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View Full Version : Comedy these days


Yeti4623
04-22-12, 01:40 AM
Do you have any complaints about comedy, nowadays?

For me: This didn't just start, but I'm seeing it more and more lately. The filmmakers trying too hard with the comedy. All the actors being too in on the joke, and all the jokes being spelled out. It just ruins the movie.

JumpCutz
04-22-12, 01:55 AM
So many subpar comedies produced. Very few are actually funny. Even fewer have enough of a compelling hook to actually warrant a feature film.

Self reverential teenage jerk, squirt and fart jokes seem to rule the day. Then again, thats the demographic that's going to put asses in the seats.

You know you're in trouble when American Pie is considered a comedy classic.

Of course there are exceptions (see the best comedy films of the last 20 years thread).

Some of those are indeed timeless classics. Basically, most comedies are disposable, but some have a lasting cultural impact. :shrug:

joliom
04-22-12, 11:39 AM
Honestly, not to sound like a prude or anything, but I think the comedy genre is too overun with vulgarity now days. Too many comedies try to push the envelope with overly candid sexual and gross-out humor. It feels really forced in a lot of movies, like the writers think being more outrageous will substitute for a lack of wit.

bluetoast
04-22-12, 12:13 PM
I hate to say it but...sometimes a lack of a script. Don't get me wrong, I love a lot of Apatow comedies, but sometimes when I look at the outtakes, I'm like "Really? Did you need to have 50 takes for that one joke?" I understand that it helps with creativity, but at times it can seem the opposite of a green screen: going from super restrictive to super relaxed, and that's not necessarily the best, if the direction isn't there. That might be why The Hangover was a breath of fresh air.

Another one: Lack of a "comedy duo" these days (unless I'm missing something). There aren't really any two actors that do movies together a lot. Sure we have mix and match from Apatow's crew, but nothing like Pryor/Wilder, Cheech/Chong. I haven't seen many of those movies, and didn't grow up with a "team" so I feel like my generation is missing out on something, but I dunno. Maybe Spade/Farley would have been one.

PopcornTreeCt
04-22-12, 12:19 PM
I like Apatow's comedies. I think Forgetting Sarah Marshall is still one of the funniest movies ever. I liked Horrible Bosses a lot too. But I think there's far better comedy on television these days. I just like the awkward comedy of shows like Modern Family, Parks and Recreation and then the painfully, depressing, awkward comedy of Louie.

I totally agree that it seems like movies try too hard. It's not just movies, most comedy shows (CBS) try too hard as well.

bluetoast
04-22-12, 12:33 PM
Oh yeah Forgetting Sarah Marshall is one of my favorites for sure, I saw that one twice opening weekend. As for Horrible Bosses, the best part of that was Bob Newhart.

PatD
04-22-12, 12:37 PM
I personally think that the Farrelly Brothers; Judd Apatow and those hosebags that makes those brain-dead "Date Movie"/"Epic Movie" spoofs really have left American comedy broken and bleeding in a ditch these days. (When "Borat" is the most acclaimed comedy of the last decade--youse got problems).

The Farrellys lowered the comedy bar to the mantle of the Earth with movies with their brand of non-stop vulgarity. Now, please understand: I don't mind vulgarity in a comedy in and of itself. But, when it relies totally on being as revolting and wince-inducing as possible NON-STOP--it stops being a comedy and becomes a geek-show on screen.

Now, Judd Apatow. Where do I begin? Why does he even put screenwriting credit in the movies he "writes" and directs. What I mean is: watching "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" gives me a strong impression that all the scenes were just improvised among the actors. Like there was an idea of what each scene was about and then Judd just yells "IMPROV-ACTION!". It's just a bunch of stoners standing around and talking over each other, hoping that they'll stumble upon a humorous quip here and there. WTF? Maybe I'm old school, but I prefer well-crafted dialogue with a humorous point of view spoken with COMIC TIMING. I want to vomit every time someone tries to declare Judd Apatow as the "New John Hughes". Are they serious? Do they think Judd Apatow could making anything with the brilliance of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles"? I've watched those movies countless times over the last quarter of a century and they're as vibrant, insightful and fall-down funny as when they first came out. "40 Year Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" were endurance trials of watching comedy laziness.

And finally: those "2 of the 6 writers of 'Scary Movie'" don't even deserve the term hacks. "Hack" means reliable mediocrity. I don't know if the ZAZ team ever watched "Meet the Spartans" or anything of its kind, but they must have had some hint of homicidal ideation at watching a genre they pretty much pioneered (created really) get turned into knuckle-dragger theater. As insanely off the rubber room wall "Airplane!" or "Top Secret!" or "The Naked Gun" was--there was some relative subtlety to the humor and not a film elbowing in the ribs going "That's from 'Airport!' That's from 'Here to Eternity!' That's from 'Saturday Night Fever'! GET IT? GET IT? GET IT?" A spoof movie doesn't have to be pop culture references every nanosecond!

There are other offenders, but I digress. Suffice to say, mainstream comedy is where it is because it makes big bank at the box office--it's what Joe and Jane Average want. And that sucks. Because there almost no comedies anymore that can be witty, well paced, inventively vulgar, and have sincere heart and even insight TOGETHER IN ONE PACKAGE. If you want that, you are plum out of luck. If you want outrageous vulgarity--The Farrellys (or imitators). You want wit--well you'll have to skulk down the indie theater and watch the latest Wes Anderson direct-to-Criterion movie with humor dryer than the Sahara.

The era of John Belushi and John Candy John Hughes are but a distant memory. *sigh*

(Addendum: there have been the occasional "smart vulgar comedies with heart" through the otherwise through the water-tight cracks of Hollywood's Great Wall of Mediocrity. "Harold and Kumar 1" being one of them namely.)

PatD
04-22-12, 12:49 PM
Another one: Lack of a "comedy duo" these days (unless I'm missing something). There aren't really any two actors that do movies together a lot. Sure we have mix and match from Apatow's crew, but nothing like Pryor/Wilder, Cheech/Chong. I haven't seen many of those movies, and didn't grow up with a "team" so I feel like my generation is missing out on something, but I dunno. Maybe Spade/Farley would have been one.

http://www.hotterinhollywood.com/.a/6a00e009804e1388330154347352e5970c-500wi

bluetoast
04-22-12, 12:53 PM
I guess I meant not in terms of series, but in general, working on different movies together, but I did overlook that one, which was good (except for part 2).

PatD
04-22-12, 01:10 PM
I guess I meant not in terms of series, but in general, working on different movies together, but I did overlook that one, which was good (except for part 2).

Well, in that context: you're right. Spade and Farley were the closest with "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep".

Buuuuut...we also have this duo (albeit as the same characters):

http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Jay---Silent-Bob-jay-and-silent-bob-473570_445_334.jpg

PopcornTreeCt
04-22-12, 01:15 PM
Ah yes, everything nowadays sucks and the past was so much better! Actually, agree to a point because Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were freakin' hysterical. But I absolutely loathe that John Belushi, John Candy era(s) nothing funny about those at all.

PatD
04-22-12, 01:23 PM
^^
I'll take watching John Belushi and John Candy doing their taxes and having their teeth cleaned than watching Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill falling all over each other stoned out of their goards--Rogen and Hill are comedy-cancer.

fumanstan
04-22-12, 01:23 PM
I like modern comedies, they make me laugh louder then anything from the 80's, but then again i'm 29 and I like that kind of humor and these movies are geared towards me :shrug:

I agree with Popcorn, I like guys like Chaplin and Keaton, but I never cared for Belushi or John Candy either.

bluetoast
04-22-12, 01:28 PM
Well, in that context: you're right. Spade and Farley were the closest with "Tommy Boy" and "Black Sheep".

Buuuuut...we also have this duo (albeit as the same characters):

http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Jay---Silent-Bob-jay-and-silent-bob-473570_445_334.jpg

I mentioned Spade and Farley, but as for the other two...if that's all we have, then I doubt we have much more left from them.

But then again I guess even the classic duos from the past, Laurel & Hardy, Abbot & Costello were playing relatively the same characters despite being "different people", if I recall correctly. At least for the former duo I can assume that, never saw much of the latter.

Dr. DVD
04-22-12, 01:35 PM
The problem with comedy nowadays is that there's no sense of subtlety or the kind that might require the audience be a bit intelligent to enjoy. Every now and then I see something that I find funny, like Horrible Bosses, but it seems that the emphasis is on seeing how nasty and gross you can bet with what you have as opposed to funny.

I will admit to really liking the first American Pie when it was released, and even owned the DVD. Problem is the influence it seemed to leave was that gross=funny.

PatD
04-22-12, 01:39 PM
^^
This.

Also, I've found that when a DVD or Blu ray has a new comedy has a special "unrated" "EXTRA OUTRAGEOUS" edition--you've got some rough two hours ahead of you. Subtlety? Fugghedaboutit.

Goat3001
04-22-12, 01:55 PM
So many subpar comedies produced. Very few are actually funny. Even fewer have enough of a compelling hook to actually warrant a feature film.

Self reverential teenage jerk, squirt and fart jokes seem to rule the day. Then again, thats the demographic that's going to put asses in the seats.

You know you're in trouble when American Pie is considered a comedy classic.

Of course there are exceptions (see the best comedy films of the last 20 years thread).

Some of those are indeed timeless classics. Basically, most comedies are disposable, but some have a lasting cultural impact. :shrug:

The question I ask is, is this different than any other era?

We tend to remember the classics: Animal House, Caddy Shack, Ferris Buellers etc... But weren't there just a bunch of horrid comedies in that era too? You said yourself there are some timeless classics in this era, that goes along with the crap. Is that really any different than 30 years ago?

fumanstan
04-22-12, 02:27 PM
The problem with comedy nowadays is that there's no sense of subtlety or the kind that might require the audience be a bit intelligent to enjoy. Every now and then I see something that I find funny, like Horrible Bosses, but it seems that the emphasis is on seeing how nasty and gross you can bet with what you have as opposed to funny.

I will admit to really liking the first American Pie when it was released, and even owned the DVD. Problem is the influence it seemed to leave was that gross=funny.

Subtelty is just one possible aspect of humor though, not a requirement, and right now overt sex is selling because people enjoy the bluntness of it. These type of things come in waves, I imagine the stuff some people hate now will change when people get tired of it.

Eddie W
04-22-12, 03:30 PM
I'd like to see Charlie Day/Jason Sudeikis become a comedy duo. They completely elevated the two movies they were in together above the standard Hollywood comedy.

Lastdaysofrain
04-23-12, 08:37 AM
One of the big problems is that the vast majority of comedies these days are a premise that plays out just as a series of episodic set pieces and gags instead of having an actual plot (say, something like Real Genius would be a good example of something with a plot) so you invest in the characters.