Mikkel Høgh

Coding the web since 1999

08 Jun 2013

American comedy movies – idiocy distilled

A concept that periodically fills me with dread, wonder and frustration is American comedy movies, or perhaps just a certain subgenre of it, depending on where you draw the line.

You probably know the kind of movie I’m talking about, where the protagonist, usually a male white anglo-saxon protestant, usually around 30 years of age, is trying to woo his potential or keep his current girlfriend. And the supposedly funny part is where at crucial plot points, he act in the most idiotic ways to his target’s obvious frustration.

It goes through several iterations of this, each time making the girlfriend less likely to like the protagonist. However, he always manages to turn it around, so he gets the girl and we have a happy ending.

Main plot device: stupidity

I recently tried to watch the movie Ted, but I had to give up halfway. At the point where the protagonist is going to leave his girlfriend at a party at her boss' place, to go over to his friends apartment to meet a celebrity.

At this point, the girlfriend is already angry with him. He knows this. He also knows that the boss is stalking/harrassing his girlfriend. And yet, he still leaves1. And “hilarity” ensues.

Tremendously frustrating

I know that there probably are people this dense and insensitive in existence, and I feel sorry for them. But how is this funny? Why is this enjoyable to watch?

I’d have forgiven the toilet humour and the cannabis smoking teddy bear, but I cannot tolerate these annoying bouts of idiocy. I can’t bear to watch it. It makes me want to shake the screen and scream at the sheer retardedness of the progagonists' actions.

Although I’m 29 years old now, I have always loathed this kind of movies. They are a dime a dozen, with seveal new ones coming out each year for as long as I can remember.

So, some people must be enjoying these movies so much that they keep paying to see them. Because otherwise, Hollywood wouldn’t keep making them. So what’s going on here. Why enjoys this rubbish?

  1. I didn’t actually watch the rest of the movie, but I read the plot synopsis on IMDB. ↩︎