Thursday, July 29, 2010

Adult comedies lacking in 2010 summer

One thing that has been missing from this summer's crop of movies is the adult comedy. That changes with Dinner for Schmucks and The Other Guys.
The live-action comedy, which just a few years ago was one of Hollywood's most bankable genres, has little to laugh about this year. Among the top 10 films so far in 2010, the only comedies are animated movies: Toy Story 3 (No. 1 at $380.6 million), Shrek Forever After ($234.9 million), Despicable Me ($164.4 million). You have to go to No. 11, Grown Ups (143.2 million), to find a hit comedy with human beings.

Just last year, The Hangover was 2009's biggest surprise. Before that you had Pineapple Express (2008), Knocked Up(2007) and The 40-Year Old Virgin (2005).[...]

"It's kind of a fluky thing," says director Jay Roach, who launched the Austin Powers and Meet the Parents franchises.

"I don't think there's a type of movie that connects people like a comedy," Roach says. "The Hangover was so much fun to watch in a theater. I'm not sure what's happening, but I'll happily try to fill that void."

He'll do so with Dinner for Schmucks, starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. The film, about an executive (Rudd) who joins in a contest to find the biggest buffoon (Carell), opens Friday.

(Carell spans both animated and adult-comedy genres this year. He is the voice of the lead character in Despicable Me. His last outing in the adult-comedy genre, Date Night, is No. 17 for 2010 at $98.4 million.)

Roach says one reason animated films overtook the comedy landscape "is because they have years to work on a script while they work on the animation. Live-action comedies don't have that luxury of time."

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