Laugh Out Loud

 Laugh Out Loud

By Sean McVeigh

You know what’s usually not funny? People trying to be funny. The other day, I was talking to a friend, and they told me I need to write more “funny stuff.” Oh, gee! I didn’t know that was what people wanted! Had I known that, I would’ve just printed all the hilarious columns I have squirrelled away for a rainy day.

There must be something in the water because this problem seems to be further reaching than just local newspaper columns. When it comes to movies, good comedies are pretty hard to come by these days. Not too long ago, it felt like we were in the golden age of comedies. “Wedding Crashers,” “Superbad,” “Step Brothers” — maybe it’s just my taste but it felt like every other year we were getting the next classic comedy until, all of a sudden, the pipeline dried up.

I don’t think I’m speaking through Divine revelation when I say one of the major causes of this bear market in funny movies is that we all have gotten a bit more sensitive. Consider how often we watch “the classics” — almost all of which were made before 2010 — and think, “well they couldn’t make that joke today.”

There are certainly other reasons, too. Movies, in general, just aren’t what they used to be. Going for a night out to the movie theater was all but killed with Covid, and even before that, it had become the butt of its own joke with its prices. On top of all that, streaming services have made staying home and waiting for the newest movies to hit HBO or Netflix or Disney Plus too easy. (Not to mention, locally, we haven’t had a movie theater in town in over 25 years!)

The other night, I sat down to watch a movie on Netflix (it was previously in theaters, but I waited, of course). The movie is called “No Hard Feelings” and stars Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence is not known for her comedic chops, but the trailers piqued my interest and I decided to give it a try. Not to give any spoilers, but the plot involves a young woman who is down on her luck financially, living as a born and raised local in Montauk. She is about to lose her childhood home when she stumbles on an odd job that just might be her ticket to keeping things the way she likes them.

The movie was a gem. I was shocked when I found myself laughing out loud. You know it’s a good movie when at the end you’re thinking about how you need to tell so and so to check it out because they would love it! It was highly irreverent, and because of that, it felt real. There was even a bar scene that I swear I thought looked familiar and then, this week, was confirmed on Instagram to have been filmed in Connolly’s! I would 100% recommend it, but keep in mind that it is rated R, so maybe don’t make it part of family movie night.

More importantly than giving me a good laugh for 100 minutes, it gave me hope. Slowly but steadily, we are seeing a bit of an irreverent revival. It has mostly been in other mediums (TV, standup, etc.), but this gives a guy hope we might be seeing more and more of this. Comedy is subjective. Funny can mean a lot of different things to people. However, I think we can all agree that “Animal House” is a classic. “Airplane!” is a classic. “Old School” and “The Hangover” are classics!

There is clearly an audience that is thirsting for this type of comedy, and we have been deprived of it for at least the last 10 years. Fingers crossed that streak is coming to an end! The Rockaway Times is usually good for a few laughs — sometimes with us, sometimes at us — but if you’re looking for a guaranteed laugh, I’d stick to the classics!

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