The comedy genre is a tricky one for filmmakers. It's hard to find the right balance between comedy and everything else, and many films either take one route or the other, rather than both. Finding a good comedy film to watch is hard, even these days. But finding a generally well-received comedy film that has aged well is even trickier.
The standard for movies has changed so much over the years, for better or worse, that it is nearly impossible to find a good, older movie that hasn't become at least a little dated, a little politically incorrect, and a little offensive, with age.
Let's take a look at 10 old classic comedy films that were beloved back in the day, but are starting to show their age now.
10 AIRPLANE! (1980)
Airplane! is definitely still considered a classic to this day. In fact, the parody/disaster flick holds a very impressive score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. But Airplane! came to theatres in 1980, so it's pretty much a given that many aspects of this film have been weakened by age.
David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker all wrote and directed the film together. It was a group project, and the end result definitely shows it. Airplane! was one of the first successful parody films, and for that, it will always be respected by fans of the genre. However, the wacky gags that were iconic in the '80s, are now largely seen as quite silly today.
9 HEATHERS (1988)
Heathers is considered to be quite a controversial film today. The dark comedy was one of Winona Ryder's breakout roles and was a big hit when it first hit theatres back in 1988. Heathers initially received positive reviews, but today, while it is still considered to be a classic, it's considered more problematic than unique.
Due to the movie's rather insensitive theme of teen suicide, and its somewhat questionable portrayal of women and teen girls in general, age certainly does not compliment Heathers.
8 BIG (1988)
Big starred Tom Hanks in one of his first major film roles. It was praised after being released in theatres back in 1988, and even today, Big has a score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes. This movie is, without a doubt, a classic. In many ways, it still holds up today.
The only thing about this movie that has become a bit questionable over the decades since its initial release, is the fact that Tom Hanks' character is actually a twelve-year-old boy. This is, of course, the plot of the movie. But Tom Hanks' twelve-year-old boy persona's love interest is a 30-year-old woman, and that's the thing that makes this movie look a little weird nowadays.
7 AMERICAN PIE (1999)
American Pie dominated both the box office and the year 1999. It was the summer blockbuster hit of its time. When it first hit theatres, American Pie was a pretty big deal. But by now, its starting show its age in some pretty unappealing ways.
American Pie is categorized as a rom-com, but we all know that at heart, it's a true gross-out comedy. Pretty much the entire concept, characters, and storylines in American Pie have not aged well, and that includes the later installments of the film series as well.
6 DUMB AND DUMBER (1994)
Dumb And Dumber is one of those '90s films that many comedy fans have fond memories of. Another massive box office hit, it was a wacky adventure that audiences ate up. Critics, on the other hand, gave Dumb And Dumber mixed reviews. Today, it holds a score of 67% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The original Dumb And Dumber would later be succeeded by a prequel in 2003 and a sequel in 2014. Despite the people behind these movies stubbornly milking the mini-franchise for all it's worth, none of the Dumb And Dumber films look better with age.
5 The 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN (2005)
Age has not been a flattering thing for this crude comedy. While having an "early 2000s vibe" can be a good thing for some films, The 40-Year-Old Virgin is not in that category. While it saw significant success back in 2005, it actually comes across as pretty insensitive today.
Obviously, The 40-Year-Old Virgin's plot is in its title. That's literally the movie. Starring Steve Carrell as its lead may have been the film's one saving grace, but its offensive and tasteless comedy do not look good today.
4 ZOOLANDER (2001)
Zoolander was and still is considered to be a comedic classic. Starring beloved duo, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, the movie hilarious in many ways, and ultimately a fun watch. But the fact that it does not age well is pretty much proven by the sequel.
It seems to be a consensus among even the most hardcore Zoolander fans, that Zoolander 2 did not even come close to living up to its predecessor. The sequel was released in 2016 - a decade and a half after the first film. The fact that Zoolander 2 was a big flop, is a very telling sign that neither movies' concepts hold up today.
3 SCARY MOVIE (2000)
Scary Movie grossed $278 million at the box office back in 2000, with a budget of $19 million. That is pretty impressive, and there's no denying that the parody film was a massive success, at least in terms of profitability.
Of course, Scary Movie was later followed by four sequels, the last of which hit theatres in 2013. All of the Scary Movies have one thing in common: they never hold back from crude, completely offensive humor. They are what they are, and often relied on gross-out comedy and rather disgusting jokes, so they definitely look a lot worse now.
2 JUNO (2007)
Juno was released on Christmas day in 2007, and since then, multiple filmmakers have tried to recreate the kind of magic that this movie had. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, and still receives significant praise from critics and fans alike.
Juno is still considered a classic today, and its significant success is definitely worth acknowledging. The thing that dates Juno is its somewhat questionable portrayal of women, echoing Heathers (1988), which was a major inspiration for the film.
1 HAPPY GILMORE (1996)
Adam Sandler's career as an actor consists of so many generic rom-coms that the movies blur together and become hard to tell apart after a while. Hitting theatres in 1996, Happy Gilmore was one of Sandler's earlier films and is frequently regarded as one of his best.
However, Happy Gilmore, at its core, is really not a whole lot different than the many other Sandler films that would succeed it. It might be a little more well-done, but it has the same immature and quite offensive comedy that Adam Sandler is so well-known for.