The Heartbreak Kid appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, double-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Though often quite attractive, some nagging concerns occasionally marred the transfer.
Some of the issues related to sharpness. I saw moderate edge enhancement at times, and this could translate into softness, especially in wider shots. However, delineation usually seemed pretty good, so the softness wasn’t major. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and the movie seemed free from source flaws, though I thought grain could be a bit heavy.
Colors acted as a highlight. The movie boasted a vivid, lively palette, and the tones came across in a bright and dynamic manner. Blacks also appeared dark and dense, but shadows tended to be too thick. Low-light shots were muddier than expected. This wasn’t a bad transfer, but it seemed a little lackluster.
I found the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio of The Heartbreak Kid to be forgettable. The track offered the very definition of a “comedy mix”, as it remained heavily oriented toward the front and didn’t bring out much memorable material. Really, if anything other than general ambience occurred, I didn’t notice it. I heard moderate environmental information and that was it. This meant very little activity from the back speakers; the surrounds remained passive through the film.
Audio quality was decent but no better. I thought that speech usually sounded fine; though some edginess occurred, the lines were acceptably natural and intelligible. Effects played a small role in the flick. They sounded fine, but they were so inconsequential that they didn’t create much of a presence.
The music was pretty unremarkable. Some parts of the score showed good vivacity, but most of the time, the music appeared somewhat flat. Nothing about the audio stood out, as this was a relentlessly average track.
As we shift to the DVD’s extras, we start with an audio commentary from directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific chat. They tell us a little about locations, story topics and influences, adapting the original film, cast and performances, music, deleted/trimmed scenes, and a few filmmaking challenges.
In the past, many Farrelly commentaries became bogged down in their endless recitation of the names of the actors. They pack their movies with friends and family, so these tracks would offer little more than annotated credit sequences. That tendency made the commentaries dull at best and excruciating at worst.
The Farrellys still engage in some of this behavior, especially during the film’s first third. However, we get less actor-naming than in the past, and they actually offer some good insights. After that stiff beginning, the track gets better as it progresses, and we learn a fair amount of useful material. No, it never becomes a great commentary, but it’s much better than expected.
Editorial aside: at one point the Farrelys say that they think actor Malin Akerman looks and sounds a lot like Cameron Diaz. I disagree. No, the two aren’t dissimilar, but I think Akerman looks more like Kirsten Dunst and she sounds like Drew Barrymore. She is tall and thin like Diaz, but I stand by my assessment!
Four featurettes follow. The Farrelly Brothers in the French Tradition goes for 16 minutes, 34 seconds as it mixes movie clips, shots from the set and interviews. We find notes from Peter and Bobby Farrelly as they talk about their lives, their work in films and some specifics about Kid. We also get some comments from video assist/friend Jim “Sporty” Ahern and actor Ben Stiller. It creates a decent overview of how they came to movies and their take on comedy.
Next comes the five-minute Ben and Jerry. It focuses on the father and son team of Jerry and Ben Stiller; he hear from them along with Bobby Farrelly and actor Malin Akerman. We get a few reflections on their relationship as well as working together. It’s fluffy but it has a few good notes.
Heartbreak Halloween runs three minutes, 24 seconds and features Bobby Farrelly, Akerman, and Peter Farrelly. The featurette tells us about how the Farrellys lightened the atmosphere with a costume competition on Halloween. Other than some semi-creepy shots of a few unappealing costumes, there’s not much here.
Finally, The Egg Toss goes for eight minutes, three seconds and includes the Farrellys, Ahern, co-producer Kris Meyer, actors Michelle Monaghan and Danny McBride and producer Bradley Thomas. This piece looks at another attempt to loosen up the set, as the Farrellys ran an egg toss competition during the shoot. As with “Halloween”, this isn’t exactly a fascinating program. In fact, it’s pretty much a waste of time.
A Gag Reel lasts four minutes. Should you expect anything more than the usual goofs and giggles? Nope. We find a pretty standard blooper collection here.
Six Deleted Scenes fill a total of seven minutes, 26 seconds. These include “On the Beach” (1:02), “Fire Dancers” (0:39), “Breakfast Order” (0:34), “Sky Diver” (3:10), “Pillow” (1:15) and “Driving with Dad” (0:46). “Sky” is the only substantial addition of the set, as it introduces Miranda’s boyfriend Cal earlier in the flick. “Beach” also demonstrates Eddie’s progressing irritation with Lila a little better. None of them seem particularly worthwhile, though.
Some ads open the DVD. We find promos for Drillbit Taylor and Into the Wild. These also appear in the Previews area along with clips for Stardust, Hot Rod, and Mind of Mencia.
If you expect something fresh and creative from the Farrelly Brothers with their newest flick… sorry. The Heartbreak Kid really just offers more of their usual shtick, with few laughs along the way. After the surprisingly satisfying Fever Pitch, I hoped the Farrellys would provide another solid effort, but Kid never goes anywhere. The DVD presents mediocre picture and audio along with a few decent extras. Neither a good movie nor a strong DVD, I can’t give Kid my recommendation.