We have been, without a doubt, in a terrific time for comedy at the movies. We’ve seen comedies that are the funniest in decades populated with performers without ego, tackling jokes that range from the downright bizarre to the touchingly relatable. But all things must pass, and lately I’ve been wondering if we haven’t seen the end of this beautiful Golden Age. The latest news from the trades makes me think that we indeed have.
The news is that Jeremy Garelick, one of the writers on The Break-Up and lately a member of Todd Phillips’ Frat Pack rewrite stable, will be rewriting and directing the big screen version of Baywatch. His big idea: make it funny! What a great concept! How original! Maybe it’ll work as well as Dragnet.
“It felt like the template to do a movie that was similar to ‘Stripes’ and ‘Police Academy,’ the comedies I loved growing up,” Garelick said.
That’s interesting. Look at those two movies: Police Academy is, without a doubt, bad. It shines in comparison to the myriad sequels, but the original (which I actually recently rewatched) is pretty awful, offering slight pleasures. Stripes is two thirds of a great movie with a truly horrendous third act that is so cripplingly bad I usually turn the movie off once the characters leave boot camp and pretend it ends there. I mean, I guess you get cred from mentioning Stripes because it is pretty brilliant for that first two thirds, but you also get the impression that maybe you don’t understand why Stripes‘ last third is the template for all sorts of shitty big budget comedies that came in the 80s and 90s.
At any rate, a retarded sex comedy poking fun at a TV show that is beyond parody sounds exactly like the kind of big money movie that will bring to a halt our era of interesting, risk-taking comedies. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Behind every great book adaptation is a forgettable first try. — By Ryan Covey