Admittedly, comedy is subjective. But there are some comedy movies that most can (and should) agree just don’t hold up. Comedies that haven't aged well include films that are impossible to enjoy outside of the context in which they were created. Some of the greatest comedy films of all time have pieces that have to be explained away with the excuse “that’s just the way things were” - but that’s really not an excuse. The same goes for classic video games: some classic movies just don’t hold up under scrutiny, and their worth is really only as a time capsule museum piece.
Of course, expecting a writer in 1959, for example, to understand how social mores would change over the course of 60 years is improbable. However, there are some very popular comedies that are just plain offensive no matter how you look at them.
Keep reading to remember all of the movies you used to think were hilarious and vote up the ones that have aged most horribly.
- Photo: Universal Pictures
American Pie focuses on four friends planning to lose their virginities before they graduate high school. Along their journey there are several road bumps, but none so big or heinous as the one made by Jason Biggs's Jim. He meets a beautiful foreign exchange student named Nadia and agrees to tutor her as a way to get into her pants. Jim is also persuaded by his bro Stifler to install a webcam in his room so everyone can watch Nadia change.
Everyone in the school gets the link to Jim's webcam just in time for Jim and Nadia to begin to hook up. Unfortunately for Jim, he can't perform. It's not a heroic moment by any means, but the fact that the protagonist set up a camera to watch a woman change is entirely glossed over in the film.1,2573,188Aged poorly?
- Photo: Paramount
In the '80s comedy powerhouse Trading Places, Dan Aykroyd plays a wealthy snob who loses all his money to two other wealthy snobs and has to enlist a top-of-his-game Eddie Murphy to help him pull off a scheme in order to get his money back. A large portion of the film is spent with the characters in costume on a New Year's Eve train bound for Philadelphia. Aykroyd's costume is a rastafarian complete with blackface.8542,928Aged poorly?
- Photo: Universal Pictures
Knocked Up is about Ben Stone (played by Seth Rogan) accidentally impregnating Alison Scott (Katherine Heigl). The comedy in this movie comes from the idea that a chubby doofus like Stone could sleep with the attractive, rising-star workaholic.
This movie could have been a fun romantic comedy about young irresponsible people learning some lessons and growing up together. But the movie ignores that lesson by having every woman in it be essentially a non-character, or puts the blame squarely on them. Abortion isn't even an option when the two strangers discover they're pregnant, which The Guardian writer Joe Queenan points out completely undercuts any tones of feminism.7122,638Aged poorly?
- Photo: New Line Cinema
Throughout Wedding Crashers, Vince Vaughn's Jeremy personifies the very worst of alpha male behavior. He's sexually aggressive with people that he works with (his character is ironically a divorce mediator, no less), he lies to women to sleep with them, and as soon as he meets a woman who wants to continue their relationship he tries to run away.8253,101Aged poorly?