While I was watching “This Is the End,” I kept thinking: is it me?
The reviews for this apocalyptic comedy have been out of this world. Critics have raved: It’s laugh out loud! It’s the funniest film of the year!
So why was I so stone-faced during its run?
I dare say “This Is the End” might be a guy thing.
I believe there is such a thing as humor that appeals more to men ... and then other humor that tends to crack up women.
The idea, of course, goes back to The Great Three Stooges Theory. The Stooges are held up as the nyuk-nyuk icons of male-centric comic appeal.
Certain recent movies have cemented this theory in my mind. “Knocked Up” left me utterly laugh-free (the men were juvenile and dim-witted, the women were whiny). So did “The Hangover” (and I’m talking about the first one, not even the reviled 2 or 3).
It’s not just the pushing-the-envelope, gross-out factor I find uninteresting. After all, “Bridesmaids” trafficked in some deranged humor, and I guffawed and chuckled and roared. But “Bridesmaids” had a different overall tone and actual human emotions underpinning all the jokes.
“This Is the End” leans a whole lot on simple outrageousness as comic fodder. The mantra seems to be: the weirder and the more extreme, the better. Having the stars, freaked out, kick a severed head around like a soccer ball? Not funny. Having an extended gag about one of the guys giving off a “rape-y” vibe where Emma Watson is concerned? Not funny.
“This Is the End” does have a genius high concept: a bunch of real celeb comic actors play exaggerated versions of themselves — enjoying a hip Hollywood party and then facing nothing less than the apocalyse.
And “This Is the End” had its moments, many provided (surprisingly) by James Franco, who gives the most full-bodied performance here.
Beyond that? Eh.
What did you think of “This Is the End”?