“A comedian does funny things. A good comedian does things funny.”
– Buster Keaton
Comedy, by definition, is the genre that includes humorous situations with the purpose to entertain people and generate laughter.
Without being too technical, and without getting too deep into the roots of comedy and how it was born, we can say that a good comedy movie should make us laugh.
We’ve seen a lot of great comedies throughout time, including “Wayne’s World” (1992), “There’s Something About Mary” (1998), “Groundhog Day” (1993), “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” (1963), “Some Like It Hot” (1959), and “City Lights” (1931), just to name a few.
But what about the movies that are classified as “comedy” but don’t generate any kind of laughter? Every one of us can mention at least 10 films we don’t like, but maybe we won’t agree at all, because no matter what, everything is a matter of perspective.
I’m sure that everyone will agree with this list of 10 films that shouldn’t be classified as comedy.
10. A Night at the Roxbury (1998)
“A Night at the Roxbury” is a movie based on the famous sketch of the Butabi brothers from “Saturday Night Live”. The sketch was so funny that they decided to make a movie out of it. The initial sequence starts just as the sketch does, and makes us expect a lot of fun, but it never happens. It’s a one-joke movie, and the only funny element is the head movement while we listen to “What is Love”.
The film has some good elements, but they are not well exploited. The premise is not too bad because it’s different, unlike other movies. In “A Night at the Roxbury”, the stupidity of the brothers is not a snowball of bad things, the characters succeed in what they are looking for (they get their inside-out club) and it has Chazz Palminteri obsessed with ass grabbing. The movie could be funny, but it only gives us a good laugh in the first minutes.
The brothers are funny in small doses; however, watching them for 83 minutes not only ruins the sketch, but actually make you feel kind of sorry for the brothers.
Will Ferrell has a long list of bad movies and Chris Kattan, well, he’s funny and his work on SNL is fantastic, but his participation in the movie is not great.
Why is it so bad? Extending a four minute sketch worked wonderfully for “Wayne’s World” (1992), but that doesn’t mean the same formula will work with every successful sketch.
9. The Hangover Part III (2013)
“The Hangover” had great success because nobody expected to watch a group of friends doing crazy things under the influence of drugs. The whole “what happened yesterday?” idea was well treated; the second part is just a replica of the first, but is still funny. It’s not the best, but at least is not as bad as the third film.
Director Todd Phillips and writer Craig Mazin tried to explode Alan and Chow (the funniest characters of the original story), and what they got were overacted performances and actors trying to squeeze out the funny elements of the characters.
The movie shows that its creators don’t know where to take their characters besides a bachelor party. The Wolfpack trio deals with stressful situations that include breaking into a mansion, traveling to Tijuana, and going back to Vegas (as an intent of the director to say goodbye). At the end of the movie, after the credits, Phillips and Mazin reinforce this idea when they show us the result of the wedding party; this part is the only one that is actually funny.
The result is an unnecessary sequel and a terrible way to say goodbye to some of the most beloved characters for comedy audiences.
Why is it so bad? We have unfunny characters in an unfunny situation saying and doing unfunny things.
8. The Big Momma’s House saga (2000, 2006, 2011)
The movie has a very common argument: an FBI agent and master of disguise fools everybody by dressing as Big Momma, and when everything ends, everyone is happy.
It’s almost ridiculous to think that the neighbors who see Big Momma every day, her own granddaughter, and his sort of boyfriend don’t note the difference in the size, the voice, the eyes and the things the fake Big Momma does, like playing basketball and doing karate.
The film is funny in some parts, and you can totally laugh by watching fake Big Momma trying to deliver a neighbor’s baby, but it looks like someone thought that having a man dressed as a fat granny would be funny by itself, and it turns out that it’s not. We’ve seen better movies where men are dressed as women, like “Mrs. Doubtfire” (1993) and “Some Like It Hot” (1959).
These movies succeeded not only for the transvestism, but the actors and the gags are not forced; they are both well directed and know exactly what the plot is about. “Big Momma’s House” gets lost between the original story and the predictable compelled romantic relationship between Malcolm and Sherry.
It wasn’t enough to make a really bad movie, but “Big Momma’s House” actually has a second and a third part, and even if it sounds unbelievable, they are worse than the first film.
Why are they so bad? The movies try really hard to be funny, but the plot feels unnatural and they are poorly written and directed.
7. Scary Movie 3, 4 and 5 (2003, 2006, 2015)
There are so many Scary Movies that it’s difficult to remember the differences between them. We’ve already talked about spoof movies, but the Scary Movie franchise is not as bad as the others we mentioned before, because at least David Zucker (the director of the last 3 films) tries to tell a story. Whether he succeeds or not depends on our sense of humor, but we can’t say that he doesn’t try.
David Zucker is a director who brought to the world two of the funniest movies of all time: “Airplane!” (1980) and “The Naked Gun” (1988). After some years working with the “Naked Gun” sequels, he started the Scary Movies. No matter how hard he tried, movie after movie, they stopped being funny. “Scary Movie 3” has some really funny moments, and “Scary Movie 4” has a few moments of giggling, and then there’s “Scary Movie 5”, where we are waiting for the parts where we are supposed to laugh.
What are they so bad? We’ve seen too much of the same; the first parodies were good because they were something new, but lately, directors have been trying too hard to make these kinds of films funny that they just stop working.
6. Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005)
“Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” is the second part of “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo”, and as usual, sequels ruin the original stories. The first movie isn’t the best, but at least it makes you laugh, something that doesn’t happen with “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo”.
What happens in the movie is basically the same of the first film, but in Europe, as it doesn’t have any original situation. The girls that hire his services always have some kind of problem, like the one who can’t stop saying bad words in the first part, but in the sequel, those problems are exaggerated. The girl with the penis as a nose that ejaculates when she sneezes is simply over the top.
The movie is uncomfortable and hard to watch. Rob Schneider is unfunny, and he has starred in some average comedies, but this is by far one of the worst he’s done.
Why is it so bad? The speech is totally wasted, the plot is forced, the jokes are not good, it is poorly written, and poorly directed. No wonder they never made another movie.