Black comedy or dark comedy is a genre of film. When it’s done right you get a great movie like The Royal Tenenbaums, Fargo, or Dr. Strangelove. When it’s done wrong you get black “cromedy.” Cromedy is like comedy in that the material presented is supposed to be funny, and that’s where the similarities end. There are many different types of cromedy: romantic cromedy, prop cromedy and the most egregious of all: black cromedy.
A black cromedy is movie like Suicide Kings, Death to Smoochy, or The Invention of Lying. What do black cromedies have in common with each other? That’s easy: lack of likeable/normal characters, lack of jokes, and predictable plots. You watch the movie; bad people do bad things to each other. Nothing funny happens and the movie ends exactly the way you thought it would. You feel shitty and mad, not only did you watch a turd of a movie, but you now feel like someone ran over your dog.
|Different kind of black cromedy, still not funny|
Typically when a comedy isn’t funny (like a Tyler Perry movie) or the plot is as predictable as a History Channel special about the Luftwaffe most people agree that the movie is a piece of shit. To be fair, most black cromedies are not financial successes, but no matter how shitty, stupid, or asinine the cromedy is someone will like it (except Sour Grapes, no one has ever seen that movie.)
|Not even she could save this turd|
Moreover, these cromedies often take normally funny people and make them “frunny.” (to be frunny is to tell “jorks” which are like jokes but they aren’t funny at all.) Death to Smoochy has some amazingly frunny scenes with Jon Stewart, Danny DeVito, and that midget from Seinfeld. Invention of Lying has (sexy) Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Jonah Hill, and Rob Lowe sucking. Hard. In fact, you have to go back to the 1989 cromedy Weekend at Bernie's to find a scene that falls flatter than Jonah Hill’s, and that movie was at least made in the 80’s when every movie sucked.
I don’t want you to think I’m being some sort of elitist. I mean, I’ve seen Face/Off more than anyone I know, and that movie is fucking retarded. I understand that people like movies I don’t, and that often times I think those movies are stupid (Wedding Crashers.) The real crime with black cromedy is that they think I’m stupid. Usually it’s someone I know and respect, and I’m going through their DVDs and I find one of these abortions of film in their collection. Then I say, “Deadman on Campus, huh?” Then they always get really defensive and accuse me of not getting “it.”
Q: What’s the difference between Deadman on Campus and a pile of dead babies?
A: No one’s ever laughed at Deadman on Campus.
|A straight movie for straight dudes|
By most people’s definitions I have a sick sense of humor. I guarantee you your movie isn’t too “shocking’ or “in-yo’-face” for me, it just sucks balls. I know you think it makes you edgy and smart to like a movie that no one possibly thinks is funny, but cut me some slack. I don’t get all bent out of shape when you point out the homoeroticism in Bloodsport. Oh, what’s that you say? You like The Doom Generation?! Well fuck you.
Note: I just realized that most of these movies came out at least ten years ago. So sue me. Over the years I've gotten much better at avoiding painfully unfunny movies, which leaves more time for Bloodsport.