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Why on earth does Hollywood make such awful comedy movies? UPDATED2- Page 1

Bronxdan
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Recently we purchased a smart TV thinking we were going to get access to a lot of new movies. Boy, were we disappointed.  One stinker comedy movie after the next, with stars.  Ever see "The Weatherman," starring Nicholas Cage?  Want to see a movie about a mope, walking through life, complaining?  No plot, no surprises, nothing at all to interest anyone.  Then we ran across Steve Martin in "Novacaine."  Boring!  A loser dentist has sex with a patient in the dentist chair, after she flirts with him?  Junk.  And "Poms?" and "The Grand?"

Why on earth do stars risk their careers on obvious garbage movies?  Are they broke?  Do they need the money that bad?  Doesn't anyone in Hollywood read the script before committing to a project?  They can't blame the critics for the junk they produce.  Who is responsible for killing the Hollywood comedy movie industry?  Actually, I don't even want to see any movie with Adam Sandler, Will Farrell or Eddy Murphy.  

UPDATE:  Since no one has attempted a serious explanation of the issue at hand, I will attempt to answer the question, from the business point of view.  First off, after viewing at least 100 foreign “comedy” films, the European “comedy” film industry is in worse straits than the U.S.  Their films are barely watchable and incompetent.  

Now for the USA:  It is my belief that there are just 5 hugely talented comedy major project authors in the USA, so talented that they never produce a bomb and are extremely prolific.  Of the 5, none work in Hollywood, and none have the fame required for a Hollywood movie.  They are basically playwrights and novelists.  Hollywood did have a genuine comedy film writer in Harold Ramis, who wrote a number of comedy films, and never a bomb.  But he passed away awhile ago.  My sister told me there was another guy who wrote "Home alone." Apparently he also passed away.

Getting back to Hollywood.  The only choice for business people at the top is to use the criteria of fame for any attempt at comedy.  You take a famous or “hot” standup, or sketch comedian, or anyone who has a current large fan base.  You calculate the potential earnings based upon the fan base, and you invest accordingly.  That is why comedy films are notoriously low budget.  As for the script:  Since there are no talented comedy film writers in Hollywood at the level of a Harold Ramis, you inquire to the representatives of the star if they have a writer who can write a film for the star.  The answer will always be yes, the same people who write their sketch or standup material.  Of course, this is a huge gamble, since you are dealing with amateurish comedy film writers.  But you still could hit it in the marketplace based upon the fan base of the star.  And the writer could get lucky, once or rarely, twice.  The catch is that these lower level comedy people will ultimately reveal their comedy film incompetence over a series of movies. It is a hit or miss proposition, more misses than hits.  The glaring example of this is Adam Sandler, the grossout King. Film one gross stunt after the other, string them together, and call it a movie.  The result? - at least 8 atrocious flops.  And that is the reality of the comedy film business in Hollywood.  And of course, Hollywood execs will always shift the blame for their errors by promoting the falsehood, “Comedy doesn’t sell.”  To that I say,"Did Woody Harrelson in the Kingpin sell, or Ghostbusters, or "Home Alone", 476 Million?"

The major question is, “Why doesn’t Hollywood aggressively seek out the 5 highly talented comedy major project writers in the USA for scripts?”  The answer is that the business is so invested in fame, so entrenched in fame that no non-famous person ever gets a chance.  Keep in mind that studio heads are not creative business thinkers - far from it.  It is the same for actors.  I have personally seen several stage actors who do have the talent of a Jack Lemmon.  But they are not famous and would never get an opportunity for a major role in film.  I saw one years ago named Ken Karp, fabulously talented, and could command the stage.  Ken is much older today, too old for film, I’m sure.    

NOTE:  I know people are going to point to Judd Apatow.  However, he has produced a number movies that flopped at the box office.  I researched that point.

  

Updated On: 2/26/20 at 01:06 PM
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Call_me_jorge
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The last comedy film I saw in the theatre and I thoroughly enjoyed was Game Night.
UncleCharlie
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Wow. I don't think I had any idea Nicolas Cage was making crappy, straight to video movies. Was going to watch this tonight and now I feel like I really dodged a bullet. Thanks for this.

Updated On: 2/12/20 at 03:43 PM
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hork
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I clicked on this thread expecting complaints about Like a Boss or Sonic the Hedgehog. Didn't expect the example of bad Hollywood comedies to be, of all things, The Weather Man, which came out 15 years ago and is actually a very good movie (and is more of a dramedy).

Updated On: 2/12/20 at 03:54 PM
Bronxdan
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Are you kidding?  Weatherman a good movie?  They made it for 22 mil and it made 19 mil, a box office loser.  People rejected it as they should.
Here are two excellent comedy movies made by people with actual talent, not fakers.  "Kingpin" the R rated version, one of the funniest and best written comedies ever made, starring Woody Harrelson - AND, "The Big Lebowski" funny as hell.

 

Updated On: 2/12/20 at 06:20 PM
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There are plenty of good comedies out there. Booksmart came out in 2019 and was one of my favorite comedies of the decade.

Bronxdan
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I wish that was the case, but it isn't.  We have a smart TV, and we have done extensive searching for comedies on Tubi, ImDb, Pluto, Filmrise, and others.  Normally, in the comedy category there are 25 duds for every watchable movie.  We did find one called "Chef" about a guy who gets fired from his job and starts a food truck business.  It was not great.  But at least it had an idea behind it.  Of course there are old comedies like "Throw Mama from the Train"  which are excellent.  But this to me is solid evidence that Hollywood today doesn't have the consistent talent to make comedy films like the old days.  Or some other problem.  Who knows?  

UncleCharlie
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Double check as you may not actually have a smart TV cause if it was a smart TV, it would be smart enough to show you really good comedies. I guess smart TV today isn't nearly as smart as it was 25 years ago. I love your description of "Chef" by the way, one of the most brilliant movies of the past decade. You really captured its essence.

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Shockingly, people can have different opinions. I loved The Weatherman even though it's old. It's odd you are talking about a movie like it just came out or something. Also, not a comedy.

Tons of wonderful comedies from 2018 and 2019 available, perhaps doing research would help. 

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Why on earth does Hollywood make such awful comedy movies?

Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
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A lot of the Hollywood comedies are really, really bad. I do echo that Booksmart is great. I also really enjoyed Late Night. Also, JoJo Rabbit, while more of a dramedy, is pretty great as is Toy Story 4.
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Miles2Go2 said: "A lot of the Hollywood comedies are really, really bad. I do echo that Booksmart is great. I also really enjoyed Late Night. Also, JoJo Rabbit, while more of a dramedy, is pretty great as is Toy Story 4."

Yep, Booksmart and Jojo Rabbit are A+ examples. Game Night as well was really strong. If you enjoy Dark comedies as well, The Art of Self Defense is another fantastic one. Ready or Not is a fantastic horror comedy as well. Highly highly recommend all these! 

Bronxdan
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Actually we have the Amazon fire cube, which is pretty cool.  It gets everything.  Right now we are focusing on all the content on the free apps like Tubi, Pluto, IMdb, and others.  Sure, if we wanted to spend a fortune, we could begin paying for content from Netflix, HBO, and many others. 

Bronxdan
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You mean movies like Poms, or bombs from Will Farrell or Eddy Murphy?  And for your info Weatherman flopped big time at the box office.  What dreary movie.  A  film is supposed to have plot with twists and turns and surprises, and characters who take on a challenge and change themselves and their predicament, not people who mope through the entire movie.  Check out Kingpin the R rated version and you will learn.  It is hilarious, educational.  See how the Woody Harrelson character struggles mightily against all odds and wins in the end.  That is movie making. The jokes and the dialog are wild, inventive, daring, and just knee-slapping funny. 

Updated On: 2/13/20 at 10:22 AM
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Sooooooo are you just gonna keep complaining or take our suggestions? 

Bronxdan
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I was trying to get insight into Hollywood.  What is it about this industry that causes failure in this one area?  No one yet has offered an answer.  It could be that the industry is so isolated and closed off to talented new people that it is akin to marrying your cousin.  I know one thing.  I can find talented actors, writers on the internet.  And I have personally seen hugely talented comedy actors on stage, but somehow they never got the opportunity in a film.  I will check out this movie, "Bookstore."   The real question is why people invest huge money into loser ideas that anyone can read and reject easily.  Then you go on the internet and see stuff and say to yourself, "Geez, why haven't they made a movie of this idea?  It's hilarious."  

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We've offered answers by offering movie suggestions that go against your idea that Hollywood makes awful comedies. Id take a look at a lot of them. 

Although ultimately, not a slight against you or anyone, but comedy is subjective. Its always been a very subjective thing so what people find "funny" generally appeals to a specific person. Check those out and see what ya think! With budgets, producers interfering, short filming schedules, deadlines, etc, there are lots of reasons why films don't always fulfill their potential. 

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Miles2Go2
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It’s “Booksmart”, not “Bookstore.”

The reason Hollywood produces these comedies is because they sell lots of tickets and they often times turn a profit. No one has ever gone broke underestimating the average intelligence of the moviegoing audience. Most people when they go to the movies just want dumb, escapist fun to forget about their problems for a couple hours. I find those movies pretty depressing most of the time, but I get it to a degree. I like The Rock but he has yet to be in a really good movie. If he is in a movie, I know I can skip it. That includes his comedies and action films. It says something that his best work was on HBO’s Ballers. It had character development and some good writing; all elements missing from his movie work.
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Now I'm sure this is a bit.

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Bronxdan's reviews are like dispatches from a time machine.

Let me paraphrase:

I'm looking for free content and I will bitch about it despite the old adage that you get what you pay for. When I bitch about it, I will add no context, such as year film was made. I will just make a generalization about the lack of artistic success "Hollywood" has in one specific genre based on old films I'm watching for some reason.Also, if a film does bad at the box office, like The Weatherman, that PROVES it is an artistic failure.  Now DO let me go on... Here's one called The Day The Clown Cried and it is not funny at ALLLLLLLL.

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UncleCharlie
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Bookcase... very underrated movie.
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"Bookstore" sounds fun if its a parody like Superstore is. 

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The last movie I expected someone to complain about in this thread was The Weather Man. Brilliant movie. Not a comedy. Supremely underrated with a career best performance from Cage.
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The last movie I expected someone to complain about in this thread was The Weather Man. Brilliant movie. Not a comedy. Supremely underrated with a career best performance from Cage.
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The last movie I expected someone to complain about in this thread was The Weather Man. Brilliant movie. Not a comedy. Supremely underrated with a career best performance from Cage.