Friday, October 03, 2008

My challenge to the makers of nasty comedies

1972's "What's Up, Doc?"--not a nasty comedy

Yes, you, Judd Apatow and all the other film makers of your ilk. Here's my challenge:

Make a comedy--just ONE comedy--that doesn't rely on vulgarity, sex, and profane language to get a laugh. Think you could do that?

Hmmm...I'm hearing crickets. Not only are Judd and the others not listening, but even if they were, there's zero chance they would ever take anyone up on that challenge. I honestly don't think there's any way they could make an entire movie like that, and furthermore, I don't think they would want to.

What brought all this up?

Well, several days ago the 1972 movie, "What's Up, Doc?" aired on cable. I taped it for later viewing with my 21-year-old daughter, who had never seen it.

Now, I don't think I had seen the movie since the seventies, so I was curious as to how it would hold up. Actually, it holds up VERY well. The humor is still fresh and clever, the actors truly fun to watch, the dialogue snappy, the slapstick really funny (and I'm not usually a big fan of slapstick, but this is done very well).

The bottom line, it makes you laugh...and without resorting to filth.

After we watched it, my daughter bemoaned the fact that there are so few movies like that anymore. Even the milder, less offensive ones tend to fall back on sexual situations and bad language. What happened to good, clean, classy, LAUGH OUT LOUD comedies?

Watch "What's Up, Doc?" and tell me if you miss the degrading, cesspool humor. Tell me if you thought, "Drat it, I sure could have used a way-too-much information sex scene or a million F-words. It would have made the movie SO much funnier..."

Am I the only one who feels this way? If you're with me on this, movie-maker Kevin Smith thinks you and I are in the minority. Smith recently said: "[Profanity] turns some people off, but that's how mostly everybody I know speaks. It's kind of strange. Whenever somebody goes, 'That offends me,' I'm like, wow, what kind of weird, opposite, bizarro frame of mind do you live in? Cursing is just so second nature, you don't even think of it as cursing anymore. It's just your lexicon."

Smith, by the way, is the producer of an upcoming new movie about two friends who kill some time by making a porn movie.

So, any suggestions?

Got any recommendations for movies that are funny AND relatively clean? Even if they're old ones, let me know in my comments section!


Smilingsal said...

You be the leader, and I'll follow. I have no idea how to stop Hollywood other than to stop going to the movies and to stop viewing the TV programs. Unfortunately, I don't want to go that far.
Mind you, I already refuse to go to R-rated films, but goodness! the PG-13s shock me!

gordonnancylarson said...

Does "Princess Bride" count as a comedy? I love the dialog in that movie. There is one place towards the end of the movie where a character calls the villian "son of ......" Other than that, I think there is no profanity or questionable activity.

Kay Day said...

I love comedies and I miss them. I hardly ever see them anymore because of all the junk.

I loved O Brother Where Art Thou, even though it had a lot of language. I would have loved it more without it. It didn't add to the humor.

I just watched Arsenic and Old Lace the other day and laughed out loud. I love Cary Grant! I can't think of any more right now...

Ann-Marie said...

You know? I couldn't think of one! Wow - what does that say?

Randy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy said...

"O Brother" is one of the finest comedies ever in my estimation. However, it didn't need all the bad language to prove your point.

I'm going to throw a caveat in here. First off, I love movies. But, really, do we "really" need them? No, I'm not giving them up, just a thought.

I watched Ironman and found it rather encouraging. Robert Downey Jr. and Gwenyth Paltrow were superb. I think I only heard one curse word in the entire thing.

You know, come to think of it, I've never walked out of a theatre and said, "Hmm, I don't think they used enough "f" words in the movie!"

Be well.

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