The definition of a comedy has changed drastically since when they were first created to now. Whether your definition of comedy is that the story ends in a marriage, that there is the rise of a central character, or if you think comedies are just categorized by what makes you laugh, each comedy has a deeper meaning beyond what you might think and prove to be meaningful art forms.
For example, the movie The Breakfast Club is categorized as a comedy. In this movie, a group of high schoolers all get detention for their own separate reasons. All being from different cliques, they eventually get along throughout the movie as they smoke weed, share their feelings, and rebel against the principal who is watching them. If you want to know more, here’s the trailer:
Most people assume comedies are meaningless and are strictly for entertainment but many comedies prove otherwise. For the example I gave, The Breakfast Club, there are many comedic things that happen throughout the movie that may seem absurd and just for laughs like when they smoke weed or when they run around the halls trying to get away from the principal. However, there are deeper meanings that develop throughout the movie and through these comedic moments.
There are 5 main characters: the jock, the rebel, the nerd, the outcast, and the popular one. All come from different backgrounds and neither of them really get along at the beginning. However, they show sides of them that prove they aren’t just a label. The rebel can be caring and is only reckless because of his parents, the jock only wrestles to prove himself to his dad, the popular girl feels so much pressure from her friends, the nerd might have his grades together but not his whole life, the outcast steps out of her comfort zone; they all are relatable characters that make the audience feel less alone. Among the funny and ironic dialogue, there are also serious moments like when the nerd talks about suicide, the rebel talks about his abusive dad, and the jock talks about how his dad won’t accept him unless he wrestles. They are all people who struggle and their character development show the audience that once you take down the barriers of labels, it is easy to connect with one another.
Another example of a comedy that might seem just playful and funny is 10 Things I Hate About You. This movie is about a studious teen girl who is closed off when it comes to boys. Her pretty and popular sister isn’t too happy about this however since she won’t be able to date until her sister does. She finds a guy who will be payed to charm her older sister and try to date her so that the younger sister can date too. To see more about this movie, here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWmjzCZr0Jw
With there being scenes of the older sister being publicly serenaded, her getting drunk and embarrassing herself at a party, and many other funny moments, it can be easy to overlook how this movie is very meaningful as well. This movie explores the ideas of feminism, individuality, and independence. The main character, Kat, is a strong minded and independent person who is the movie’s main source of feminism. Her character and her best friend, Mandella, promote female independence throughout the movie and show their strength as women which made the movie very iconic for its time period.
It is easy to overlook most comedies’ true meaning and the message they promote but I strongly believe that every comedy has one. Comedies, just like every other genre of movie or book, have depth and purpose. They teach us lessons just as much as other genres do, just in a different way.