MAS Story Writers Blog

Comedic Themes

Posted in Uncategorized by dreidinger on November 13, 2009

I would first like to tail off of Michael’s last post by saying yes, Happy Gilmore is a funny movie.  And actually having a chance to read the theme of the movie from his post made me laugh because it sounds ridiculous, but what the hell, it’s slap stick comedy.  I appreciate a lot of different brands of humor.  Slap stick, gross out, dry, etc.

In terms of theme, I would have to say that I really enjoy Wes Anderson and the themes he thinks up for movies.  I think that he is great at exploring settings of both “normal” people and “privileged” people and showing that everyone has problems and everyone can find joy even in tough times.  You look at a movie like “Bottle Rocket”, the movie is about 3 friends/ wannabe thieves who clearly are not cut out for a life of crime.  Their first robbery was of one of their own family’s home for christ sake.  It sets the tone for the movie, in which they go on the lamb after robbing a bookstore, and plan to meet up with a one of their former bosses.  He is supposed to be their introduction in to a life of crime and money, when in fact he just ends up robbing them when they inevitably fail.  But when Dignon ends up going to jail, you realize that even though he wasn’t successful at his life of crime, going to jail made him feel like he was.  Indirectly he realized his dream.

And then he can make a movie like The Life Aquatic.  It follows Steve Zissou, who is a washed up Jacques Cousteau type figure.  Who even knew that explorer/documentary filmmakers could become washed up.  He decides to set off on another voyage to kill the Jaguar Shark, a so-called mythical creature that ate his best friend and colleague Esteban.  With his marriage falling apart and the realization that he has a son he didn’t know about, Zissou and his crew go to track down this shark that may not even exist.  Zissou is an arrogant ass most of the time, but shows bravery in the way that he explores.  Through openly robbing his opponents of their equipment to enduring pirate attacks, Zissou’s a-hole of a character eventually looks endearing by the end of the movie.  And yes, there is a jaguar shark.

I appreciate the way his themes gain you a new respect for his characters by the end of the movie.  You see that with all the things that the characters endure or have endured in their past (with flashbacks to attest), you see another side of almost all of his characters.  Quirky humor at it’s best.

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