Drew McWeeny on Old Dogs and “Family Comedies”

I find myself chuckling at Drew McWeeny’s vitriolic review of Old Dogs — which begins with this lovely sentiment, “If Old Dogs’ were a person, I would stab it in the face,” and goes from there — and completely agree with these thoughts:

[I]f it sounds like I’m going overboard on a harmless family comedy, that’s precisely the problem. I don’t think this kind of garbage is harmless. I am frequently horrified by the message of these “family comedies,” and I think Hollywood really does give its most vocal critics fuel for when they claim that this town has no idea what basic human values are. I hate the sub-genre about the workaholic dad who just has to learn the important life lesson that his job doesn’t matter and everything will magically work out if he just spends every waking hour serving each and every whim of his children. I also hate the sub-genre of movies in which rational adults who run their own companies and who are otherwise completely capable are reduced to simpering morons simply by having to care for a child… For me, great humor comes out of recognizing something true in the comedy, something that I can relate to, and when I’m watching performers suddenly turn sub-moronic in the name of laughter, I find myself totally unmoved. I don’t think the truly stupid are funny in real life when I have to deal with them, so why would I think it’s hilarious to watch talented actors play such useless sacks of skin?

It saddens me when I see people, and especially Christians, promote crap movies simply because they are “family comedies”, which ostensibly means they’re rated G or PG and therefore, have little to no sexual content, violence, language, and other objectionable content. What they seem to forget is that stupidity, crassness, lack of artistry, clichéd plots, and the things McWeeny mentions in his review ought to be considered just as objectionable — and perhaps even moreso. Via

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