As part of my ongoing research into the science of terrible comedies, I have developed a highly subjective, but very specific scale on which to rank terrible comedy trailers. Inspired by the Discovery Channel's murderer countdown show, Most Evil, the scale is called Most Awful and it ranges from 1 (least awful) to 19 (most awful).
In today's Most Awful installment, I will rank the much lighter-looking re-make of a dark comedy, The Heartbreak Kid. The trailer, and it's placement on the Most Awful Scale are below.
The Heartbreak Kid
Most Awful Ranking: 12, Comedies Whose Humor Relies On A Combination Of Pratfalls, Slapstick, Funny Makeup, Desperate Gags (Some Involving Animals), And A Coasting Ben Stiller
How well does The Heartbreak Kid fit the criteria for a number 12 rank on the Most Awful scale? Well, it stars Ben Stiller, and three of the main gags in the trailer are a cartoonish sunburn, a woman riding a bike directly into a post, and Stiller accidentally nuzzling a rat instead of a pet (a gag lifted from, um, Adventures In Babysitting). Add to all that the fact that the final scene in the trailer–Stiller angrily da-da-da-ing at the Mariachi band–is such a caricature of Ben Stiller it could have been performed by a cardboard cut-out of him that has been outfitted with a recorded voicebox, and no one would be able to tell the difference, and the movie more than lives up to its Most Awful ranking.
Other Comedies With This Ranking: A Night At The Museum, Along Came Polly, Meet The Parents (Meet The Fockers, however, is much higher on the Most Awful scale. That film is ranked at level 15, Sequels To Unfunny Comedies That Might Tear A Hole In The Universe Because They Insist On Existing When There Is No Place For More Of That Kind Of Unfunniess In The World.)