Intellect may be out and innocence in with such movies as Forrest Gump and Nell, but that doesn't mean today's film heroes differ from the old-fashioned kind. Take Dumb and Dumber and that chestnut Little Women. What really separates Winona Ryder's socially inept, headstrong, tack-sharp Jo March and Jim Carrey's socially inept, headstrong, bladder-brained Lloyd Christmas? Consider:
Jo's home base: Concord (Mass.)
Lloyd's home base: Providence (R.I.)
Her devoted sister Beth is sick at home for years, then dies.
His roommate's parakeet, Petey, is caged for years, then gets decapitated.
Chops off her hair to raise money.
Sells chopped-off Petey to raise money.
Unconcerned with convention, wears outmoded dress to gala.
Unconcerned with convention, wears orange top hat and tails to gala.
Fate entwines her and wealthy Laurie.
Fate entwines him and wealthy Mary.
Turns away from Laurie's love.
Turns away from lorry driver's love.
In turmoil, Jo flees west to Manhattan.
In turmoil, Lloyd flees west to Aspen.
Loses Laurie to a sister, says, ''At least we're all family.'' Seems to mean it.
Loses Mary to her husband, says, ''I'm so happy for you.'' Doesn't mean it