Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Funny ha-ha and Funny non-ha-ha

Hey you guys, I don't know if anyone has been following this or not but there's been a good deal of press as of late about the increasing number of movies not screened for critics. There was also a bit of a brouhaha over publicists "accidentally" inviting an Orlando-Sentinel critic named Roger Moore to a preview screening of "The Benchwarmers". After Moore filed a negative one-star review of the film that was picked up by a wire service Sony reportedly tried to stop the review, claiming it was "unauthorized" and that Moore had somehow sneaked into the film under false pretenses. That doesn't particularly interest me. What interests me is that in a piece about the movie and Sony's reaction to his review Moore quite rightly calls the movie "a dog". He then goes on to say that it boasts, "Nine-12 laughs, maybe". This was the part that blew me away. I don't know about you guys but it's not at all rare for me to sit through an entire comedy without laughing once (I'm talking bout you, Grandma's Boy and Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector). Hell, I'd say about forty percent of the comedies I see make me chuckle at most once or twice. So for me an eighty-minute lowbrow comedy that aspires to do nothing more than eke out a few guilty chuckles and makes me laugh out loud nine to twelve times constitutes a gut-busting triumph, not a dog. For the record I didn't laugh at all during "Benchwarmers" and I'd still give it a higer star rating than Moore did. Granted, laughter isn't always the best indicator of a comedy's quality. I laughed out loud repeatedly during Da Ali G movie and didn't consider it good or successful by any stretch of the imagination. Alternately I very much liked "Stuck On You" though I can't say I laughed more than a few times during it. How bout you guys? Am I an utter anomaly or are there other folks out there who regularly see comedies that don't make them chuckle even once? Alternately, does anyone else want to throw out examples of good comedies that aren't particularly chuckle-inducing or bad comedies that made them bust a gut repeatedly? Should comedies be judged by how often they make people laugh or are there more important, less tangible variables to consider? Discuss.

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