What the hell happened to comedy movies????
I haven’t seen Kong Skull Island or John Wick 2 as of yet, so I have no movie to write 6 points about. Instead, I wanted to write about something that is becoming a major problem for us movie fans, particularly us comedy fans.
I will start by saying that I have a soft spot for dumb comedy’s that are a bit over the top. But the line for this has been long crossed. Comedies are getting more and more absurdly idiotic by the day, and there is sign of it slowing down. There wasn’t a single purely comedic movie that came out last year that was anyway half decent. Bad Moms is one I actually quite enjoyed, but let’s forget that for a second.
Again, I could easily sit down and put on Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates or Office Christmas Party and enjoy the hour and a half of not having to use my brain. But the simple fact is, these movies aren’t any good and there are no future classic comedy’s coming out anymore. I have noticed this quite a lot in the last two years. Not a single comedy movie last year was both funny and original. Why Him? was just a standard re-hashed storyline. The same could be said for Office Christmas Party. There was a colossal amount of awful sequels such as Neighbours 2, Bad Santa 2, Zoolander 2, Ride Along 2. Sausage Party was original, and I respect what they were trying to pull off in that movie, but a sausage saying fuck just isn’t funny the millionth time around. These movies need to stop being made. Period.
As I am writing this, I thought of one exception, The Edge of Seventeen. It was an original story, with great humour and a fantastic not over the top story. The reason I actually was thinking about all of this was because I recently watched Clerks. Clerks was such great comedy, that didn’t just insert a poop joke for no reason, yet used its profanity excellently. It was clever and witty. This is something that very few comedies can seem to do these days. I will barf up a few other examples of these clever, witty, funny and just well-made comedy movies that are universally loved: Old School, Anchorman, Dumb and Dumber, Office Space, Shaun of the Dead, American Pie, The Big Lebowski, Wayne’s World. A lot of these movies are very vulgar, yet they use it in a way that is funny and not just over the top stupid.
Also, from that list, there are no recent releases. I don’t see that in 20 years’ time that there will be many new additions to that list. 21 Jump Street maybe? This is the End? Ted? Perhaps these few diamonds in the rough will make I through to classic cult status, just like my above list, but it worries me that there are only a few maybes. I am not saying that these are the only comedy movies that I liked in the last 5 or so years, I am just saying that because of the way that comedies look to be heading, we won’t be getting any classics.
So how does this dilemma become resolved? Well for starters no more sequels. Comedy sequels just don’t work. 22 Jump Street was okay, but if you can name two others then I will give you a cookie. No more Zoolander movies, no more Anchorman movies, no more damn Bad Santa movies. Don’t try and pull on the nostalgia strings because it just doesn’t work for comedies. The second port of call, is make your movie clever and funny. Don’t just panic and put in fart and poo jokes. Sit down, and study movies like Clerks, or The Edge of Seventeen. Then come back and write again. If your movie just doesn’t have the best story, watch a movie like Step Brothers, or Pineapple Express. Then just hope your movie breaks this recent streak of awful comedies that have come out in the last 4 or 5 years.
The 00’s was such a great time for comedy movies. I could list so many that just crack me up each time I watch. The 90’s were pretty decent as well. But as times moved forward, particularly past 2012, comedy movies have been pretty dire, with the one or two exceptions. I really hope that this is just a small dip in form, for one of my favourite genres.