Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that There's Something About Mary is a gross-out movie that features rampant unscrupulous, shocking, and inappropriate behavior to elicit laughs. It's funny stuff for the right crowd of adult comedy aficionados and a well-made movie for the often-maligned genre. Kids will want to see it because of the star power of Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller and its notorious shock value as a Farrelly brothers film. But consider this while you listen to them beg: the film features lots of jokes about male sexual insecurity, including getting caught masturbating (falsely and then really, when Mary finds ejaculate on Ted's ear and mistakes it for hair gel), injuring their genitals, gay male sex, and rape. It also makes light of sociopathic behavior, as one character stalks Mary and all the other men in her life continually deceive her.
A part of the film's over-the-top comedy comes from crude sexuality behavior including: a shot of an old woman's saggy boobs, constant insinuation that Ted is gay and extensive talk about masturbation. Ted gets his genitals caught in a zipper and is rushed to the hospital. Dom's wife gives him oral sex as he watches TV. Ted is caught in a gay sex raid. Ted masturbates and famously gets his semen stuck on his ear, which Mary unknowingly puts in her hair. Healy and Norman go to a strip club. Healy has nudie calendars on his wall.
Lots of comic violence, including Warren beating up Ted. Ted gets his penis stuck in his zipper, Healy drugs Magda's dog and then sets it on fire (luckily the dog very much looks like a stuffed replica). Policemen beat Ted's head against a table. Warren catches Ted's lip with a fish hook.
Lots of degrading language about women, including "cocktease," "whale," etc. There's also lots of salty language, such as "f--k," "ass," "bitch," "numbnuts," "s--t," "dick," "bulls--t," "bastard," "prick," and "dips--t."
Unscrupulous behavior is rampant and played strictly for laughs. Everyone stalks Mary, violating her privacy, spying on her, and lying to her. Healy lies to Ted about what Mary looks like and Ted lies to Mary about why he's in Florida. Norman pretends to be a disabled architect to attract Mary, and sends Mary anonymous notes lying about her boyfriends to make her break up with them. Healy stalks her, listens to her phone calls and conversations in her home, and caps his teeth to attract Mary. Woogie lies to Ted about who he is and violates a restraining order. He also tries to steal her shoes.
Drugs / Tobacco /
Mary and her friends drink beer. Magda drinks martinis. Healy smokes cigars and feeds Magda's dog tranquilizers. Norman gives Magda and her dog speed.