My favourite website in the world (that’s safe to mention) is IMDB – the oracle of film and pretty good with tv. One of the handiest features of the site is the movie ratings which I’m happy to say is usually similar to my own opinion (big exceptions though!). I say ‘happy’ as most people may want to ‘be different’ but, given that I want to work in the creative part of this industry, having a similar taste isn’t so bad.
One thing I’ve noticed when going through the genre rankings (yeah, I was avoiding work again) of films is how the comedy genre is so different from the others. You might have a slightly different view of the top 10’s but you aren’t shocked that Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings feature highly in Action and Adventure, while The Godfather, Shawshank Redemption and Schindler’s List dominate the Drama category. These films are famous for being favourites, some of them (if not all) are probably in your favourites.
But have a look at comedy and you might be surprised. OK, there are a lot of movies in the top 20 that are foreign, low number of votes films. Ignore those. Even the ones we’ve heard of throw up some surprises. Especially as so many of them are so old! There are very few recent ones (WALL-E hasn’t been released in the UK yet!). Is your favourite comedy film there at all? Of course there are some predictable ones such as the Chaplin classics, Forrest Gump and Annie Hall, but its not as agreeable as the other genres mentioned.
This all backs up the theory that we have more of an acquired taste for humour than we do for drama and adventure etc. A joke we don’t get or don’t find funny sticks out like a sore thumb in a comedy while a scene that isn’t that dramatic to a viewer is more likely to just wash over them rather than offend them. When did we get so picky with comedy???
Of course, I’m not saying that drama is easier to write (the competition is a lot bigger for a start) but it looks like a comedy has a tougher time impressing EVERYONE than some other genres do, due to our more subjective sense of humour.
Great. I’ve just unmotivated myself completely.
BTW, what are your favourite comedy films?