5 Best Movies On The Humorous Side Of Child Endangerment
December 9th, 2011 10:00am EST
Why do we love R-rated comedy? Answer: The swearing is better. This sex is more comical. The shenanigans are more extreme. What makes any R-rated comedy better? Answer: Children.
The addition of children to any hilarious movie only makes that movie more hilarious. Having kids along for the ride takes all the things we love about these films and intensifies them. Having a kid in the car during a chase scene makes the danger more real and more frightening (hence the title of this column). Swearing, the lifeblood of any R-rated comedy, seems all the more taboo when it’s done in front of kids. And finally, whether the child is a part of the story by choice or circumstance, the main character seems all the more reprehensible for exposing the child to whatever shenanigans are involved. (We like reprehensible. Don’t you watch Archer or It’s Always Sunny?) So to sum up, though I would never let Jonah Hill babysit my children (for fear a Judd Apatow film might spontaneously break out) I can’t wait to see The Sitter, which promises to be a very funny addition to the storied history of R-rated comedies with kids. To honor the release of The Sitter, let’s count down the 5 best movies of this genre.
5. Bad Teacher
This movie had what I like to call the 3 D’s of comedy. Dodgeball, dry humping, and dope. We’ve all had teachers who we thought might be in it for the wrong reasons, but Cameron Diaz blows them all out of the water. Her pot-smoking, dry-hump-affair-having, fake-breast-wanting portrayal of a middle school teacher made us all laugh, cry, and think about sending our kids to private school. The dodgeball scenes with her students were each fantastic, and her advice for the boy with unrequited love was jaw-droppingly funny. The only way this movie could have been funnier was if some students had witnessed that incredibly awkward dry humping scene between her and Justin Timberlake, but hey, hindsight is 20/20. Bad Teacher is a strong start to our list.
4. Drillbit Taylor
Teaching kids about responsibility, hard work, and the difference between right and wrong is never funny. Teaching kids how to fight dirty on the other hand, is hilarious every time. Drillbit Taylor is a story about a homeless ex-soldier hired by three freshmen to teach them how to fight the school bully. When I first saw the trailer for this movie I thought it sounded like a John Hughes plot. Turns out, it was a John Hughes idea, penned by the capable and hilarious Seth Rogen. A great recipe for R-rated kid gold. Owen Wilson’s portrayal of the title character is hilariously fraudulent at every turn, and the three young men he attempts to mentor are classic John Hughes “coming-of-age in the big, bad world of high school” characters. Drillbit himself would have been funny no matter what the story line, but the addition of the kids makes this a classic and a strong addition to the list.
Let’s do a social experiment. I’ll show you a video of a 12-year old girl swearing her ass off. You try not to laugh. My hypothesis: you will fail every time. Kick-Ass is one of the best examples of why kids make R-rated comedies better. When an adult calls someone the “c-word” it is quite funny; I’ll give you that. When a tiny girl in a superhero outfit does it, it is All-Time funny. In most of these films, kids are only party to the violence and swearing, but in Kick-Ass, Chloe Grace Moretz is the perpetrator. Throw in up-and-comer Aaron Johnson and McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and it is incredible to think this movie is only #3 on our list.
2. Bad Santa
I have to start this off by saying that the kid in Bad Santa is the least exciting of all the children on this list. His character is really just a lump (Even worse, a lump in Teva’s.). But that is the beauty of this movie. He has to be a lump, so that Billy Bob Thornton’s degenerate, alcoholic, and felonious Santa hits with that much more impact. BBT’s character might be one of the worst human beings in recent cinema history (That includes all of the characters in Horrible Bosses.). Even the iconic Santa suit does nothing to mute his depravity, which is a good thing, because his depravity leads to non-stop laughter every time I watch Bad Santa. Each interaction between the lumpy kid and our urine-stained Santa is as hilarious as it is uncomfortable. I wouldn’t change a thing about Bad Santa except for bringing back two comedy legends who died too soon. RIP John Ritter and Bernie Mac. And now for the final film on our list…
1. Role Models
With all due respect to each of the other films we’ve talked about in this column, the race for the #1 spot wasn’t even close. Role Models blows away every movie on this list. And most of the credit can be given to Bobb’e J. Thompson. His character, Ronnie, may the most foul-mouthed child we’ve ever seen in cinema, and I couldn’t love him more if he was my own son. (In the interests of full disclosure, despite my many references, I don’t have any kids. That I know of.) To be fair, Role Models has an advantage over these other films because of the nature of its plot. Take two adults and two children, all of whom are proven comedic actors (Bobb’e plays Tracy Jr. on 30 Rock) and force them, through court-ordered community service, to spend 100 hours together. There’s no way this couldn’t be funny. That said, each of the actors went above and beyond (with some help from Sue Sylvester herself) to make Role Models the champion of this list.
So there you have it. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Can The Sitter crack this venerable Top 5? If the trailer is any indication, I don’t think it should have any trouble. Irresponsible adult with ulterior motives? Check. Foul-mouthed small child? Check. Lots of danger and adult shenanigans? Check. Here’s hoping the last ride of portly Jonah Hill is worth the price of admission.
Related: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bad Santa, Bad Teacher, Bernie Mac, Billy Bob Thornton, Bobb'e J. Thompson, Cameron Diaz, Chloe Moretz, Drillbit Taylor, John Ritter, Jonah Hill, Justin Timberlake, Kick-Ass, Owen Wilson, Role Models, Seth Rogen, The Sitter, Starpulse Exclusives, Movies, Movie Spotlight
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