Gross-out comedy may have reached its cultural peak several years later when Judd Apatow and his band of regular collaborators propelled the subgenre to unprecedented heights at the box office, but the Farrelly brothers were the ones who helped set the stage through the likes of Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, There’s Something About Mary, and Me, Myself & Irene.
The latter is the least-beloved of the aforementioned quartet by far, with respective Rotten Tomatoes scores of 48 and 57 percent decidedly underwhelming given the popularity of the sibling duo’s back catalogue up until that point. It’s entirely fair, though, when there’s barely anything to recommend about the madcap slapstick caper beyond a typically-dedicated Jim Carrey showcase.
However, its release wasn’t without controversy, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. Studio 20th Century Fox was the subject of some heated criticism from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, who very understandably bore umbrage with Me, Myself, & Irene turning dissociative identity disorder into a running gag that served as the basis for a feature film designed explicitly to make the condition something capable of generating laughs from an audience.
The negative publicity didn’t stop the outrageous black comedy from hauling in close to $150 million at the box office, regardless of whether or not it had the potential to fly higher if it hadn’t been subjected to negative headlines in the buildup to its big screen debut. Even now, it’s still capable of pulling in a crowd on streaming, with FlixPatrol revealing Me, Myself & Irene to be one of the most-watched films on iTunes 22 years after it ran the risk of upsetting a whole lot of people.