Sunday, April 10, 2011

Why Aren't Movies Funny Anymore?

So tonight I sat in my apartment and after finishing a LONG homework assignment for grad school and decided I needed a good laugh so I put in the movie Due Date with Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, and well....I laughed once.  I remember watching the trailer and thinking, well it won't be a great movie but it will make me laugh, boy was I wrong.  The jokes are lame and cheap-this movie just makes me think that the director Todd Phillips (The Hangover) future film The Hangover 2 will be filled with the same cheap jokes which will ruin the creativity.   The genius behind a great funny movie is that jokes are original and that they spark tremendous laughter.  Todd Phillips did Old School and Road and the reason they are both uniquely funny is because the jokes work in one film and there is no need to rehash the same jokes in a sequel.  A great funny movie is rare today, and in a time when people need to laugh most I have to ask the question, why aren't movies funny anymore?

There have been so many movies lately that just remind me how hard it is to make someone laugh, and movies are just not having much success in the comedy department.  The plots of many comedies have tried to be too cool or too out there like Due Date.  The movie tried adding in random gags that make no sense to the plot.  This plot device is overdone.  Danny McBride's "handicapable" war veteran who beats Robert Downey Jr. with a night stick is pointless and by no means funny.  Oscar winner Jammie Foxx plays a man who is still in love with Downey Jr.'s wife and there is this joke or fear that he actually slept with her and the baby will be black, but the joke never goes anywhere, and the character is pointless to the story, just a plot device to give the two main characters a car as they travel across the country.  Maybe I am over thinking this, but the humor was lost on me.

There have been a slew over movies that should be or should have been funny in the last couple of years but they have either flopped or have just been duds.  Little Fockers is a prime example of taking a film series too far.  The characters are shells of themselves from the first film.  The gag of Robert DeNiro being a tight ass former CIA agent was funny once, but it is getting old.  Jessica Alba you can't act give-up, not are you funny (just a side note).  I often wonder when I watch a movie like this that is intended to be funny and it ends up being terrible how you talk about your work as an actor.  Not every successful funny film needs a sequel (Legally Blonde) or to become a series of films (American Pie).  When the joke gets stale no when to throw in the towel-take a hint Ivan Reitman do NOT do Ghostbusters 3.

When I talk about bad comedies there is no way I can't mention Adam Sandler.  Sandler has had some movies that were pretty funny: Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and The Wedding Singer.  After that in my opinion he just kept peddling crap: The Waterboy, Little Nicky, Mr. Deeds, 50 First Dates, The Longest Yard, Click, Grown Ups, Funny People, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Just Go with It, I Know Pronounce you Chuck and and Larry-I may be missing a few, but that is such a long list of movies that have wasted people's time!  Sure his movies have collectively had funny moments, but overall he keeps peddling the same movie with a different attractive actress.  When Snadler stepped outside of his cliche funnyman role in Punch-Drunk Love he wasn't half bad. Stop making the same movie and leave classics alone.  Create something new, your box office clout is starting to fade.  Just Go with It barely made 100 million dollars. 

I also have to add to this be careful Vince Vaughn you are falling into the same pattern.  The movie Couples Retreat had all their funny moments in the previews and when I sat through the movie I felt like I wasted 8 dollars.  The child peeing in the store was the funniest part of the movie, that kid was hilarious and they should have paid him what they paid their bigger stars.  A lot of movies put their best moments in their trailers now, and it really ruins the element of the joke because once you watch the joke over and over again in commercials it no longer gets the laugh it should get.  Television comedies are far superior to the comedy done in films today.  Both 30 Rock and Arrested Development help keep you engaged without making you feel like an idiot.  Tina Fey is a genius her only feature film she has directed is Mean Girls and it probably one of the funniest films of the the 2000s; she also is the brain behind one of the funniest television shows ever.  Give this woman more writing to do in film maybe she can save films from their comedy slump.

No comments: