Comedy Allows Compassion

Comedy is the easiest way to the heart of the viewer, a horror movie may need minutes of an empty hallway with suspenseful music to build up a scare, and a drama may need an hour to entice the viewer and get the excited for a climactic scene. However comedy can make its impact in a single line, getting a laugh out of the audience before even diving into the deep story that also exists. One of the main aspects of Aristotle’s definition of a comedy lies in the “hero”, or main character. This main character must be likeable to the audience, allowing them to relate things going on in their life to the character and to root for them. Aristotle also includes in his definition that the character experiences a “rise in fortune”, or happy ending. This makes sense, as a comedy provides laughs, and positive energy to the audience, while allowing the audience to connect themselves to the protagonist, therefore the main character will always end the comedy on top. 

My favorite comedy of all time is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, I watched it repeatedly as a kid on days home sick from school or in long car rides. This movie is about an extremely likeable central protagonist, Ferris, who skips school and has a day of fun in the city with two of his close friends. This movie breaks the fourth wall on many occasions, with Ferris delivering monologues facing the camera as he gets ready for his day on the town. The central idea of these monologues is consistent with the theme of this movie, as he states “If you don’t stop and look around every once in a while, you might let life pass you by”. 

We learn this lesson through Ferris as we follow him on his day of adventure and ultimately no consequences, which breaks up the repetitive nature of our days at school or work. If you are not able to immediately picture yourself abandoning all responsibility and just having fun, Ferris’ best friend Cameron relates to you more. He at first denies all of Ferris’ requests to let him borrow his dad’s Ferrari and join him in the city, but he eventually goes with and has a great time, and gets the strength to stand up to his unloving father. Before Cameron finally agrees to go with, he sits in his room cursing and pacing, thinking of the options, this is relatable to the audience who may be anxious or just nervous about risk taking. However the audience feels like they are going along with Cameron and Ferris on their exciting day in the city, and gets to enjoy the excitement firsthand.  By allowing us to see this day from multiple perspectives, and connect ourselves to the characters, and in the end are reminded of the lesson that if you don’t take time to enjoy life, you can get caught up in the same routine. 

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