Wednesday, September 03, 2008

more on funny movies

I'm blogging on the fly, which always carries the risk of muddling claims and mischaracterizing others. For the record, TD considers The Big Lebowski to be very funny, and also Office Space, Wayne's World, the usual suspects for what most people would nominate to the canon of Recent Funny Movies. I like these movies as well. Ignore every other move I mentioned as being separate from any disagreement we might have with each other.

And our disagreements are many. I love Brain Candy, for example, while he thought it was a lame farce. Perhaps I overhyped it--I told him that this was my favorite movie when I was 14. He finds Idiocracy funny, while I hated it. I have not seen Old School, and apparently I am missing out. I haven't found a movie truly funny in ages. Smiling on occasion or chuckling wryly do not count, and I barely cracked a smile during Knocked Up or The Wedding Crashers, both of which were heralded as the comedy events of their respective summers. I did enjoy Superbad (but more in a cringing humor way), and I did laugh a lot at the clever sarcastic witticisms of Juno, but that's different from the belly laughs I am seeking. Tropic Thunder was amusing, but every movie Ben Stiller takes is some extension of the gross-out humor of There's Something About Mary, which has been repeated ad nauseum in Dodgeball, Along Came Polly, the list goes on and on. Perhaps I should see The 40 Year Old Virgin and Anchorman (in addition to Old School), but this Frat Pack humor is not really working all that well for me.

I'm just struggling to find something I've considered to be uproariously funny in recent memory, which suggests two competing hypotheses: 1) there aren't any funny movies being made anymore, or 2) the movies I thought were funny when I was 14 I wouldn't consider to be funny now, and so the humor is contingent on a certain youthful/immature frame of mind and I have just lost my sense of humor. Or more probably, 3) maybe this frat packy dude-oriented humor is just not working for me, and I should see Baby Mamas in my desperate search for non-phallic humor. Or worse, whatever Nora Ephron produces.

But seriously, must I be relegated to rom coms? I despair for my demographic. Those movies suck. I am not going to see the latest Meg Ryan movie, which I will find even less funny than Luke Wilson's awful acting in Idiocracy. Why can't they make movies like The Jerk anymore? I still think The Jerk is funny.

Give me suggestions for contemporary funny movies. I am curious which hypothesis has the most traction, and desperate to find something funny that is not Harold Lloyd or Buster Keaton or Woody Allen or Peter Sellars, because I just sound like a pretentious old fogey.

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