Has anyone else noticed they do not make PG comedies anymore? (I mean for adults). I am watching one of my favorite Bill Murray movies, directed my Harold Ramis, and as I always do, I check the MPAA rating. I was kind of surprised and then disappointed. I was surprised to see that Groundhog Day was only rated PG. I was not shocked because there is adult content like language, sex, and violence, because there is very little in this movie. I just figured it was PG-13. Do the math, Ramis plus Murray plus the typical comedies I like and most adults for that matter. I have very little problem with the ratings system other than its inconsistency, but that’s a whole other story. I was depressed when I realized they don’t make comedies like this anymore. This is sad! I do not necessarily blame studios or the press, I blame the consumer. I movie like this isn’t made because it will not make money, that’s a deep barrel friends.
I thought hard of some other PG comedies that are often overlooked and most definitely extinct. Two that immediately came to mind were What About Bob? (1991) and Houseguest (1995). These are all three movies that I was able to watch as a kid and helped shape my love of the comedy genre. What About Bob again stars Murray alongside the amazing Richard Dreyfuss and is about a lunatic who follows his therapist on vacation, it is hilarious! Houseguest stars Sinbad as a loser who cons Phil Hartman and his family into letting him stay with them until they both realize they all actually need each other. These may sound boring, but I stand firmly behind them.
Do not misunderstand me, I love raunchy, foul comedy that involves cheap and crude humor. This is not about any issue I have with modern comedies, far from it. I just find it sad that we have lost a dimension of filmmaking that I hold so dear to myself.
Of these three Groundhog Day is the best, it has many aspects of what the main character goes through. He goes from being inconvenienced jerk, to annoyed with the universe suicidal maniac, to caring for an elderly homeless guy, to the ultimate George Bailey. Bill Murray uses his greatest talent. He is a terrible person who you cheer relentlessly for the entire movie.
Maybe I am just partial to Bill Murray, but I just think the modern comedy relies too heavily on the crutch of edginess. I strongly suggest these films and will continue to think of them fondly.