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Alphabetical movie - Dodgeball [Jun. 22nd, 2011|10:50 am]
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[mood |amusedamused]



I don't think it is fair to call Dodgeball a guilty pleasure because damn it, the movie is fucking hilarious.

Yeah, there are a lot of comedies that are more highbrow and there are a lot of comedies that are technically better but if I go purely by the number of times it makes me laugh, I think there is no question it ranks as one of the funniest films of the last decade. At least no question for me.

What I find interesting is that the leads in the film are two guys whom I typically feel aren't all that funny. I'm sorry Vince Vaughn fans but I think he is trying to play the Bill Murray "lovable jerk" type and it doesn't play for me. I think he typically just comes across as a jerk.

Ben Stiller can be funny but unlike Adam Sandler, whom I find funny in spite of myself, Stiller leaves me cold. I'm one of the few people on the planet who found Zoolander painfully unfunny.

I realize that in many people's minds, that makes me decidedly unqualified to discuss humor. Does it help if I regularly make blue steel jokes?

No?

OK, moving on.

So I'm not too crazy about Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn and yet, I don't like Dodgeball in spite of them, I actually like it - at least in part - because of them.

I honestly think that Stiller is the funniest thing in the movie. His character is completely over the top but Stiller is committed to the character. Characters in comedies aren't supposed to know they are funny and in this film, Stiller has absolutely no idea he is funny.

What helps is that the actors around him don't treat him like he is funny. They treat him like he's crazy, which he is, but they don't behave in a way that communicates "I'm the straight man in this comedy relationship."

Which is why I think Vaughn works for me, by the way. He is the straight man. He is still kind of a lovable lout but for the most part, he is not the comedic heart of the movie. Instead, he needs to be the relatively "normal" dude in the middle of all the crazy ass characters.

I mean, we have one guy who thinks he's a pirate. Is Vaughn supposed to compete with that?

No. And he doesn't. And that is why I didn't want to punch him.

The film is not a satire. The humor is not even a little bit highbrow (wrenches in the crotch might be a little highbrow).

So what? Comedy can be funny without trying to show a higher truth. I love comedy that makes me think.

But I also love comedy that makes me laugh. Dodgeball makes me laugh. Sue me.



Next up, I'm going to double dip and write about Dogma and Down with Love!!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lucyruthe
2011-06-22 08:46 pm (UTC)

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wrenches in the crotch might be a little highbrow

This made me giggle. Mostly because I see any sort of crotch joke as the opposite of "highbrow." But I agree that sometimes the goal is to simply laugh, and highbrow is not known for LOLs or guffaws.
[User Picture]From: petsnakereggie
2011-06-23 07:16 pm (UTC)

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Mostly because I see any sort of crotch joke as the opposite of "highbrow."

Well, that was kind of my point.
[User Picture]From: lucyruthe
2011-06-23 08:00 pm (UTC)

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;)