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the take

Are Americans Finally Sick of Movies About Ben Stiller Dating Lunatics?

Courtesy of Microsoft Excel 2003 (graph) and Getty Images (Ben Stiller's face)

Ben Stiller, DreamWorks, and the Farrelly brothers are licking their wounds this morning over the dismal $14 million opening for The Heartbreak Kid, in which Stiller accidentally marries a crazy person — again. Many are blaming the film's poor reviews, but, to be fair, most of his movies are poorly reviewed, even the hits. A look at the data (above) indicates that audiences enjoy Stiller most when his love interest is not strictly crazy herself, but the product of a crazy household, à la Meet the Parents and its sequel. Statistics also reveal that his career as the star of romantic comedies seems to have peaked sometime between when he became stricken with diarrhea in Jennifer Aniston's bathroom (in Along Came Polly) and when his foreskin fell in fondue (in Meet the Fockers).

Box Office "Heartbreak" for Stiller Comedy [AP]