A Conversation for Ask h2g2

I don't get it.

Post 1

You can call me TC

Some years ago,I bought a DVD of "The Princess Bride", because everyone seems to think it's so brilliant.

Only the other day did I actually get round to watching it.

I really don't see what all the fuss is about. What am I missing?

I know it is to be taken with a pinch of salt, (with Mel Smith and Christopher Guest in the cast, that was a given) and I have read the entry on it as well as trawling through all the attached threads.

Has it dated?
Am I just a jaded old fogey?
Am I expecting too much?

The entry is here: A1156817


I don't get it.

Post 2

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

Jaded old fogeys are right often enough to be worth listening to. smiley - smiley


I don't get it.

Post 3

Baron Grim

"Has it dated?
Am I just a jaded old fogey?
Am I expecting too much?"


Yes! All of the above.


I still love it, but it's now nostalgia.

It was a refreshingly fun and playful film when it first came out. But now there's been so many things that either copied its style or referenced it that the novelty is gone.

And as much as we'd like to think humor is timeless, it's so not!

I've gone back and tried to watch some things that I thought were absolutely hilarious when I was young and now I find them tedious and annoying. The Goodies is unwatchable now. Benny Hill is as well.


I don't get it.

Post 4

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

Benny Hill's charms eluded me from the beginning. smiley - smiley

"Where's Poppa" was thought to be one of the funniest movies ever made when it first came out. It still has an insanely funny bit at the very end, but there's also some tediousness with scenes that go on past the point where they should have been edited.

I might even enjoy "Airplane" less if I saw it today.

Groucho Marx, however, remains funny. Even in a third-rate movie ("A night in Casablanca" ), Groucho is funny whenever he's on screen. Unfortunately, there are too many scenes that he's not in. smiley - sadface


I don't get it.

Post 5

Baron Grim

I'm divided on the classic, B&W comedies. I definitely like the Marx Bros, especially Groucho. I love the silent greats like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd (who I think is even better than Keaton). Abbot and Costello were often hilarious.


But I've never liked Laurel & Hardy. Stan Laurel is OK I suppose, but Oliver Hardy was always just such a pompous boor, he really turned me off.

Charlie Chaplin's comedy doesn't age well, mostly. But I do need to get around to finally seeing _The Great Dictator_.


I don't get it.

Post 6

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

MY brother gave his son a complete set of Charlie Chaplin on CD. I found myself watching them with him (I was there for Christmas). I remember that there was a scene with Chaplin and a globe of the world.


I don't get it.

Post 7

Hoovooloo

The Princess Bride is a classic for so many reasons. If you don't get it, well, fine, but there's no point telling you why you're wrong because humour and taste are subjective, so in an important sense, you're not wrong at all.

What you surely must be able to appreciate, however, is bar none the best sword fight ever put on film. "I am not left handed" - "I'm not left-handed either."

Some humour does date badly - I can't imagine watching "Mind Your Language" in 2019. On the other hand, I remember as a child absolutely loving Hitchhiker's Guide, and discovering on the bookshelf in my room (stocked by my grandparents and mum) "1066 And All That". I assumed, initially, that it was written by Douglas Adams or one of his mates, and was amazed to discover that it was written before WWII. It seemed so... modern. I recommend it to anyone.


I don't get it.

Post 8

Orcus

Sadly, I tend to agree on the Princess Bride, I've tried, but probably far too late, having tried only about 5 years or so ago. Though I might try again as I go so thoroughly told off here a few years ago when I made the same point smiley - biggrinsmiley - laugh
Not seen the sword fight scene, or I don't recall, I didn't watch it all the way through.

Imo - obviously having lived too late to really get him - I've found the only watchable Charlie Chaplin production is...... The Great Dicatator - and it's brilliant. Especially when you consider that it was made when Hitler was going strong. Get if off the shelf and watch it now.

I can still watch the Goodies, though selectively. Their time/motion animation stuff is so way ahead of its time.

I used to love that old Sci Fi 'classic' Dark Star when I was young. I tried to get my wife to watch it a few years back - she got angry and told me to turn that smiley - bleep off. It was... horrendously dated I've got to admit.

Ah well, subjectivity, I even find Python a bit dated these days - amazingly.


I don't get it.

Post 9

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

There was along time when "Dark Star" was my favorite sci-fi film. Pinback's pursuit of the runaway alien that resembles a beach ball is hilarious. smiley - laugh

Talby tries to talk a smart bomb into not exploding after a systems glitch has erroneously told it to detonate. He uses deep philosophical arguments, and thinks he has succeeded. smiley - whistle


I don't get it.

Post 10

Hoovooloo

"I even find Python a bit dated these days"

It absolutely is, and to be honest has been for a long time. I found Python dated when I first discovered at school in the early 80s.

For what is remembered as a wildly surreal show there are a surprising number of topical satirical references that made no sense to me less than ten years after some of the shows were broadcast. References to people like Reginald Maudling or Henry Kissinger, while they'd have been hilarious to people when the shows went out, meant nothing to me by the time I heard them. Imagine if you were 13 years old right now hearing a comedian doing a joke about, say, George W. Bush, Charles Kennedy or Alistair Darling.

There are also some rather time-specific references in the dialogue for other reasons. In the "Architect" sketch (the one where the guy is trying sell his design for a building where the visitors are carried in extreme comfort towards the rotating knives), the character starts to rant at the panel of judges. He appears to have a class-based chip on his shoulder (ironic given that it's delivered by public-school-and-Cambridge Cleese). He slags them off as non-creative garbage with their "Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your colour TV sets". Presumably the golf clubs were incredibly expensive, and at the time the sketch went out, so were colour TV sets, colour having only just been introduced. Furthermore, it's not a joke you can even update easily because the ready availability of credit in the 21st century (compared to the far more strict late 60s/early 70s) means even working class people can afford to secure pretty much any TV it's possible to purchase - they're just not the status symbol they were.


I don't get it.

Post 11

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

John Cleese did a good job of portraying upper class people with serious insecurities that made them feel deprived. smiley - shrug His characters may have had plenty of money, but they still resented people who felt free to spend on whatever they wanted.

I take this as irony. Make of it what you will. smiley - smiley

The Monty Python era is far enough in the distant past that you can make allowances for its out-of-dateness (if that is even a word). We accept some of the conventions of Shakespeare and the Hollywood musicals of the thirties and forties.


I don't get it.

Post 12

Still Incognitas, Still Chairthingy, Still lurking, Still invisible, unnoticeable, missable, unseen, just haunting h2g2

I watched The Producers yesterday..and I found it as hilarious as the first time I watched it. Not all old comedy fails.Charlie Chaplin being another example.

smiley - tea


I don't get it.

Post 13

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

The thing is, I feel nostalgic for a good old pie fight. smiley - laugh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCNzFn_Oxds



I don't get it.

Post 14

Sho - gainfully employed again

IMO this is the best pie fight - if only because of Tony Curtis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDJQ7zn3-2g


I don't get it.

Post 15

Sho - gainfully employed again

arghh - try again

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDJQ7zn3-2g


I don't get it.

Post 16

Hoovooloo

"The Monty Python era is far enough in the distant past that you can make allowances for its out-of-dateness"

Well yeah, but my point is you already needed to do that as soon as about 1980, barely six years after the last TV episode was broadcast. By comparison, many episodes of Red Dwarf don't need any allowances made for them at all (I think...), apart from special effects, and to be honest you had to make those allowances at the time, so they don't count. The actual scripts and performances are pretty much timeless.


I don't get it.

Post 17

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

"The great race" does indeed have a historic pie fight

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059243/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

A later pie fight was in "Blazing saddles"
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071230/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

"Animal house" (1978) had a food fight, which wasn't exactly a pie fight, but it set the stage for later food fights in movies such as "Fried green tomatoes" and "Cheaper by the dozen." "Bugsy Malone," "Whip it," and "Hook."

I guess what I was nostalgic for was the pie fight rather than the food fight. smiley - sadface


I don't get it.

Post 18

Still Incognitas, Still Chairthingy, Still lurking, Still invisible, unnoticeable, missable, unseen, just haunting h2g2

So the Radio Times this week is all about the 50th Anniversary of Monty Python. Now that does make me feel so old.

smiley - tea


I don't get it.

Post 19

paulh. Antisocial distancing works a well as the Social kind

I don't feel quite that old, because it took maybe ten years for Monty Python to cross the Atlantic. It eventually became a mainstay on Boston's public television station. My mother used to grumble that the British accents were hard to fathom. I think maybe she gradually figured them out, because in later years she no longer complained. or maybe she had other things to complain about that bothered her more. smiley - winkeye


I don't get it.

Post 20

Baron Grim

Yeah, nearly a decade. I definitely was introduced to Monty Python on NBC on Saturday nights, right after Saturday Night Live with the original "Not Ready for Prime Time" cast (Belushi, Chase, Newman, Curtain, Murray, Akroyd, Morris, & Radner). I only got to see it if my parents had friends over for cards & drinks and we kids got to stay up late watching TV. Monty Python came on at midnight. We were exhausted by that time but it was so worth staying up for. It was even worth sitting through the last half hour of SNL. smiley - winkeye


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