Eric Christian Olsen sports the signature bowl haircut, chipped tooth, and the same ''I like it -- a lot'' facial expression, so it's no wonder Jim Carrey fans are confused. ''People are coming up to me and saying 'I can't wait to see you in 'Dumb and Dumber 2!''' says Carrey, who, along with Jeff Daniels, won't be in this one. ''And I'm like, 'Sorry guys, I'm not in that movie.'''
True enough, but director Troy Miller (HBO's ''Mr. Show'') is no fool. For about the price of one Carrey -- roughly $23 million -- Miller made a whole prequel with Derek Richardson (in his first film role) and Olsen (''Not Another Teen Movie'') as '80s teen versions of Harry and Lloyd, who start their own ''special needs'' class and stumble (literally, of course) upon a school scandal. ''There is a huge fan base for the original, including me,'' says Miller. ''I wanted to do justice to that, but also make a comedy that stands on its own'' -- a daunting task previously attempted by others, including ''South Park'' creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who were tapped for $2 million to write the sequel in 1998, then dropped out (and returned the fee) citing a lack of interest.
But with all due respect to Cam ''Sea Bass'' Neely, ''Dumb and Dumberer'' does boast a more seasoned supporting cast, including Luis Guzmán (''Anger Management''), Eugene Levy (''Bringing Down the House,'' ''American Wedding'') and ''Saturday Night Live'' alum Cheri Oteri. And though there are plenty of gross-out gags, Olsen insists, ''It's a smarter comedy. It's more like 'Bottle Rocket' or 'The Simpsons.''' D'oh, really?