When a movie is labeled as a comedy, you expect to laugh, right? Whether it’s a gut-busting laugh that brings tears, a surprise chuckle or even a groan, it’s a reaction to something looking for that type of reaction. Unfortunately not all movies that try to achieve this succeed.
Unfunny movies fall into different categories; for example, Dude, Where’s My Car? is not even funny to stoners and that’s their audience – that’s bad acting. Don’t worry; we have more from Ashton Kutcher below. Then there's the forced comedy such as Gigli, a movie put out as a comedy with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez when there is very little funny about either one of them and definitely nothing laugh worthy when together. Finally, there’s the “I’m going to shock you into laughing” type comedies which rarely work. (Hello Tom Green and Freddy Got Fingered.) Someone got the finger in that one for sure; it was the customers who bought tickets! Oh, let’s not forget actors that believe putting on a fat suit equals laughs.
We’ve got big movie-stars, actors that at one point were funny and lots of Adam Sandler (no one has a better agent in Hollywood). Here are 15 movies that brought tears, not of happiness, but rather sadness that you had to sit through them.
15 The Holiday
This movie is before its time because it’s a movie about Airbnb, the modern-day service that allows you to rent your place or swap living quarters. The big difference is that with Airbnb you hear about crime and misbehavior while the swap in The Holiday you find love. That’s sweet, unfortunately it’s not funny.
Jack Black was funny in High Fidelity because he was playing a role people believe is the actual Jack Black. Here, he’s trying to be “witty” and that comes off as fake and just not funny. Even if you find him charming, he’s not getting Kate Winslet, nope, not enough Jack Black charm in the world to make that happen. What’s worse than Black? How about Cameron Diaz trying to be funny, which is really the problem with this movie. The Holiday is a collection of actors and actresses that can be funny, but the script forced them out of what makes them funny. In case you didn’t catch this earlier, Jack Black is not remotely funny in this movie!
14 How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days
This movie has somewhat of a cult following, but it has nothing to do with kicking back looking for a good laugh. This movie is a classic romantic comedy that forces laughs and then injects random violence. Okay, I guess that can be funny for a twisted few, but for most, not funny.
The star of this movie is Matthew McConaughey; you know the guy who pitches steaks and luxury automobiles. I’m not sure what his issue is, but he really wants everyone to know he is a real man. He drives fast, eats red meat and can even play a bad ass. Hell, he’ll eat another person if he has to, that’s why he’s Matthew McConaughey. The only thing funny is the fact that he refuses to wear t-shirts pretty much anywhere. Try making a movie about that Mr. Luxury riding, red meat eating lunatic!
13 The Hot Chick
For those not aware, Rob Schneider was part of a great cast of Saturday Night Live where he played some pretty funny characters that included “Little Elvis” and the “Making Copies” guy. This was the height of his career. Some people should not be allowed to make movies, at least not movies titled The Hot Chick and not by a guy known as the “Making Copies” guy.
The movie is like a twisted version of Big where Schneider is a teenage girl inside an adult man’s body. There’s a full transformation (that I'm guessing would offend a lot of people today) and the jokes aren’t funny. The reason none of this is funny has nothing to do with political correctness; it’s that it’s not funny because it has already been done many times. Some actors really need to stay in their range and this is definitely the case here. I’m still holding out for the “making copies guy” movie.
12 Me, Myself and Irene
Jim Carrey had a great run that started with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and lasted for a number of years. Mostly comedies, but he even worked in a few dramas that were okay. Somewhere and it was before he made Me, Myself and Irene, he lost the ability to make people laugh. It appeared he was taking himself too serious instead of just having fun with his characters.
In Me, Myself and Irene, Carrey plays a cop with a personality disorder which seems like a perfect role, but he doesn’t nail it. Not even close and the reason why is because versions of the same jokes, gestures and even situations were already used in his previous films. There is a scene where he poops on his neighbor’s lawn. I suspect this was supposed to be a very funny scene, but it’s not. It’s interesting that this movie was made by The Farrelly brothers who are usually pretty successful with their comedies, except in this case, big miss by The Farrellys and Carrey.
11 What Happens In Vegas
Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz are in Vegas, have a wild night and get married. Clearly a mistake, but if they stay together they stand to get a lot of money, hence, comedy ensues. Except in this case, there was no comedy; instead, gifts of beer and tampons are exchanged because that’s funny. Note: It’s not funny, not in the least bit!
Now, I’ve been married in Vegas, twice, and I can tell you there are plenty more scenarios that involve Elvis impersonators, strip clubs and Elvis impersonators that bring comedy. No, I’m not Nic Cage, but I do know what is actually fun and Ashton Kutcher (and Cameron Diaz) being forced lines is not fun. One time I had a bachelor party and one of the members of our group went “missing” for a long time. Turned out he maxed out his credit card in the champagne room and didn’t even have a “champagne” worthy memory as a souvenir. Now that my friends is funny stuff!
10 Jack & Jill
Somewhere along the line, I’m assuming after Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler was given a golden ticket to make as many comedies as he wishes. This was an incredible deal for Sandler, but not so much for the viewing public waiting for another Happy Gilmore or even Waterboy or Wedding Singer. These were all pretty good movies, even Billy Madison which I don’t personally get, but people tell me is a good movie. Instead, we got a lot of bad movies and in case you haven’t noticed, they are still coming!
In Jack & Jill Sandler plays both characters, so if you are keeping track at home that means twice the non-laughs. Fun fact of this movie is that Al Pacino is it. Why Al? Why! Somewhere along the line the devil (Hollywood) made a deal with Sandler and they lost. The deal involved limitless movies as well as an “Al Pacino” play. Best agent ever!
9 Sex and The City 2
During the series run, I watched a lot of Sex and The City on HBO. It wasn’t necessarily my choice, but there was some humor (especially in the early seasons). The first movie was pretty much the show and had the same type of humor, which again, maybe not my cup of tea, but I got it and maybe even laughed once or twice. Now, the second movie was awful with no laughter, at least on screen. What I remember from the movie were the four girls in lots of outfits riding camels which pretty much sums up the movie.
I went to the theatre when Sex and The City 2 came out. We were late so we had to sit in the front row and look straight up at the screen. All throughout the movie people were drinking champagne that they snuck into the theatre. Every five minutes you would hear a cork pop, every time I laughed. So although I never laughed at the movie, I did laugh during the movie, so there’s that.
8 Big Momma’s House 2
Martin Lawrence is an F.B.I. agent that goes undercover, way undercover. The first movie was funny because it was Lawrence playing “Big Momma” and the jokes were predictable, but hey, sometimes movies you can just sit back and laugh at are the best. The problem is the sequel; it’s the same gag, same jokes, pretty much the same everything and that means there’s nothing funny.
So there is one change. In the sequel, Big Momma wears a swimsuit. Again, this has been done before so no big laugh here. I picture a lot of producers, agents, managers and other suits in a room trying to figure out how to capitalize on the success of the first film. Countless unfunny scripts sit in front of them and then someone says, “What if she wears a swimsuit?” Everyone does a belly laugh and right there the sequel is green lighted. This is why Hollywood sucks.
7 Dumb & Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
The original Dumb & Dumber, starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels is pretty funny, even if it’s stupid type funny; it’s what many refer to as comedy gold. This was during Carrey’s big run of hits and Daniels was the perfect sidekick. In theory, making a prequel to this movie was not a bad idea, casting actors other than Carrey and Daniels was a very bad idea.
There is a major issue in movies where people try to “capitalize” on successful movies and make more money. The problem is this rarely works because you are either regurgitating previous jokes or doing what happened here and that’s using other actors. How did the producers not realize that the reason the original was so good was due to the actors involved? I guess we should talk about the sequel, Dumb & Dumber Too which suffered from the issue of regurgitated jokes. Sometimes there is nothing more to say and you should just leave it alone!
6 Little Nicky
Sandler is back on this list, again. This time he is playing the son of the Devil. There is nothing amusing about this movie and without research I’m guessing didn’t even last in theatres past the first weekend. There are also the weird on-going cameos by Quentin Tarantino in this movie, which just adds another element of weird. We know Quentin likes being in the movies, but c’mon!
The good news is that I know how to resurrect Sandler’s career. He needs to make a movie about making these crummy movies. Think about the behind the scenes of jokes bombing and countless screenwriters being fired only to have the next batch of jokes bomb as well. We will see Sandler getting upset and eventually walking off the set. The End. That sounds like a good movie to me and would actually be funny to see how these awful movies come to fruition.
5 Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps
Eddie Murphy is one of my heroes. I loved his Saturday Night Live stuff and his standup, but really loved his first movies that included Trading Places, 48 Hours, Beverly Hills Cop and many more. Few actors ever had so many comedic hits as Murphy. Such is life, it couldn’t last forever, sure there was Coming To America, Boomerang and Beverly Hills Cop 2, but then the bad movies started rolling in. Eventually, I believe the turning point was Harlem Nights; Murphy’s movies were no longer funny.
Murphy would get a second chance making “family” movies such as Nutty Professor. So, I think we know the story now: a movie has some success so you make a sequel. The first movie was mild funny at best and the sequel was very similar. Do you enjoy Eddie Murphy in a fat suit making non-stop farting jokes? If you do then you are hoping for Nutty Professor 3, 4 and 5!
4 Rat Race
You either like Mr. Bean or you don’t, there is really no in between on this one. Who is Mr. Bean? It’s possible you don’t know, but I’m sure you’ve seen him. He’s that strange British guy that I’m guessing is very popular overseas and occasionally pops up in movies in the states such as Rat Race. The movie is more adventure, but advertises itself as a comedy. There isn’t much comedy here, definitely more adventure. However, if you like bad stereotypes and Mr. Bean, you may find a laugh or two…
For everyone else you will recognize the storyline as a group of people that need to get from point A to point B and compete to get there fastest. The cheaters never win which doesn’t translate to real life or if they do win there’s a lesson and harsh consequences. Again, not real life people! Cheaters sometimes win – in fact, they win often, that’s your Hollywood ending!
3 The Love Guru
Let’s get this out of the way - Austin Powers was a funny trilogy. The whole uniform, accent and bad teeth really worked. I’m all in with Austin Powers’ movies and sequels. Unfortunately Mike Myers went too far with The Love Guru, trying to create another franchise by dressing up and talking in a funny voice. Oh, here’s something he forgot, the jokes were actually funny in Austin Powers.
Mike Myers has always been a little hit or miss for me when it comes to funny. For example, without Dana Carvey I’m not a fan of Wayne's World; however, I’m not alone with The Love Guru. So much is not funny from the movie starting in an Indian village to the dream of being on Oprah Winfrey. Jessica Simpson is also a celebrity follower which is supposed to be funny. One word: yuck! Myers should have made another Austin Powers movie, even if it wasn’t good, or even bad, it would still be better (and more funny) than The Love Guru.
2 White Chicks
The Wayans brothers are funny. Hell, the whole family is hilarious, but sometimes they push it too far. No, I'm not talking about shock or inappropriate (although that may be the case as well); instead, they push it so far it’s no longer funny. That is the case with White Chicks where the Wayans brothers dress up as you guessed it, white chicks. There is probably some room for comedy here, but mostly the jokes (example: toilet scene) are recycled and there isn’t much new here.
The greatest “black comedian dressing as white person” is definitely Eddie Murphy in Saturday Night Live. He dressed up as a white person and walked around New York. People started giving him things and making sure he was "taken care of" - it was hilarious. See, now why didn’t Hollywood make that into a movie? I tell you, give me a tenth of the cash these Hollywood decision makers are making and I could make it happen, or, at least know enough to not green light White Chicks.
1 It’s Pat: The Movie
Many of us remember the “It’s Pat” sketch from Saturday Night Live. The character, Pat, played by Julia Sweeney goes about her life as an asexual person that no one can quite figure out whether Pat is a man or a woman. I remember watching this sketch and also watching the time because once it hit two minutes it was no longer funny. How could it be? It’s the same joke over and over and over… This movie is 78 minutes long! That it unacceptable, but it did accomplish something a comedy should do – it made me laugh. Laugh because this was made into a movie that was predictably really bad.
Saturday Night Live has put out a lot of movies based on their sketches, some were successful (Wayne's World, A Night At The Roxbury) and many have not been successful (MacGruber, The Ladies Man, Superstar). It’s Pat that takes the award for most unfunny Saturday Night Live movie and overall comedy that was supposed to be funny and is not even close to funny.