Are there such things as successful movie comedies that are not funny? You tell me there are.

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  • Comment number 36. Posted by MathewKennedy

    on 7 Jan 2011 10:52

    I know this is a very old blog post, but only the other day did I see the video on youtube. I found this recent article about "pathos" that has some relevance to the argument and that you might find interesting.

    http://www.chortle.co.uk/correspondents/2011/01/07/12517/

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  • Comment number 35. Posted by staplehead

    on 12 May 2010 23:17

    It occurs to me now that 'No Country for Old Men' could also be an alternative title for 'Last of the Summer Wine.'

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  • Comment number 34. Posted by Hairy Bear

    on 7 May 2010 11:28

    Can a romantic comedy without humour still be a "romantic comedy", or is this a clever subversion of the genre? Can anyone think of a romantic comedy that has absolutely NO humour?

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  • Comment number 33. Posted by norainu

    on 4 May 2010 02:41

    I can't believe so many people find Happiness funny. I mean, I laughed in parts but the overall tone of the film was definitely not humorous. Even as someone who tends to prefer the darker side of comedy, my response to the majority of the scenes flitted between extreme discomfort and downright disgust. I suppose you could draw a line from this to the work Gervais/Merchant do, which takes us back quite nicely to what kicked off this whole debate.

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  • Comment number 32. Posted by Dan

    on 3 May 2010 17:05

    Cemetery Junction is a laugh out loud comedy for me, when i saw it, i laughed way above the allocated number 5. The Coen Brother comedies (excluding the big lebowski) don't make me laugh very much and yet i like them very much, notably Fargo, O Brother where are thou?, A Serious Man and Raising Arizona. Quite a lot of them actually.
    What about things like The Truman Show? Not alot of laughs but amazing film.
    I laughed quite a lot in Cloverfield, mainly because the character with the camera said some quite funny things.

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  • Comment number 31. Posted by BillPaxtonsSecondBiggestFan

    on 1 May 2010 23:32

    Also, while I'm here, how about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? There are certainly some laugh out loud moments - like the cliff jumping scene - but ultimately it's just a little too tragic to be funny all the way through. At the end, even with funny lines like "Is that what you call giving cover?" "Is that what you call running?" their ultimate demise is too apparent for it to be funny.

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  • Comment number 30. Posted by BillPaxtonsSecondBiggestFan

    on 1 May 2010 23:25

    To jayfurneaux

    For me the tone, style and feel of No Country would definitely fit into what I'd consider a comedy but right on far end of the somber scale (hence why it's a comedy that isn't laugh out loud funny).

    There is just something so outlandish and otherworldly about it that means I can't put it the same genre of a crime drama or thriller. Think of when Anton slowly lifts his gas canister as his victim stands with a look of astonished confusion on his face. Definitely a dark laugh in his weapon of choice and method of execution.
    Or when Llewellyn is being chased by the drug deals in their jeep, the headlights bowling over the silhouetted figure, like a rabbit being chased by a fox. What could have worked as a straight forward chase sequence is given a surreal twist (amplified by the conspicuous absence of diegetic sound) that makes the whole thing slid into the left field of brooding comedy.
    And as for a climax, there is something cheekily comedic of the Coens in how they kill off their main character, badly wound their antagonist but let him go free and then closing on a monologue that may or may not make a huge amount of sense. It's a joke that only they seem to be in on. That's why I consider it a comedy that isn't particularly hilarious. It's like Fargo. The more I watch it the funnier I find it but I still don't think I've laughed during it yet.

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  • Comment number 29. Posted by davidcronenbergsdog

    on 1 May 2010 13:07

    granted, 'no country for old men', 'way of the gun' and 'there will be blood' are not comedies, but they have a dark sense of humour throughout.

    the last line of 'there will be blood' is hilarious

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  • Comment number 28. Posted by Veeder

    on 1 May 2010 12:40

    I've never considered Dr Strangelove to be a comedy and it never occurred to me that others did. To me, it's satirical commentary.

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  • Comment number 27. Posted by jayfurneaux

    on 30 Apr 2010 14:58

    Having thought about this for a while.

    Dr K. 'No Country for Old Men is a comedy' A comedy?

    Does that mean There Will be Blood, The Getaway or The Way of the Gun were also comedies?

    I’m not getting the humour, black or otherwise, in No Country…
    Hubris – plenty, irony possibly, tragedy certainly - but not humour.

    Could Dr K (or anyone else) care to explain what (humour) I’m missing in No Country for Old Men.

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