Comedy is a wide-ranged and somewhat brittle mistress, its just a fact. Traditional comedy requires a joke build up and build up to a punch-line, and with the right amount of build-up and a decent punch-line that doesn’t linger you get a nice laugh. Of course, punch-line are not always required, as seen with shows like Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Jokes can also be hard to sustain, which is one reason why laugh tracks and audience laughter is recorded as it helps people find where the punch-lines are supposed to be. In case I haven’t spelt it out, comedy is complex, and we’re all entitled to our opinions on it. However, there’s nothing funny about the works of Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg. After exiting Date Movie, which was writen and directed by them, I had only one thought: bucket.
Seltzer and Friedberg first appeared in 1996 when they helped write Spy Hard, a film known for being quite weak in the humor department and poorly executed in spite of Leslie Neilsen and Weird Al being involved. Next came Scary Movie, which once again they only helped write. If I felt like being a jerk I’d claim every weak joke in the movie was their fault but the movie was so-so anyhow and you can’t blame 2 out of the 5 writers for it all by themselves. Date Movie, Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans, however, you can.
A few of my friends talked me into seeing Date Movie, and I ended up leaving wishing they’d paid me to watch it. In spite of a few talented comedic talents appearing in the film it still easily earned a place on the list of the worst movies ever. Epic Movie had the same problem, lacking actual jokes or ones that were horribly executed as well as gross-out humor that not even the South Park guys would laugh at. I haven’t seen Meet the Spartans but online reviews seem to indicate it has a similar problem as the previous efforts.
So lets recap. Seltzer and Friedberg have worked on five movies as writers as well as three as directors and have a forth movie, yes a forth movie, which is supposedly going to be a spoof of disaster flicks as its called Disaster Movie. In spite of it all the film’s trailer indicates heavy pop culture references including Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Hannah Montana (bucket!), and High School Musical. That right there is a big problem as if you’re going to a spoof try to narrow your scope. The pair’s efforts seem better suited for crude sketch comedy shows than movies as they effectively go, “Hey, this is current. Lets have them show up and then have something weird happen to these current pop culture icons.” This included randomly murdering Paris Hilton and having a bad Owen Wilson impersonator ‘crash’ a wedding.
Just to emphasize how little these people can contribute by a trip I made to Wal-Mart a few weeks ago. A poster was put-up for Meet the Spartans and I asked a random person working there if promoting a bad film was a good idea. Low and behold two days later the poster was gone, not replaced mind you just gone. I can only hope such negative press will make Disaster Movie their last.
~ From Canada, I’m Busterman Zero. Good luck to you, and I recommend avoiding any film in the coming years that has the word Movie in the title.