In Roger Ebert’s 1994 review of Dumb and Dumber for the Chicago Sun-Times, he gave the movie only two stars out of four, praising Jim Carrey’s talent but calling the filmmaking “uncertain.”

However, he did also admit that he laughed embarrassingly loud at the scene involving a blind kid and a dead parakeet. And all things considered, getting America’s most esteemed and respected film critic to break into hysterical and uncontrollable laughter at the image of a blind child lovingly whispering, “pretty bird, pretty bird...” while petting the corpse of a parakeet whose decapitated head has been crudely reattached with tape is a more unique achievement than a 4-star review anyway.

Behind the Scenes
Bobby Farrelly, Jim Carrey, and Jeff Daniels on set

As the first feature film by brothers Bobby and Peter Farrelly, Dumb and Dumber established the combination of absurdity, earnestness, and oddly specific New England references that would ultimately make the Farrellys comedic icons of their era, with later classics like Kingpin and There’s Something About Mary. The movie also helped fuel the meteoric rise of Jim Carrey (who was still pretty fresh off of In Living Color) and showcase the acting range of Jeff Daniels (who had only done dramatic roles).

Dumb and Dumber Skiing
"There ya go"

Interestingly, the Farrellys’ first choice for actors to play Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas were actually Nicolas Cage and Gary Oldman. And as mesmerizing as it is to imagine Nic Cage clinging ever so intimately to Gary Oldman as they ride a moped over the Rockies, it’s impossible to realistically picture anyone other than Daniels and Carrey, as their performances and chemistry are genuinely transcendent.

Jim Carrey Polaroids
Jim Carrey Polaroids

At no point in the movie do Harry and Lloyd ever come across like actors performing a bit to sell a joke. They are always fully realized people whose lives just naturally happen to involve using some tape to reattach a deceased bird’s head in order to sell it to a blind child, trading a van to a kid back in town for a moped, straight up, or accidentally killing a hitman with hot peppers and rat poison.

Mutt Cuts Van
Mutt Cuts van

All due respect to the late Roger Ebert and his knowledge of filmmaking, but Dumb and Dumber isn’t about the certainty of the filmmaking. It’s just about the endless joy of climbing into that ‘84 sheepdog and heading out on the road to some place warm, a place where the beer flows like wine, where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little place called Aspen.