How many comedies get churned out a year? Maybe 25 or more? Have you noticed you may only find one of them funny, if that many? I think I speak for most of us when I say that laughing is a great feeling and we enjoy doing it, but these comedies aren’t exactly what they used to be are they? It’s become a rehash of the same few comedians same shtick with a different title every time and they either bore us to death or have us stop showing up entirely, and that’s where I’m at, but I have a solution. It’s nothing crazy and it’s something great films tend to do without even knowing it
Fuse comedy with other genres.
You see it all the time and you’ve seen it since films were born in the 20’s, but instead, we get straight up comedies that lose themselves in their own ridiculous cliches. Yes, like horror movies, comedies can be made cheaply and make studios money, but they still suck. Putting comedy in a different genre setting I have found is the best way to create gut busting laughs. Counter program the humor with drama or an exaggerated setting like a western or science fiction film and I bet your jokes will standout.
At least for me, I’ve laughed hardest in films that have told great stories while making sure we laugh in the process. Take a great comedy like The 40 Year Old Virgin, of course it’s a comedy by trade, but we don’t forget the sheer emotions conveyed through Andy and Trish’s relationship. Comedy can be given more weight when it’s not the core focus of a film. While there are great comedies that are just laugh out loud fun, I have to believe your favorite comedy likely boasts a story that keeps you gripped as much as the jokes. Weird examples of this are Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, or anything Marvel has done in the past ten years. The lines hit hard because they add to scenes that already have us hooked to the central story, but now comedies are unoriginal premises that the audience can decipher by the trailers before ever seeing the movie and audiences are growing wise to it.
That’s all I think film makers have to do, come up a blueprint for a story that would interest movie goers enough to see, but just throw in some perfectly timed laughs. Trainwreck was 2015’s prime example of a great comedy. Not only was the film refreshingly original, but it presented a topical (though crude) story that had us cracking up and equally as gripped to well written characters and gags that weren’t pure caricatures of themselves. Substance over style tends to always win out and comedies need to realize that soon.