Do Comedies Even Exist?
I don't think I've ever seen a comedy film.
Obviously, I have. But in a way… I haven’t. I’ll keep this short, but let’s think about it:
Comedies are supposed to, in theory, make you laugh.
Comedies help you kick off your shoes of stress and sit back to laugh at the world around us. It makes us feel lighter & better about ourselves.
But herein lies the issue: The things that we laugh about, laugh at, tend to be political.
It’s a bit of a bummer to realize this because it strips the potency from most comedies.
For example: I revisited Ace Ventura: Pet Detective recently.
This is a film I remember loving as a child… I would quote it all the time.
But now, seeing it again almost 20 years later… That movie is so flawed I’m embarrassed to have been associated with it lol. I can’t just “let loose” and make fun of women & minorities, for example, just because this movie says I should.
Likewise, another film that’s just as problematic is Scary Movie. Although released 6 years later, this spoof is just as bad as Ace Ventura, if not worse. And both were huge blockbusters.
The problem isn’t at the dimension of craft: The punchlines technically deliver, the cinematography is fitting for the genre, the actors are fantastic.
The problem is at the level of ideology: What we are supposed to be laughing at.
I’m no longer okay with laughing at women, homosexuals, minorities, or oppressed groups. Maybe when I was a dumb kid growing up on the streets of Miami. But not anymore.
A curious game to play while watching one of these dumb Hollywood comedies: Note all the types of people we’re supposed to be laughing at… Then note who is not being made fun of.
This is the political statement, whether conscious or not.