Well, it is, isn’t it? Three St Trinians And Out. How To Alienate Vampires. The Fatboy Potato That Rocked. Rocknrolla (hang on). It’s often said there’s a lot of good comedy on British television, but the best of it – Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle and the disgracefully marginalised Pulling, to name just two – doesn’t really lend itself to being expanded for the big screen. I haven’t had a chance to see iIn The Loop yet, but I hopeit’s a significant improvement on what’s been passing for humour recently in my local Cineworld. The criticism Ricky Gervais received for his disdainful attitude towards British comedy films seems wholly unfair to me. Why should he want to follow in the failed footsteps of sitcom stars who think a big-screen version of the show that made their name will do as long as it’s set in Benidorm and features a cameo from him out of Friends? Or maybe you think Something Completely Different?
I thought Mr Bean’s Holiday was very funny and charming. The Hot Fuzz / Shaun of the Dead films were clever and actually quite hilarious. So there may be some laughs still from Britian.
Well, British film isn’t exactly thriving right now, period.
Shaun Of The Dead, absolutely brilliant film. But Hot Fuzz was nowhere near as good. And Mr Bean’s Holiday… Well, I don’t like to be negative, so I won’t.
No, it’s no good, I have to be negative. Mr Bean’s Holiday had all the charm of a queue at Ikea.
Well, the golden age of TV comedy (Fawlty Towers, Monty Python, Blackadder..) too is long gone. I can barely raise a grimace never mind a smile with most offerings these days. Seems mainly smartass cynicism or just plain dumb; has the whole British culture gone to pot? World cinema a distant memory on the beeb, Big Brother and make-over take-overs, so little wonder if British film comedy is a sad affair compared with say the Ealing Days or even A Fish Called Wanda; i can’t say the last 2 decades have been brimming over with comic genius.
We ad’ it toof when i were a lad, but we could ave a laff. What these pampered yoong uns today produce is pap.
In The Loop was pretty successful for me. Although the premise of taking your favourite characters (or favourite actors playing different characters) to another country is reminiscent of an On The Buses, Steptoe and Son or Are You Being Served movie, this works out pretty well.
The eloquent swearing of Malcolm and Jamie makes for some good moments, as in the TV series, as does the confusion of a minister trying to toe a party line he doesn’t quite get. I found it very funny. The reason a character gives for being unfaithful being particularly jaw dropping.
There are some modern UK TV shows that I really like: Peep Show for instance. But the stars appeared in awful film called Magicians which felt like the worst conversions of the Seventies. Written by the same people as did In The Loop as well.
British film comedy might be in a lull, but Ricky Gervais is one of the hottest comedians around right now.
Hot Fuzz/Shaun of the Dead=HILARIOUS (and great films in style, acting, and plot)
Though he’s now making films that aren’t as good as he is, Steve Coogan still gives me hope for something better.
Though I love classic British comedy programs, I’m just beginning to explore some of the more current ones. Is anyone here familiar with ‘Marion and Geoff’? I’ve just found out about it, and am completely in love. Watching the first season, I have been consistently amazed that something could make me laugh so much AND make me want to start crying, all in ten minutes. Though, I must say, as much as I adore Rob Brydon for this show, after seeing a few clips of ‘The Keith Barrett Show’, I could hit him for making a mockery of such a touching character!
Oh, Cat’s, if what you say is true, you have just made me a very happy girl.
If sitcoms are dead in Britain, don’t feel bad. Sitcoms have been dead in the US for many years.
But thanks to Hugh Laurie, Ricky Gervais, and Steve Coogan, I believe British comedy in general is alive and well.
“I’m not quite dead yet …”
Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan are both stuck in projects that are completley beneath them, neither has done anything interesting in years.
Hugh Laurie? What’s he done recently? I mean “House” doesn’t qualify as british comedy, does it?
And I’d disagree that the american sitcom is dead. “30 Rock” and “How I Met Your Mother” are very good – if conventional – shows.
Personally I’m very hyped for “In The Loop”, Ianucci has always been quality (even moreso than Morris, I’d dare say!), and Simon Pegg still has some goodwill coming from me.
has no one ever watched peep show?
or the IT crowd?
or Garth Meringue??
there’s loads of good British comedy out there it’s just that it’s not to American taste and therefore doesn’t get exposure
Well, there’s definitely the Edgar Wright films. They’re witty and incredibly well done. So funny.
Also the IT Crowd. I agree with Ben, I think it is mostly the underexposure deal. I mean, the original Office was pretty brilliant for its short run, and though it’s more sci-fi, the new Doctor Who is stunningly good.
“The IT Crowd”, underexposed? I think it’s one of the most hyped shows in recent memory. It’s a’ight, if a bit pandering at times.
>>“I’m not quite dead yet …”<<
You’re not fooling anyone.
Aside from In The Loop there’s not much out there. Most of our best comedy is television and Peep Show has been outstanding at times. The British film industry tends to deliver guff e.g. cockney gangster films or some real independent and quality films e.g. Hunger, Control, Red Road. Comedy doesn’t get much of a look in, except for weak-minded rubbish like the wedding mockumentary (can’t remember its name). We have lots of original comedy, however I’m not sure how much of it translates well to cinema. Notable recent exceptions Borat and Bruno which are about as funny as it gets.