Although it was at the number one slot till its eighth week at the weekly box office, it played a total of well over 176 million U.S. dollars (cost about 23 million U.S. dollars) and was thus the third most successful film in 1998. ‘There's Something About Mary’ occupies space 27 in the list of the 100 best English comedies, as per list published by the American Film Institute on the 100-year anniversary of American film.
In general, the reactions of critics to the film were positive. Internet reviewing site received 82 reviews, giving the film an overall score of 83%. The rating for the film on the site averaged at seven out of ten. They considered the movie to be warm and have a strong heart, despite the childish and trivial humor that it exhibited. Metacritic gave the film a lower rating of 69%, as a consequence of reviews from 29 critics. The film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert rated the film three stars out of four, stating the watching the film exposes some of our base human nature, our humor, by ignoring the normal standards of political correctness, manners, values and decorum (Ebert 1998). One of the most amusing scenes of the film occurs when Mary arrives for a date with Ben Stiller’s character, who is masturbating in the bathroom. Despite the borderline vulgarity and offensiveness of the scene, it is very funny.