Peter John Farrelly (born December 17, 1956) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer and novelist. The Farrelly Brothers are mostly famous for directing and producing gross-out humor romantic comedy films such as, Dumb and Dumber, Me, Myself and Irene, There's Something About Mary and The Heartbreak Kid.
Farrelly was born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, the son of Mariann, a nurse practitioner, and Robert Leo Farrelly, a doctor. He was raised in Cumberland, Rhode Island and graduated from Providence College, which he described himself as a relatively poor student who partied hard, before moving onto a salesman job in Boston, Massachusetts. Farrelly dreamed of being a writer and spent many sales trips out on the road thinking up stories. According to Farrelly, he had been living with a friend in Las Vegas, Nevada and working on a novel. One day he woke up with another hangover and decided it was time to go to church. Put off by the priest's incessant plea for donations, Farrelly left the Mass early. Standing alone outside in the hot sun, Farrelly looked down and saw a used condom laying on the church steps. He took this as a sign and left Las Vegas that day. He returned back east and finished his novel, Outside Providence.
Farrelly decided to take a plunge and pursue writing full time, which prompted him to quit his job and head to Cape Cod, Massachusetts where he got a job as a waiter. On one of the tables he was waiting, Farrelly struck up a conversation with a writing professor from UMass Amherst, who encouraged Farrelly to apply to graduate school. Farrelly said he didn't think his chances were good, considering he did poorly in college but the professor said not everything is judged by grades. With what would later be Outside Providence, Farrelly submitted the work and was pleasantly surprised that he was accepted. He studied writing for a while at UMass-Amherst, but was ultimately dissatisfied with the program, and transferred to Columbia University in New York City, which Farrelly said he found very satisfying. He later became interested in screenwriting which lead him to directing, which was a career decision made by him after seeing many of his works sold but unproduced.