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real humor

Where is Christopher Guest When You Need Him?

Somehow even though I’ve dropped most of my cynicism, well at least my cynical attitude, I’ve managed to become pickier when it comes to films, comedy in particular. I don’t consider myself to be pretentious, I like a lot of ridiculous movies that many hate (MacGruber!) or just don’t get, but still, I don’t know if it’s me but this country continues to get dumber. I can see the angry people with flags storming up the steps to my apartment (luckily no one knows where I live) trying to prove the intelligence of our educationally challenged country. Sorry, folks, you specifically may be the brightest bulb in the box, but collectively, we’re quite dim. It’s embarrassing. And it’s showcased in its most obvious form via our entertainment, which luckily is piped into the ears and eyes of most foreign countries, whether they want it or not.

I’m not super girly, but it is so much to ask for a decent romantic comedy? I mean what the fuck is Katherine Heigl doing? I like her, or at least I liked her, and along with some fairly talented and beautiful women (sometimes Jen Aniston, Kristen Bell, other blonds), her film choices just blow. Awful, awful, insulting pieces of crap. Knocked Up was the highlight, thanks to Seth and Judd, but it’s been downhill ever since, and I cannot think of one really good, not horrifically hyperbolic, cheesy or over the top RomCom that her or anyone has done in the past decade.

Cut to actual comedies. The good ones are so few and far between and when they arise, they’re usually indie flicks or they’re dark comedies like In Bruges and the recent, 7 Psychopaths (fucking fantastic). Bridesmaids was a rare gem and I have hope the amazing Kristen Wigg will give us more of her endless goods, but until then, the bromance success is running dry and I just yearn for a Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show. Where is Christopher Guest when we need him?!

Christopher Guest does not make RomComs, nor should he, but he makes truly remarkable, unique films, and they’re monumentally funnier than most anything you will watch from this or any year of the past 30. I recently watched Waiting for Guffman again. Oh my fucking god, I was laughing throughout the entire thing. Ricky Gervais should be kissing his ass and thanking him profusely (I’m pretty sure they’re friends, so it makes sense) for this documentary style filming because when they’ve removed that extra layer and now you’re led to believe these are real, flesh and blood people, somehow it’s all that much funnier.

I’m watching Guffman and just angry that not Guest, nor any of the incredible cast have received anything beyond a cult following for these truly spectacular roles and performances. Come on?! The characters are written and performed with such heart, such authenticity, and the most audacious humor. Nothing about these films are predictable. We are not spoon fed a token happy ending. There is no girl hates boy, boy loves girl, girl loves boy, boy then hates girl, but wait, don’t worry, boy loves girl and girl loves boy, it’s all good, the end. Blech, I’m over it.

These are ridiculous first world problems but nonetheless I’d like Christopher Guest and any like him (there’ve got to be more than just him. i’ll pray for it) to come back and show these idiots how it’s done. We all know our country will spend billions of dollars seeing the eighth Transformers and whatever Channing Tatum shows up in (not judging, I’d hit that, I just wouldn’t spend money on The Vow). Let’s not worry about that, but let’s force Gary Marshall into retirement, please (what’s next after Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve? Arbor Day!), stop making films about couples who can’t stand relationships but just want to fuck (three in one year! Love and Other Drugs, No Strings Attached AND Friends With Benefits. Gross), and films where a hot chick and a strong man fight crime unexpectedly (Bounty Hunter, the Killers, whatever that one with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz was, and the recent Parker. Bored).

I’m not sure if I should go on a rant about these insane PG comedies that come out every Christmas and have since I was a child (Yours, Mine and Ours, Cheaper by the Dozen, every single Meet the Parents movie, and the recent Parental Guidance. Sigh). Sure, we’re a country of diverse people and tastes but I swear the consensus is stupid. We’ve got to be better than this. Similar to the fact that we are a gun culture, a god culture, and a glutinous culture, we need to shift into a more intelligent way of communicating and that includes how we’re entertained.

We must demand more from ourselves, I’ve written of this before when disenchanted by the popularity of all the Kardashians and all the Housewives and all the crap out there. You see it on cable news, blatant ridiculousness that would insult event the those of average intelligence. We need better! I don’t want the brilliance of Christopher Guest to be enjoyed by a minority of enthusiasts, most of us are capable of enjoying this if we’d just raise our standards a bit.

Best in Show 2, please! Let’s make it happen, people. I can’t survive this current stagnation, I’ll end up leaving the country again. I like it here, for the most part, but I think we can do better. There should be a priority list of issues higher than the quality of our comedies, of course, but it’s something.

Apparently Christopher Guest is writing a show, fingers crossed that makes it passed pilot season. Who can predict? Will it supersede the wit and talent of Two and a Half Men? Let’s fucking hope so. Ay ay ay.