Outside Providence

Outside Providence was written by the Farrelly Brothers, known for the outrageous comedies Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, and There's Something About Mary. On the surface, Outside Providence seems to be of the same ilk--there's a three-legged, one-eyed dog, physical humor with a kid in a wheelchair, and a character nicknamed Jiz, among other things. But despite all that, the movie is an almost-gentle coming-of-age comedy, something like a suburban New England Amarcord with a lot of unrepentant drug humor. The plot doesn't sound promising: pothead Tim Dunphy (Shawn Hatosy) gets sent to prep school by his father (Alec Baldwin), who wants to keep him out of trouble. But a fair amount of smoking and boozing goes on at that school, too, despite the watchful eye of the administrators. Dunphy also falls for Jane (Amy Smart), a richer and smarter girl whom he wins over. All this could just as easily be the plot of some mediocre Porky's rip-off, but the Farrelly Brothers' script has the grit of real experience, while the direction (by Michael Corrente) and acting carefully avoid smirks and easy gags; the movie is funnier for it. Baldwin initially seems miscast, but over the course of the film delivers a solid performance; Hatosy and Smart are sincere and unaffected. The result is a low-key, modest, but genuinely affecting movie about surmounting class differences and coping with loss--that also has a lot of jokes that push the boundaries of political correctness. Quite a balancing act. --Bret Fetzer

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Year:
1999
908 Views

Dean Mort:
Mr. Dunphy, do you have a friend called "Drugs"?

Timothy Dunphy:
Drugs Delaney?

Mr. Funderberk:
How many individuals named drugs could you possibly associate with?

Timothy Dunphy:
Just one.

Dean Mort:
Yesterday we received a letter addressed simply to Cornwall Academy, Cornwall, Connecticut. So naturally we, we opened it and read it. You might want to sit down. It begins, "Greetings Dunph. What's happening? I got your letter today. Cornhole Academy sounds like it really sucks the big one. I can't believe they make everyone work a lot and not smoke. You should tell that piece of shit Thunderturd to shove it. You didn't want to go there in the first place. Eat shit, man...

Drugs Delaney:
...Today you should've seen me and Mousy today at school today. I got cocked on a pint of Blackberry brandy, ate some THC on the bus. We were fucked. This teacher Mr. Rivera goes, "What's wrong with you Delaney?" I go, "I'm totally fucked, maaaaan!" Everybody laughed like a bastard. Oh man, you should see this song I'm listenin' to. It's called "Don't Bogart That Joint, My Friend." I think it's by a group called...

Dean Mort:
...This is a couple of hours later. Must have nodded out, man...

Drugs Delaney:
...I gotta go 'cause I'm probably definitely gonna nod out again...

Dean Mort:
...Want me to send you some squeef? Or you got enough? Good luck not getting caught. Cocked in Rhode Island, Drugs. P.S. - Oh yes, there's a postscript you might be interested in - Mousy says he stinkfingered Bunny Cote. As you might imagine Mr. Dunphy, this is, this is, this fairly incriminating. And, uh, technically you have not breached any of Cornwall Academy's rules, but you can bet your bottom dollar, Mister, we'll be keeping an eye on you.

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