Plate of spaghetti bolognese with cheese.
SUPERBAD is another Judd Apatow-produced slob comedy type thing (it’s directed by Greg Mottola, script by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg), but if you think about it, this stuff is pretty smart and progressive compared to slob-coms of earlier decades. I mean, I would rather gouge my own nipples out than watch NOT ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE. This one struck me as actually very funny, most of the time.
Then I had a sort of lemon curd yoghurt thing for desert. The movie was still on at this point.
The Apatow school strikes a weird balance, trying to be sensitive and respectful to women while doing gross-out stuff and celebrating childish behaviour in men. They tend to show ugly men winning the hearts of really hot girls, which is implausible outside showbiz, but not in itself grounds for hating the films, I would say. Not that Michael Cera is ugly, in fact he’s rather beautiful. I would totally do him, and I would still feel completely heterosexual even as I penetrated him because he’s so inherently lovely.
After dessert I felt like a nice cup of tea, so I had one. Does that count? Tea?
But homosexuality is a big thing here, partly because these films are a little confused about it. There are never any actual homosexual characters in these more enlightened modern comedies, because it wouldn’t be cool to laugh at gays (I guess there’s the cowboy newscaster in ANCHORMAN: THE RON BURGUNDY STORY, but that seems to be OK because he’s deeply closeted and self-deception IS inherently funny), but characters can humorously abuse each other for acting “gay”. THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN has extended banter about “You know how I know you’re gay?” between two straight buddies, and while I found it funny I also worried if, you know, I should. In fact, if you start to worry about this, it does mostly stop being funny.
It’s kind of like Old Hollywood and black people. While some comedies portrayed blacks as shiftless imbeciles, or at least poked fun at lack of education, filmmakers more sensitive to racial issues responded by not featuring any black characters in their films at all. “They have suffered too much ever to be funny to me,” said Chaplin. But even though these guys meant well, ethnically cleansing American cinema is actually WORSE than patronising and insulting the black populace.
(Comparing black people to gay people is now the only acceptable way to offend black people.)
So now we have slightly cautious dirty comedies that can kind of denigrate the concept of same-sex sex, without ever actually showing it in existence. And it’s SORT OF acceptable, because we all know that people don’t always talk and behave in a P.C. way, right? And it does feel like discourse is continuing to progress, even with the Republicans in power — an actor making a homophobic remark can get in trouble for it, which, when you think about it, is incredible progress.
And then I had some nice poppy seed bread, just because it was there. I mean, I wasn’t actually hungry or anything.
There’s a point when the two heroes of SUPERBAD have a sleepover and admit they love one another, and then the next morning they’re embarrassed. I kind of wanted them to actually DO IT, or kiss or something, something they could at least be properly embarrassed about. That would actually be a major step in mainstream comedy. And it’s not actually as if I want to see Jonah Hill copulating with ANYONE.
Even Michael Cera.