal, Stuck on You, Osmosis Jones, There's Something About Mary, Fever Pitch (also known as The Perfect Catch outside America), the 2007 remake of The Heartbreak Kid, The Three Stooges, and Dumb and Dumber To.

Frank Beddor

Frank Beddor (July 31, 1958) is an American former world champion freestyle skier, film producer, actor, stuntman, and author. He is best known for his work as producer on There's Something About Mary and Wicked, and as author of The New York Times best seller, The Looking Glass Wars.

Ged Grimes

Ged Grimes (born on 28 March 1962 in Dundee) is a Scottish musician, producer and composer. He is currently the bass player for rock group Simple Minds, and was a founding member of Scottish pop band Danny Wilson whose hits include "Mary's Prayer" (from Meet Danny Wilson and featured prominently in the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the movie There's Something About Mary), and "The Second Summer of Love" (from Bebop Moptop).

John J. Strauss

John J. Strauss (born 1957),

is an American producer and writer of film and television.

He has written and produced for the television series Boy Meets World (and known as the writer who came up with the character name for Topanga Lawrence, naming her after Topanga Canyon), Me and the Boys and Odd Man Out. He has also written several episodes of the Amazon series Mozart in the Jungle, which received a Golden Globe Award nomination for "Best TV Series Comedy" in 2015. He is an executive producer for The Breaks.Since 1998, Strauss has mainly focused on films, co-writing the screenplays for There's Something About Mary (1998), Head Over Heels (2001), The Santa Clause 2, The Lizzie McGuire Movie (2003), Rebound (2005), The Wild (2006), The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), You Again (2010). and Free Birds (2013).

He frequently collaborates with fellow producer and writer Ed Decter.

Strauss is also a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and UCLA, where he received a BFA degree in Motion Picture (Film) and TV.

Lee Evans (comedian)

Lee John Martin Evans (born 25 February 1964) is a British stand-up comedian, actor, musician and writer from Avonmouth, England. He is a director of Little Mo Films, which he had co-directed with the late Addison Cresswell, who was also his agent prior to Cresswell's death in December 2013.Evans became one of Britain's most popular stand-up comedians, with his "Roadrunner" tour grossing £12.9 million. He is also an established actor, having appeared in the Hollywood films The Fifth Element (1997), Mouse Hunt (1997), There's Something About Mary (1998), The Ladies Man (2000) and The Medallion (2003). He lent his voice to "Zippo the Troodon" in the Emmy-nominated miniseries Dinotopia (2002) and made a notable departure from comedy with a leading role in the Irish film Freeze Frame (2004). He had made his cinema debut with the Jerry Lewis comedy Funny Bones (1995), earning the Paris Film Festival Award for Best Actor.

In 2008, Evans' Big tour DVD Big – Live at the O2 became the highest-selling Christmas DVD in the United Kingdom, only to be surpassed by his own Monsters Tour DVD in 2014. In November 2014 Evans officially announced his retirement. In 2018 Evans came out of retirement to star in a run of Harold Pinter's one act play Monologue.

Lin Shaye

Linda Shaye (born October 12, 1943) is an American theater, film, and television actress. In a career spanning over forty years, she has appeared in over ninety feature films and is regarded as a scream queen due to her roles in various horror franchises or films including A Nightmare on Elm Street, Critters, Insidious, Dead End, 2001 Maniacs and its sequel 2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams, Alone in the Dark, Amityville: A New Generation, Tales of Halloween, Abattoir, Ouija, and its prequel Ouija: Origin of Evil. Shaye is also known for her comedic roles in many films by the Farrelly brothers, including Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, and There's Something About Mary.

Matt Dillon

Matthew Raymond Dillon (born February 18, 1964) is an American actor and film director. He made his feature film debut in Over the Edge (1979) and established himself as a teen idol by starring in the films My Bodyguard (1980), Little Darlings (1980), Tex (1982), Rumble Fish (1983), The Outsiders (1983) and The Flamingo Kid (1984). From the late 1980s onward, Dillon achieved further success, starring in Drugstore Cowboy (1989), Singles (1992), The Saint of Fort Washington (1993), To Die For (1995), Beautiful Girls (1996), In & Out (1997), There's Something About Mary (1998), and Wild Things (1998). In a 1991 article, famed movie critic Roger Ebert referred to him as the best actor within his age group, along with Sean Penn.In the 2000s, he made his directing debut with City of Ghosts (2002) and went on to star in the films Factotum (2005), You, Me and Dupree (2006), Nothing but the Truth (2008), Sunlight Jr. (2013) and The House That Jack Built (2018). For Crash (2004), he won an Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He had earlier been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for narrating Jack Kerouac's On the Road. In 2015, he has starred in the first season of the FOX television series Wayward Pines, for which he was nominated for a Saturn Award.

Peter Farrelly

Peter John Farrelly (born December 17, 1956) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer and novelist. Along with his brother Bobby, the Farrelly brothers are mostly famous for directing and producing quirky comedy and romantic comedy films such as Dumb and Dumber; Shallow Hal; Me, Myself and Irene; There's Something About Mary; and the 2007 remake of The Heartbreak Kid. On his own in 2018 Farrelly co-wrote and directed the comedy-drama Green Book, which won the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival in 2018. For his work on the film he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay and earned the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Revolution Summer (album)

Revolution Summer is a soundtrack album by Jonathan Richman, released by the Vapor Records label in 2007. The music was composed for the film Revolution Summer, directed by Miles Matthew Montalbano. The album is Richman's first soundtrack album, although he did contribute three songs to "There's Something About Mary" as well as appearing in the film, along with drummer Tommy Larkins, who also plays on this release. It is entirely instrumental, another first for Richman.

Rob Moran

Rob Moran, is an American actor. He is known for appearing in many of the Farrelly brothers films such as Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary, Me, Myself, & Irene, Kingpin, and Hall Pass. He starred in the American teen drama South Of Nowhere as the Carlin family patriarch. In 1996, he played "Stanley Osmanski" in Kingpin. He made guest appearances in such television series as Men of a Certain Age and Cold Case. He also played Ed Long in Hall Pass.

He appeared most recently as the doomed patriarch in the 2011 horror movie You're Next.

W. Earl Brown

William Earl Brown (born September 7, 1963) is an American actor, writer, producer, and musician. He is perhaps best known for his role as Dan Dority on the HBO series Deadwood. He also played Kenny in the 1996 film Scream and Warren in the 1998 film There's Something About Mary. More recently, he voiced and filmed performance capture for the character Bill in Naughty Dog's 2013 survival horror action video game The Last of Us. He also appeared in the series American Crime and Preacher, and in the Johnny Depp true-crime film Black Mass (2015).

You Don't Know Anything

"You Don't Know Anything" is a song by American indie rock band Ivy. It was released by Atlantic Records on April 29, 1999 as the fourth and final single from their second studio album, Apartment Life (1997). The single was made available exclusively in Europe and featured the same two B-sides as previous single, "This Is the Day", which had been released by 550 Music in Austria. The track was written by Dominique Durand, Adam Schlesinger and Andy Chase while production was handled by the latter two and Peter Nashel.

Released alongside "This Is the Day", "You Don't Know Anything" received promotion by Atlantic Records after the former track was included on the soundtrack for the 1998 film, There's Something About Mary. The recording received generally favorable reviews from music critics who compared the song to the works of Irish rock group My Bloody Valentine.

Films directed by the Farrelly brothers
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