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Worst Comedies of All Time?

 
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 9:12 am    Post subject: Worst Comedies of All Time? Reply with quote

Those so-called comedies that are so crushingly unfunny, you just can't fathom why they were released to an unsuspecting public:

Meet the Parents
Illegally Yours
Her Alibi
Checking Out
Mixed Nuts
Ladybugs
Cannonball Run 2
Deal of the Century
Pure Luck
Second Sight
Ready to Wear
Norbit
Clifford
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Bio-Dome
Larger Than Life
Modern Problems
The Road to Wellville
Toys
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CharlesTatum
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to add "8 Heads in a Duffel Bag" and "Meet the Spartans" to the list, thank you.
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet you stood up and cheered with my citing Altman's elephantinely-awful Ready to Wear!

Razz

Oh, wait; there's another terrible Altman I forgot to list:

O.C. & Stiggs
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aside from a couple of films I liked (Meet the Parents), it's a pretty accurate list, except for the now infamous Burt "I don't want to be in your movie 'Terms of Endearment', Mr. Brooks, because I have this classic already lined up" Reynolds in STROKER ACE!!

Sad
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Alex Paquin
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't "Bio-Dome" already well on its way to becoming a cult classic?

As for "Mixed Nuts", I thought it was regarded well enough to be dusted off every Christmas -- yep, the film made the lineup on one channel during the last holidays. Perhaps it's because of all those big names attached to the film. Or maybe the lesson here is that if you are intent on making a bad film, it will enjoy above-average longevity if it's seasonal.

By the way, is this pure coincidence that most of the films on your list are from the eighties or later? Yeah, I know what you're saying: any bad comedy made before that just disappeared within a few years, while this stuff still clutters up the dusty darker alleys of video stores across the country.
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting observation, Alex. I guess it's because the '80s was when I became a movie buff, though just from your post other candidates come to mind: 1975's "Freebie and the Bean" and 1984's "Crackers". As for "Bio-Dome", I've never heard or read anthing praising it; "The Big Lebowski", now that's a cult-classic comedy.
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UDM
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of older comedies, Myra Breckinridge is still a infamous dud.

Jerry Lewis has some pretty horrible ones. He wasn't always bad; his career up to and including The Nutty Professor is reasonably solid. But after that: Way Way Out; Hook, Line & Sinker; Which Way to the Front?; Hardly Working (dig up Ebert's hilarious review of that one)--movies from hell.


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Rob Gonsalves
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked Toys. It said some valuable things about how our culture programs boys to get ready for war via war toys. Course, Small Soldiers did it better a few years later.

Road to Wellville had its moments. So did Even Cowgirls. Those aren't your typical lowbrow stupid comedies; they're failures on a higher level, like Breakfast of Champions and The Bonfire of the Vanities, trying gamely to adapt some literary behemoth. They're made by artists trying for something ambitious, at the very least. The studios weren't hoping for Road to Wellville Happy Meal toys. I'd rather see any of the above again than, say, the Flintstones movie. Although Cowgirls got pretty insufferable as it went on.

That said, no list of worst comedies is complete without North. I'm not just saying that because Ebert hated, hated, hated, hated, hated it. I paid to see it in the theater. It remains one of the top ten worst films I have ever not walked out of.
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CharlesTatum
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UDM wrote:
Speaking of older comedies, Myra Breckinridge is still a infamous dud.

Jerry Lewis has some pretty horrible ones. He wasn't always bad; his career up to and including The Nutty Professor is reasonably solid. But after that: Way Way Out; Hook, Line & Sinker; Which Way to the Front?; Hardly Working (dig up Ebert's hilarious review of that one)--movies from hell.


UDM


I'll second "Which Way to the Front?", absolutely awful. For an even older travesty, see "Boom in the Moon," a 1940's Mexican nightmare with an aging Buster Keaton.
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bad films from the '80s survive because most of 'em hit video soon after their ignominious theatrical release (the studios wanted to try to make money on the shit somehow), an option not available for bad movies of previous decades.

Also, the video generation grew up on bad '80s movies and are now in a position to preserve them on DVD. Howard the Duck is on DVD now. Someone in some important position at Universal probably dug the flick as a kid.

And remember: however egregious and worthless we or most people think any given film is, it has its fans. And perceptions change, too. Ishtar is well on its way to being considered a misunderstood gem these days. I'm a huge 1941 fan. And so on. Beat the Devil died miserably on release; nobody got it at the time, but now it's viewed as an idiosyncratic classic.
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Because of your enthusiastic review of it, I do plan on giving 1941 another look-see. Have never been able to get all the way through it -- sorry, but it's so brain-poundingly bombastic practically all the time that it just wore the hell out of me.

2. I know what you're saying about ambitious comedies deserving more respect than by-the-numbers ones, but generally these are a lot harder to sit through being that they mostly avoid the formula cushions of their lesser-ambition counterparts so there's not a whole lot to fall back on. I mean, there's just no frigging way I'd ever inflict my eyes upon Louis Malle's Crackers and Altman's Ready to Wear again. I will admit, though, that even though Checking Out is godawful I guiltily enjoy it on the kind of level that you do Toys.
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Alex Paquin
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Jerry Lewis has some pretty horrible ones. He wasn't always bad; his career up to and including The Nutty Professor is reasonably solid. But after that: Way Way Out; Hook, Line & Sinker; Which Way to the Front?; Hardly Working (dig up Ebert's hilarious review of that one)--movies from hell.


Sorry to say, but there are some comedians I simply don't seem to get, for instance most actors who try to get laughs, and build a career, by playing the idiot: Lewis, Sandler, Carrey at his worst. Or Bob Denver, for that matter. Ditto for the mischievous runt type, exemplified by Jack Black.

Would you believe that Nacho Libre is one of the last films I saw at the theatre? You know how it usually happens: You have a few hours to kill between two appointments, the cinema is there, but it's the middle of the afternoon, and the only film that hasn't started already is this comedy with Jack Black as a Mexican wrestler. At the time, I had not seen School of Rock or any film in which he had starred (with the exception of Shallow Hal, which I despised), and I had not seen Jared Hess' Napoleon Dynamite. If you want to see a comedy with nowhere to go, and brought down by its own adherence to conventions, Nacho Libre is very close to a textbook example. I don't remember much from it, except the particularly awkward attempt to insert a budding romance between Black's friar and a Catholic nun. Oh, it was all subdued, until one scene where you could see them almost longingly looking at one another. I was there, in my seat, watching that and wondering how they would unravel this out without offending someone. I got my answer quickly enough: Boom, the credits. The dead end having been reached, they stopped -- but what I wanted to see was the wreck.

I'm still watching older films, and I still come across underrated gems that I still can't explain to myself (much less anyone else) why I enjoy them as much as I do. A recent example is You're in the Navy Now, with Gary Cooper, an unassuming war comedy released in 1951. Nothing uproariously funny (some of the stuff reminded me of a toned down version of McHale's Navy), but enough light touches to make it worthwhile.
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Celtic Pride and Drowning Mona come to my head, especially Mona, God, I had such a nauseating headache by film's end I thought I would vomit any time soon.

Ready To Wear and Road to Wellville are to Altman and Parker what 1941 was to Spielberg, only with shittier results.

Hell, I couldn't get a decent boner out of either flicks!
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Alex Paquin
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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slyder wrote:
Hell, I couldn't get a decent boner out of either flicks!


Nor would you out of Twelve Angry Men...
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:00 am    Post subject: Worst Comedies of All Time? Reply with quote

Couldn't get much worse or "unfunny" in my book than Junior, Little Nicky, Meet Pat.
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or Stuart Saves His Family!
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