Appreciative Thoughts: Article Five - The Comedy
Most people have a different sense of humor. Some people find Woody Allen movies really funny, some like Mel Brooks. I personally thought the Jackass movies were hilarious, and yet some found them difficult to even listen to from the other room. Sorry Mom.
I watched This is the End for the first time over the weekend. After it was over I was so anxious for my two big brothers to see it that instead of cheaping out and renting it again on Redbox, I did the unspeakable and purchased the full-price DVD in hopes that we could all sit down and watch it together.
All of this got me to thinking about how rare it is to find people in this world that truly share your sense of humor. I think that this, above any other character trait, is what can truly connect individuals. Who cares what your religion, your economic status, your gender, your political viewpoint, if you find Zach Galifianakis being called “Fat Jesus” comical you are bound together for life.
My brothers and I share the same sense of humor; a sense not shared by everyone. I first realized this when I was a kid, and we watched the Eddie Murphy version of The Nutty Professor together with my future sister-in-law. The Klumps “discussion” at the dinner table forced me to fall off the couch in a full-blown asthma attack as all of us siblings could not catch our breath. I’m surprised that my sister-in-law still became my sister-in-law following the viewing of that film. She looked at us as though we had all lost our minds. Though she thought it was funny, she did not find it to be as side-splitting as the rest of us.
There is something magical in seeing a film like that with people who have your same sense of humor. It elevates the hilarity of the moment to a revelatory level. Everything is a whole lot funnier when you are all laughing together. It’s contagious and it’s memorable.
By extension, my cousins and I also share these moments. There have been family meals where our entire conversation is the quoting of dialogue from a familiar comedy. Liquids have been expelled through noses much to the dismay of my poor aunts who rarely have any idea what we are talking about. It’s a touching sight.
Why do I think that this is the proverbial tie that binds? Well, that is simple. Laughter is the best medicine. Every person in the world has gone through hard times…especially in the last few years. We’ve all gotten angry, we’ve all shed tears, we’ve all been to the psychiatrist. While all of those things are necessary and valuable at times, they aren’t instances that we want to remember. A good, breath-taking chuckle, on the other hand, is something to be recalled as often as possible.
I can argue that comedy is what made the movies so popular. Of course they began as an amazing spectacle, and they still are, but there is something more to be said for a couple rolls of celluloid rolling onto a blank screen that can cause a collective peal of giggles. Folks from all walks of life can watch the same characters amble across the screen or say something silly, and roar. It’s the great equalizer, in my opinion.
This is the End
Getting back to This is the End, I didn’t have real high expectations for the movie. I don’t go by reviews or anything like that, but even with my undying admiration for films the truly great ones are few and far between so I find them easier to love when I have no preconceived notions as to whether they will be good or not. This one took me by surprise. I watched it by myself with can be a killer for funny movies. Even though all of the actors in it are favorites of mine, I was skeptical about the fact that they were playing themselves and that the film had something to do with zombies or the apocalypse or whatever is really popular in science fiction these days. I was astonished when in the first few scenes, I was already chuckling out loud to the point of snorting. Actually, I was glad to be watching it alone because it would have been embarrassing.
Just as I don’t read reviews, I don’t write them either. I’m not picky enough. Even when movies aren’t that fantastic, I still find elements that are worthwhile. That being said, I’m not going to write a dissertation involving the script, plot, character development, or mise-en-scene of the film. I’m not even going to tell you that much about it. I don’t want to ruin it for you. Suffice it to say that these guys looked like they were having a good time making the picture, and that always does it for me. When you think that the actors where laughing and carrying on during the production, it makes the comedy tangible and genuine. It’s like those Saturday Night Live skits when the actors laugh when they aren’t suppose to. It’s as if you are getting a glimpse into a personal moment for these people, not just their characters.
Do they take it a little too far? Maybe. I wouldn’t watch this movie with your parents or recommend it for your grandma (even though they would probably laugh at it, too; they just wouldn’t admit it to you). So many movies take things a little too far. Unfortunately, that has to be done to get people’s attention these days. There’s not much left to shock us anymore, and yet filmmakers still find a way to do it. Don’t get me wrong, I laugh at the shocking parts, too, but the funniest moments are the simple ones that everyone can relate to. Those are the ones that transcend time. Just as Charlie Chaplin making his dinner rolls dance is still hilarious, I think that the guys from This is the End fighting over a Milky Way will still be just as comical a hundred years from now.
There will be many of you who don’t agree with me, and that’s okay. Not everyone is going to find the same things humorous. You may even be the one person in this world who doesn’t like movies at all. Well, Holden Caulfield, thankfully there seems to be something for everyone. The point is to laugh, laugh often, and laugh with the people you care about. If everyone held this concept as a top priority, the world would be a much happier place.