Is Fear Funny?

Last night, I went to the movies by myself. And yeah, it was pretty bleak. I saw Top Five, a movie about a comedian who is over the hill and struggling to be funny after getting off the sauce. It could have been good. The preview was. But the movie wasn’t funny. Frankly, Chris Rock should have hired some joke writers to punch up his script; but then he would have to admit he didn’t have it in him to fill out the dialogue with good lines. And isn’t the main struggle of Top Five that the main character is not funny anymore, or at least afraid that he’s not? And here’s the bigger question: is the fear of not being funny funny? The answer is no. Now there were a few funny moments every once in a while, particularly the bittersweet scenes with Tracy Morgan. But even those, in retrospect, were just reminding me of scenes from better movies. When I left the theater, I felt worse than I did when I entered. The tub of popcorn I consumed didn’t help. Aside from the physical pain, I’m afraid that feeling of disappointment is all too familiar. Which is too bad. Because the whole point of going to Top Five by myself on a rainy Tuesday night at 11pm is to have a good time, to laugh. So that was depressing.

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