Though his formal education had little to do with film or writing, Bobby Farrelly joined his older writer brother Peter Farrelly to become one of the top purveyors of low comedy. Raised in Cumberland, Rhode Island, Bobby graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and attempted an entrepreneurial career in marketing the first round beach towel. Collaborating with his brother eventually proved to be more lucrative, although they spent nine years churning out screenplays before one, Dumb and Dumber, finally got produced.
With Bobby serving as co-producer and co-writer, Dumb and Dumber (1994) became a blockbuster hit, confirming Jim Carrey's comic superstar status and introducing movie audiences to the Farrelly mix of gleeful vulgarity and romantic sweetness. Bobby joined Peter as co-director as on their next effort, the less popular Amish bowling opus Kingpin (1996). The Farrellys truly came into their own as outré artistes with their third film, There's Something About Mary (1998). Peppered with politically incorrect humor and extraordinary physical sight gags, the sincerely charming romance between Cameron Diaz's captivating Mary and Ben Stiller's besotted admirer became one of the top hits of 1998. Along with critical kudos, There's Something About Mary won the New York Film Critics' prize for Best Actress and several MTV Movie Awards. Taking a hiatus from outrageousness, the Farrellys co-scripted and produced the screen adaptation of Peter's first novel, the mellower coming of age story Outside Providence (1999). Bobby and Peter returned to their signature style, however, with the Jim Carrey split-personality vehicle, Me, Myself & Irene (2000). Though it performed moderately well and pleased longtime fans of the Farrelley's patented off-color brand of humor, many say the film as a step-sideways instead of forward, not really expanding on their style in the way the the breakthrough Mary did.