The thing about guys is that we are all macho to a greater or lesser degree. And we all have this raging urge to get rid of our problems as quickly as possible. We look for the quickest solution possible and try not to spend too much time meditating on it or allowing it to eat away at our souls.
I watched ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’, the other night. It stars Steve Carrell who had the role of the mentally challenged, terminally slow weatherman in ‘Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy’. Steve Carrell’s turn in ‘Anchorman’ was the reason I wanted to see it. Steve Carrel is funny.
There aren’t all that many funny movies about nowadays. I put it down to political correctness. You can’t make fun of anything or have a good laugh without someone complaining about you being insensitive. And, as if watered down comedy is not bad enough, all the movies seem to have the single-minded pursuit of educating or improving me.
Actually, people, the roots of comedy are insensitivity. Have you ever heard a really good joke in which someone is not in danger, getting hurt or embarrassed? Make me laugh! I’m really tired of wit and puns. Bring on the baseball bats, banana peels and uncovered manholes.
In fact, comedy seems to have slipped so far backward, that the only thing that comes out with taglines that say ‘this movie will make you laugh’ are so-called ‘chick flicks’ and ‘rom-coms’, in which an inevitably ditsy woman lives through a couple of lame scenarios, comes to some kind of life-altering realization and gets together with the guy whom the writer and director labeled ‘the loser’ at the beginning of the story.
I still, for the life of me, can’t figure out what was the big ‘thing’ about ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’.
In the welter of ‘rom-coms’ and ‘chick-flicks’ and those ‘warm comedies about endearment and coming to terms with the family’, one thing seems to continually get lost: guys. As far as movies are concerned, guys just don’t cut it. That, or we’re supposed to make do with adventurous, daring archetypes who solve all their problems with a weaponry catalogue.
In fact, the last meaningful movie about guys, their frustrations and how they come to terms with their problems was ‘The Fight Club’. Unfortunately, it seems to have been suppressed due to the uncanny resemblance of the final scene to the events of 9/11.
The thing about guys is that we are all macho to a greater or lesser degree. And we all have this raging urge to get rid of our problems as quickly as possible. We look for the quickest solution possible and try not to spend too much time meditating on it or allowing it to eat away at our souls. So what if it doesn’t work or goes spectacularly wrong. We can always go to Plan B. Or C. And if that doesn’t work, then we’ll go into politics and invade the creeps.
Fortunately, Steve Carrell, Will Ferrel who took the lead in ‘Anchorman’, and Owen Wilson in ‘The Wedding Crashers’ seem to be turning the tables with a bunch of ‘guy flicks’ some of which are as incomprehensible to women as ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ was to a lot of guys.
Of particular note is ‘Anchorman’. I have yet to see a woman laugh during the movie, or a man not wiping away tears of laughter. The city reporter’s attempts to get the anchorwoman’s attention with various strangely exotic colognes must rank as one of the funniest moments captured on film.
The title of ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ describes the movie in a nutshell. Most interesting is his colleagues’ reactions and attempts to help him, especially the box of pornography as an educational tool. Who said men aren’t sensitive?
‘The Wedding Crashers’ is hilarious, but slightly spoils itself with a moment of schmaltzy sentimentality towards the end.
I hope we get a few more of these movies fairly soon, uncensored, with all their tackiness and uncomprehending lack of sensitivity to anything but what guys actually are. They might not have any depth, but at least they are educational, if only as far as the use of cologne and other aspects of ‘how not to do it’ are concerned. And if anything, a generation of mystified, probably nauseated, women will be able to watch and understand how confused a guy feels when watching a ‘rom-com’ or ‘chick flick’.
It seems that the battle of the sexes has been reduced to pure comedy.