Written by Jessica Pickles
Comedy is a genre that uses humour as a driving force, although some comedy films may take on some serious material, but most have a happy ending. Comedy films tend to become hybrid sub genre because the humour tends to be incorporated into many other genres.
They are also more likely than other films to fall back on the success and popularity of an individual star.
3 examples of comedy films:
- Groundhog Day – a grumpy weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again.
- The Princess Bride – a farm boy must save princess buttercup from a forced marriage to the nasty prince Humperdinck.
- Happy Gilmore –a reject hockey player takes up golf in order to save his grandma’s house.
The comedy genre is also one of the longest lasting genres in the film industry. It first began in 1903, when ‘The Great Train Robbery,’ a twelve-minute film that was a narrative silent film, the first ever silent film who’s popularity led directly to the to the opening of permanent movie theatres and the possibility of a future film industry.
Some examples of silent film actors are:
- Stan Laurel
- Oliver Hardy
- Charlie Chaplin
- Buster Keaton
- Lillian Gish
As the comedy genre grew, becoming bigger and more popular, the sub genre ‘teen comedy’ was developed in 1950’s America, not long after the concept of the teenager was created, the idea of an intermediate stage between childhood and adulthood with its own peculiar characteristics.
3 examples of the first films that were aimed at the teenage population:
- Rock around the World
- The Wild One
- Beach Party
But nowadays, the films that are aimed at teenagers cross over genres to maintain the audiences, but also to attract a wider range of viewers.
Teen comedies usually have stereotypical characters within the film. The good-looking one, the geeky one, a stupid one and a popular kid everyone likes.
3 examples of teen comedies:
- 17 Again
- High School Musical
- Drake and Josh
Another example of a sub genre in comedy is ‘anarchic comedy’. It refers to a part of comedy that uses stream of consciousness humour. It tends to be nonsensical with exaggerated characters and situations. They use slapstick tendencies, but is considered to be less physically violent.
Examples of anarchic comedy:
- Monty Python
- Holy Grail
- Blazing Saddles
- Animal House
Examples of various other comedies:
Action comedy – Beverly Hills Cop, Rush Hour and Hot Fuzz.
Black comedy: Fargo, Harold and Maude and Love the Bomb.
Horror comedy: Beetle Juice, Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead.
Parody/spoof comedy: Life of Brian, Naked Gun and Scary Movie.
Romantic Comedy: Roman Holiday, When Harry met Sally and Knocked up.
Slapstick comedy: Caddy Shack, Safety Class! and Tommy Boy.
In my opinion, I think comedy is one of the best genres in the film industry. It provides laughter, a story line that can easily be followed, it can change emotions and also provides a sense of happiness when watching a comedic film. With different sub genres it is open to various lovers of different genres.