Jump to content

Comedy films - they aint what they used to be!


loz

Recommended Posts

Before I type this post I shall reach for my flat cap as I am going to sound like a right old man.

So on with the moaning.

When American Pie came out I went to see it in the cinema, I walked home unimpressed and thought nothing of it. The I heard people raving about it, and people carried on raving about it. So finally two days ago I watched it again as it was on ITV2, I figured maye it isn't as bad as I remember, after all the world seems to love it. But my opinion didn't change one bit - I still thought it was poor.

Now this isn't supposed to be a dig at American Pie in particular - more of a general comment about the quality (or lack of) of comedy films in the past 15 years or so. We seemed to have developed into a mass of filmgoers who crave the kind of laugh that you physically need to be hit in the face by the joke before you make the effort to find it funny.

American Pie, There's Something about Mary, Dumb and Dumber, Meet the Parents, Analyse This, etc etc etc - infact if I could offer a lobotomy to any sub section of society I would probably select that group of people who can watch There's Something About Mary more than once (I struggled to sit through it even once)

This post isn't even trying to say that 'back then all comedies were really clever, witty, satirical etc etc - hell we had years of fun with the 'Carry On' series - I guess what I am wondering is am I missing some films. Since the kids came along I don't get to the cinema much at all and as a result I am losing touch with the new films coming out. Do we still get decent comedies or is it purely rich American teenager pap, churned out rom com or the Farrelly brothers churning out their formula films (Kingpin being the notable exception!!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


it was on bbc I think a couple nights ago.

actually I was going to reply that there is a direct correlation between the decline in quality comedy films and bill murray appearing in less of them.

the coen brothers have about 3 films coming out in the next 24 months, so fingers crossed we get another big lebowski and not another... what was that one with catherine zeta jones? it's not good, if I remember.

the simpsons film is apparently crap, so, heartbroken, I gave that a miss.

I saw knocked up last night... I guess it's better than the standard formulaic romcom, but the reviews have been praising it as if were something out of the ordinary, which it wasn't really. romcom's are nearly never funny, are they? what a stupid sub-genre.

sigh, time for my arrested development plug.

still, that television programme, arrested development, more than compensates for the lack of good comedy films.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

still, that television programme, arrested development, more than compensates for the lack of good comedy films.

as does, pretty, pretty, pretty good....

506x315_cast_larry.jpg

the coen bros film you mentioned was Intolerable Cruelty, and i still feel betrayed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

that's the one. intolerable cruelty. in light of it's title, it surely had to be one big ironic injoke at the expense of us, the audience.

yeah- curb is great as well. waiting for the sixth season to start so I can avoid illegally downloading it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Intolerable Cruelty was poor but I didn't think it was as bad as the panning it got - I think it got panned even mroe because expectations are always so high for a Coen Brothers film.

Speaking of the Coen brothers has anyone seen 'Blood Simple' - haven't seen it myself but keep meaning to get hold of it. I thought 'The Man Who Wasn't There' was a superb film and Miller's Crossing was also excellent and hence I would really like to see BLood Simple to see how it compares.

'The Man Who Wasn't There' is possible the finest modern example of film noir (or neo-noir if you want to use a stupid film term, thought not as irritiating as rom com!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I saw the subject, the first thing that occurred to me was the Pink Panther films; the first five Peter Sellers originals of which were all time classics, and all of which bear repeated viewing.

Compare any one of those with the Steve Martin remake, which I accidentally sat through (long story, you don't want to know) not too long ago. In a word: dire. Another word: dia-bleedin-bollickal. Crap. Call it what you like. Thankfully I haven't had the misfortune of watching Steve Martin as Bilko, the very thought of it is enough to make me run for cover.

I know I'm showing my age, because recently I've had an urge to watch some of the old Carry On films, favourites being Carry On Cleo, Carry On Screaming and Carry On Up The Jungle - which I have to admit is in the list largely because of that bird in the bikini. I never could remember the name of the actress, but phwoar icon_lol.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For anyone that hasnt seen it Shaun of the dead is great and is the only film i can think of that gets me laughing every time i watch it apart from monty python stuff which im sure everyones seen.

I saw the simpsons movie and it was always gonna be either brilliant or crap, and IMO it was really disapointing.

While were talking about comedies

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I heard pink panther was sh*t lofty- which brings back the eternal question:

just what happened to steve martin?

pink panther, cheaper by the dozen and so on... (question applies also to eddie murphy)

I liked shaun of the dead- I'd say hot fuzz was arguably funnier, but as a film shaun was much tighter IMO. and spaced was a top recent british sitcom.

which brings us to garth marenghi's darkplace- that's brilliant... the dvd has the 3 guys doing the commentaries in character!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

which brings us to garth marenghi's darkplace- that's brilliant... the dvd has the 3 guys doing the commentaries in character!

That was brilliant when they showed it on channel 4 though there werent that many episodes though i dont like the IT crowd which has one or more of the guys from darkplace in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Speaking of the Coen brothers has anyone seen 'Blood Simple' - haven't seen it myself but keep meaning to get hold of it. I thought 'The Man Who Wasn't There' was a superb film and Miller's Crossing was also excellent and hence I would really like to see BLood Simple to see how it compares.

It compares very favourably Loz in that it is better than both of those. Watch it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

which brings us to garth marenghi's darkplace- that's brilliant... the dvd has the 3 guys doing the commentaries in character!

That was brilliant when they showed it on channel 4 though there werent that many episodes though i dont like the IT crowd which has one or more of the guys from darkplace in it.

I watched an episode the other day- it's f*cking terrible.

how the guy who wrote father ted (great) and black books (great) managed to come out with that, I'll never know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really liked Anchorman

"Brian Fantana: I think I was in love once.

Ron Burgundy: Really? What was her name?

Brian Fantana: I don't remember.

Ron Burgundy: That's not a good start, but keep going..."

I also like There's something about Mary.

Modern comedy is not rubbish, you're all just old!

As for TV comedy anything with Rob Brydon is quality (anybody see "directors commentary"?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

which brings us to garth marenghi's darkplace- that's brilliant... the dvd has the 3 guys doing the commentaries in character!

That was brilliant when they showed it on channel 4 though there werent that many episodes though i dont like the IT crowd which has one or more of the guys from darkplace in it.

I watched an episode the other day- it's f*cking terrible.

how the guy who wrote father ted (great) and black books (great) managed to come out with that, I'll never know.

So you don't recommend turning it off and on again then? I didn't think it was that bad, a bit daft but I've seen worse. A techy friend of mine thinks it's hilarious and can't wait for the second series to come out on DVD. Personally I think I'll stick to the Carry On's. Agree about Black Books though, and Father Ted. I also surprised myself by getting into Spaced.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Comedy today isn't like comedy 50, 40, 30, 20, even 10 years ago. It all changes. 50 years ago you wouldn't get too many jokes in movies aiming far below the belt. Today, most jokes seem to be about genitals, sex and...sex. The dirtier the better.

Do I dislike comedies today? Not really. Some are stupid and boring, I have to admit that. But there are still some rays of sunshine.

Movies like There's something about Mary, American Pie and so on might be good fun one time. But after that they're not really good anymore. Young people today might think so but I don't. I saw Rat Race a few years ago and the first time I watched it I thought it was hilarious. The next time I couldn't find one funny joke in it.

I like older comedies like the Monty Python-movies and Some Like It Hot (still very funny).

As for series on TV I think that there's still some quality left. The Office is great (the UK version of course).

Apart from The Office I would say that I mostly enjoy british comedies. Blackadder, Allo Allo, Keeping Up Appearences and such.

Right now I highly enjoy Little Britain. Makes me laugh every time.

If I might go back to movies I have to say that two modern movies that I think is really funny are Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. I've seen them many times now and they're still great. As Good As It Gets are also very good. Jack Nicholson are amazing.

I don't mind seing stupid comedies from time to time though. Dodgeball and such movies are good but I wouldn't stand it watching it all the time.

I saw someone mention The Simpsons-movie and I have to say that I disagree. I wasn't great but I thought that it was better than I had anticipated. Almost the same quality of a normal episode (one of the older ones) but way longer.

I agree however that the new Pink Panther-movie was crap. I like Steve Martin but lately he has really done some awful movies.

Finally I might add that I enjoy movies by Woody Allen. They have some really good jokes in them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Moos

Maybe worth me clarifying that I have nothing against the fact that there are comedies like 'There's Something Abut Mary' being made, be it 50 years ago, 20 years ago, last year or in the next 50 years - there is a clear marketplace for it and I wouldn't for a second say that it shouldn't be satisfied. I just feel a bit saddened that the comedy market today appears (and I say appears as I am not seeing the number of films I used to) to be saturated with this kind of film and there seems to be very few people trying to do anything different.

Good comedy is one of the hardest things to write, in fact comedy full stop is one of the hardest things to write, and it just seems that nowadays writers are getting very lazy and following a formula.

The last time I laughed out loud at the cinema was probably when I saw 'American Beauty' - no actually I tell a lie it was 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou '

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moos

Maybe worth me clarifying that I have nothing against the fact that there are comedies like 'There's Something Abut Mary' being made, be it 50 years ago, 20 years ago, last year or in the next 50 years - there is a clear marketplace for it and I wouldn't for a second say that it shouldn't be satisfied. I just feel a bit saddened that the comedy market today appears (and I say appears as I am not seeing the number of films I used to) to be saturated with this kind of film and there seems to be very few people trying to do anything different.

Good comedy is one of the hardest things to write, in fact comedy full stop is one of the hardest things to write, and it just seems that nowadays writers are getting very lazy and following a formula.

The last time I laughed out loud at the cinema was probably when I saw 'American Beauty' - no actually I tell a lie it was 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou '

I understand. I don't mind movies like "Something about Mary" being made either. Seing how popular they are there's certainly a huge market. Make a movie like "Some Like It Hot" or any other old comedy and people today won't see it. Some older people and young people who likes those movies might see it but that is a very small market indeed.

Wouldn't be bad if one or two came out though.

As for "The Life Aquatic" I agree that it is a very funny movie. Wes Anderson has a sort of an old touch on his comedies. If you liked that movie I recommend that you see "The Royal Tenenbaums". In my oppinion it is actually funnier and better than "The Life Aquatic".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

which brings us to garth marenghi's darkplace- that's brilliant... the dvd has the 3 guys doing the commentaries in character!

That was brilliant when they showed it on channel 4 though there werent that many episodes though i dont like the IT crowd which has one or more of the guys from darkplace in it.

I watched an episode the other day- it's f*cking terrible.

how the guy who wrote father ted (great) and black books (great) managed to come out with that, I'll never know.

So you don't recommend turning it off and on again then? I didn't think it was that bad, a bit daft but I've seen worse. A techy friend of mine thinks it's hilarious and can't wait for the second series to come out on DVD. Personally I think I'll stick to the Carry On's. Agree about Black Books though, and Father Ted. I also surprised myself by getting into Spaced.

well- I've only seen one episode- it's just seemed... so far below graham linehan's quality. the episode was basically "woman likes shoes, tries to fit into a pair smaller than her size, meanwhile something else happened- I think a guy started a small fire, and e-mailed for emergency help. not sure if there is more relevant to that kind of work in other episodes, but you can imagine that episode being knocked up in 15 minutes. also I didn't laugh. maybe it's good if you know what is being satirised (if anything). but you're robably (almost definately) right- there is worse, I was probably so disappointed by the averageness of it.

it's great that everyone has their own tastes of course, but I still struggle when I show arrested development to people and they don't like it. the only thing is that it needs to be watched from the beginning, and I admit it takes maybe 3 or 4 episodes to get into it. but it is ridiculously sharp to the point that it needs multiple viewings to get all the jokes.

moos, I don't think comedy films are more sex-orientated than they used to be, but the do seem more reliant on "gross out" gags now. woody allen is another we can add to the steve martin/ eddie murphy list. but annie hall! THAT is a proper romantic comedy.

p.s. loz- please tell me you agree american beauty is a sort of black comedy- no-one seems to agree with me about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I fail to see how American Beauty can be anything but a black comedy! If for no other reason than for the fact that it is a film based in middle affluent America where the least screwed up relationship in the entire film is the one between the gay couple.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of the Coen brothers has anyone seen 'Blood Simple' - haven't seen it myself but keep meaning to get hold of it. I thought 'The Man Who Wasn't There' was a superb film and Miller's Crossing was also excellent and hence I would really like to see BLood Simple to see how it compares.

It compares very favourably Loz in that it is better than both of those. Watch it.

On that recommendation I would tag it as a must see. Can anyone babysit?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I fail to see how American Beauty can be anything but a black comedy! If for no other reason than for the fact that it is a film based in middle affluent America where the least screwed up relationship in the entire film is the one between the gay couple.

just what are you trying to imply? that it is an exception when a gay couple has a stable relationship?

you absolute backwards right wing nazi. what this forum needs is a man to defend the people, a visonary... a hero.

p.s. it's your fault you decided to breed your own personal militia, now deal with it.

p.p.s. do you think there is a problem with just the comedy genre right now, or do you see it as a wider issue? there haven't been that many great big budget/ studio films over the past couple years...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just what are you trying to imply? that it is an exception when a gay couple has a stable relationship?

you absolute backwards right wing nazi. what this forum needs is a man to defend the people, a visonary... a hero.

...

He would love to oblige but he is terribly busy right now

medium_head-in-sand.jpg

p.p.s. do you think there is a problem with just the comedy genre right now, or do you see it as a wider issue? there haven't been that many great big budget/ studio films over the past couple years...

That is a fair point however I would argue that there is still a reasonable level of quality films being made, be it big budget or otherwise, that are managing to make their way into the mainstream cinemas however comedy seems to be an area that is failing to achieve this. Having said that I do think that if there was some mysterious way of assessing the quality of films (irrespective of genre) in a way that gave them a score then I would agree that the general trend is a deterioration in quality. However it is hard to really blame the film makers for that to any great extent as they are basically buying in to the idea of supply and demand. Just as people criticise the tabloid newspapers for printing sh*te you can't get away from the fact that they sell in large volume - people just seem to like watching/reading sh*te - maybe it is just pure escapism.

Of course none of this is actually true as we all know writers, by default, have better imaginations than the rest of society!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

obviously.

that's a great picture. maybe a return to your picture posting form of 2006?

there were quite a few films I was looking forward to seeing this summer and almost all fell apart in some shape or form- some were crap, some haven't been released, some won't be released (the double feature version of grindhouse).

a couple of comedy films I want to see are bottle rockets, which I think was the first wes anderson film, and fargo- I am ashamed to say I've not seen it yet. still haven't been in the mood for united 93 either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frankly boys, nothing beats Life of Brian. Absolutely nothing.

If you ask me what's missing from most mainstream comedies today, it has to be satire. The situations that Hollywood comedies are based around are fairly vacuous and don't really touch any sort of nerve as great comdey should (IMHO).

The reason The Office is so brilliant is because it's only 5 degrees removed from reality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Well, this is awkward!

awkward the office GIF

The Shed End Forum relies on revenue to pay for hosting and upgrades. While we try to keep adverts as unobtrusive as possible without pop ups, we need to run ad's to make sure we can stay online and continue to keep the forum up, as over the years costs have become very high.

Could you please allow adverts on this domain by switching it off. Some of the advert banners can actually be closed to avoid interferance of your experience on The Shed End.

Cheers now!

emma watson yes GIF

Alright already, It's off!