Since my return to Estonia is going to take place in two days, I thought about doing things a bit differently this week, therefore the second part of this post will appear on Friday. Mostly because I don’t have time to write a review and secondly, I feel as if this topic is too long for a single post. As the title says, both articles will focus on the downfall of comedies, which is totally my personal opinion. I don’t expect you guys to agree nor do I want to offend those who like these kinds of comedies, we have a right to our likes and dislikes, and I happen to hate 21st century comedies.
Going through my review lists, there’s a clear lack of comedies in there for obvious reasons – for years now, I have been biased to the humor that is making other people laugh. To be fair, this type of humor has been around for a while, just think about Adam Sandler and his entire career, but lately it seems that not a single comedy can go without humiliating at least one character. Before I continue, I do want to point out that I haven’t watched a lot of comedies lately which might cloud my judgment, but all of those I have seen, fall under the category of being humiliating one way or another.
It’s impossible to pin point the moment when the American Pie apple pie fucking and There’s Something About Mary sperm as hair gel moments became unbearable for me. I did love those movies when I was younger but now, as I look back, I feel as if they are horrible with their take on characters. Nowadays, with the addition of The Hangover and Bridesmaids, and all those even more horrible Adam Sandler movies that don’t seem to have an end to them, the comedies are trying to drag out laughs by putting their characters through some outrageous and foremost humiliating situations. And to my disbelief, a lot of people seem to like that sort of thing!
For me those scenes, like puke-angels in Pitch Perfect and taking a dump in the middle of the street in Bridesmaids, not to mention the naked wrestling scene in Borat, affect me negatively and make me want to cringe with horror. Not because I can’t handle them per say, for instance, I have watched Jackass without closing my eyes, but I don’t seem to laugh at the scene that’s sole purpose is to make fun at other people’s misery. Not to mention, those people don’t seem to be as humiliated by the situation as one might think. When they don’t feel bad and others accept it as funny, where’s the limit of taking a joke too far? And that is only the physical downside of comedies, I haven’t even mentioned the awfulness of verbal jokes that are, let’s be honest, mostly driven by sex, alcohol, bodily liquids and endless curse words that make fuck look like an innocent kid.
The verbal humiliation is centrally coming down to the fact that I don’t see it as realistic, I doubt that the final romantic speech in Bachelorette that has a sentence “I put my penis.. into her vagina.. and then took it out and put it back in” is something that a person would say. And his character was fairly normal throughout the movie which is the opposite to most of Zach Galifianakis’ characters. When one plays a character who is an idiot, then those things are in terms of context logical, but putting such words into the mouth of a normal guy is humiliating. In addition to that, the cursing is becoming somewhat annoying for my taste, with the latest American Pie movie Reunion, I had no desire to laugh at Stifler’s jokes. And I’m the kind of girl who swears! Honestly, I have nothing against it in general but I just can’t seem to value the comedic side of extensive cursing.
Needless to say, this humiliation humor is often being used in reality TV as well, but ever since I can remember, seeing people totally incapable of singing and making a fool out of themselves, or drunk Snookie trying to find the beach while running around on the sand, has not been funny to me. It might be the stupidity of it all, the lack of intelligence which, instead of getting a few laughs out of me, makes me angry instead. Yes, I can strongly say that stupid people annoy the hell out of me, and now it seems that everything is about taking a character or a real person and putting them into a humiliating situation, downgrading their intelligence and giving them words that normal people would not say, even if they are socially inadequate like Bridget Jones.
There’s also a third side to the story and that will focus more on the fact how characters are now shown in these popular comedies. Plus, my inner need to connect with characters is something that I have not been able to do with fictional comedic roles for years, which is not pleasant. But more about it in part 2, which will focus on the fact how characters, especially women, are represented in comedies because in most parts they are presented way over the line.