The Impact of Comedic Relief in Movies

Avery Emberly

Updated Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 8:33 AM CDT

The Impact of Comedic Relief in Movies

Comedic relief has long been a staple in Hollywood movies, but it's not always well-received. In fact, there's a growing sentiment that the type of humor often found in films can be annoying and eye-roll inducing. The prevalence of characters cracking jokes or forcing humor throughout the entire film has left many viewers feeling unsatisfied.

However, comedic relief is not inherently problematic. In fact, when used effectively, it can enhance the impact of the more serious elements of a story. It serves as a narrative tool to release tension or add dynamics to tension within a story. By providing a moment of levity, it allows viewers to catch their breath and prepare for the next emotional beat.

The perception that movies rely too heavily on comedic relief may stem from a limited exposure to films that execute this technique well. Many people tend to gravitate towards mainstream movies produced by Disney or Marvel, which often prioritize humor over other storytelling elements. To truly appreciate the art of comedic relief, it's suggested to explore movies beyond these popular franchises.

One reason why comedy in movies has become somewhat limited is the fear of offending someone on social media. With the increasing sensitivity towards certain topics, filmmakers are cautious about incorporating humor that may be deemed offensive. This has led to a shift towards safer, more family-friendly humor, which may not resonate with all viewers.

It's worth noting that many old comedies have faced criticism for poking fun at people's race, gender, sexuality, weight, face, intelligence, or disability. This has contributed to a shift in what is considered appropriate and acceptable in comedic storytelling. Most risque humor is now seen as inappropriate unless it falls into the categories of childish gross-out humor or sex humor.

Many jokes in movies are based on mocking someone else's shortcomings, which can contribute to the perception of repetitive and tired humor. While some viewers find this type of humor entertaining, others find it tiresome and ineffective. The prevalence of comedic relief in movies became apparent when watching foreign films that take a different approach.

For example, a Nigerian light romance film called "Seven And a Half Dates" on Netflix showcased a refreshing lack of corny jokes and pop culture references. The dialogue felt realistic and relatable, allowing the audience to connect with the characters on a deeper level. This demonstrated that comedic relief can be executed in a way that feels powerful and authentic.

In reality, people often resort to making jokes as a coping mechanism in stressful situations. Soldiers who have been in life-threatening situations, for example, often use humor to deal with the stress, making dark jokes to lighten the mood. Comedic relief in movies can serve as a way to address and cope with the darkness and intensity of certain situations.

Ultimately, the effectiveness of comedic relief in movies depends on the timing, context, and quality of the humor presented. Some viewers appreciate comedic relief as it provides a break from intense or serious moments, allowing them to relax and enjoy the movie. However, others find it distracting or unnecessary, feeling that it detracts from the overall experience.

The balance between comedic relief and serious elements in movies is subjective and can greatly impact the overall viewing experience. While some films may rely too heavily on humor, others strike the perfect balance, creating a memorable and engaging story. It's important to approach movies with an open mind and recognize the value of comedic relief when executed effectively.

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