After reading Keith’s interesting post about comedies at “Keith and the Movies” http://keithandthemovies.com/2013/10/22/your-voices-on-the-state-of-the-comedy-genre/
I have thought about comedies for days. How to define them, how they aren’t so hot today. What makes a good comedy depends on the type. Everyone has differing tastes. Here’s a few of mine and would be interested in knowing yours.
Classic era comedies use fast-pitched clever dialogues with plenty of pun and silly situations that make you smile and feel good. Cary Grant’s repertoire like The Philadelphia Story (1940) shows off his sardonic charm. Silent films used amazing choreography and slapstick lunacy to make you laugh. The tricks actors performed were real which created a lot of respect for me. Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin were masters.
Because of censorship, I can’t think of any comedies from the early years in film that were lewd or crude or indecent. Here’s a great scene by Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last, 1923.
Anything Monty Python is fine by me. “Needn’t say more, needn’t say more!” Their voices, their poke at British history, their crazy antics always make me laugh. How do you know a witch is a witch?
I adore Gene Wilder. He’s my favorite comedian and his portrayal in Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein is priceless. Sexual innuendos pushed the envelope back in the 70s.
I appreciate irony and wit and throw in some horror and combine it with laughs–what a great combination. Nothing beats American Werewolf in London. (The following clip has some swearing). It’s the 80s–the envelope is pushed farther….
Now it seems like there is no envelope left to push. There’s an elegance in inference–just ask Oscar Wilde. There’s a host of romantic comedies out there and SNL gave birth to two generations of comedians who branched out and made their own films. Also, there’s Seth Rogen, et al, who love to shock and find themselves into absurd situations. Pineapple Express made me laugh out loud, and I can cite 20 great scenes from different comedies (Jim Carrey going backwards in a tutu in Ace Ventura Pet Detective) that were hilarious, but when talking about a film as a whole composition, I find today’s comedies lacking in intelligence and wit. It seems profanity and gratuitous sex reigns supreme. Maybe I’m just getting old. The most recent comedy that made me laugh out loud, despite being lewd and crude and politically incorrect was Tropic Thunder.
But enough of me! What are your favorite comedies?