Back when Wee Cee was just a glimmer in her daddy’s eye, I had the idea to start a blog about all the things I, as an adult, did not understand or was incapable of doing. That blog never occurred and taking a page from the Irony Handbook, I started a pregnancy blog instead. Oh wait, you didn’t know that the best possible thing to do when you don’t understand how to balance a checkbook is to make people?
Luckily, C has almost made it through her first year alive so I guess I’m doing something right. And just as luckily, I recently found out that this blog exists and whatever I could have written on the topic of being an amateur adult would not have even held a candle to Greg’s blog. The universe balances itself out yet again.
But in case you need more proof of how baffled I am with the world in general, I am hoping to start a new series (which, with any luck I will update more often than my Tales of the World series, may it rest in peace) about things that totally befuddle me. Today, I am kicking it off with this question that is basic to the human experience:
Why is The Graduate considered a comedy?
I really like this movie. No matter how you categorize it, you can’t deny that it is well-made, creative, and that it speaks to the insecurities everyone has in their lives no matter what their age. Plus the mayor from Jaws is made a cuckold so that’s pretty gratifying. However, it is largely classified as a comedy and I can’t understand why. When I was a freshman in college, I went to a local video rental place to get it because I had seen it before and found it so intriguing that I needed to see it again. When I got to the store, I looked around everywhere for it; everywhere, that is, except the Comedy section. How is it funny to have a quarter-life crisis and then play upon the desperation of a middle-aged alcoholic by having an affair with her? And how is it funny to take her daughter to a strip show and then make her ugly cry in humiliation? This movie is funny in the same way that the end of Fast Times at Ridgemont High is funny. It’s awesome, but funny it is not.
So I’m at the movie place and I can’t find The Graduate. I ask the girl working there to get it for me and she then brings me over to the Comedy section, and I write this bizarre categorization off as a mistake. Clearly Moovie Timez does not adhere to the same high standards as Blockbuster Video. Fast forward* twelve years to last night when B and I came across The Graduate on Netflix filed under what? COMEDY.
*That was a VHS reference for my many eight-year-old readers who are learning right along with me.
I do not understand. Did this movie suddenly become funny when William Daniels started playing Mr. Feeny like twenty five years after portraying Dustin Hoffman’s dad? That’s humorous I guess. Is it funny that Mrs. Robinson is actually a lot sexier than her daughter Elaine, who really needs some Frizz-Ease? I will concede that it’s funny when Dustin Hoffman has to jump in his parents’ pool with SCUBA gear on. And that $200 was a lot of money back in 1967. I spent $200 on quinoa at Whole Foods the other day.
“The Sound of Silence” and “Scarborough Fair” By Simon and Garfunkel are played throughout the whole movie, especially during the scenes that are most passable as funny. If you are unfamiliar with these songs, this is like playing Sufjan Stevens over Monty Python: waaaaay too serious for a lighthearted movie. Again, nothing bad in that; they’re great songs. But funny? Um, no.
So, hopefully all you film buffs out there will be able to explain to me how The Graduate can be called a “comedy.” While you’re at it, I’d also appreciate an explanation of why Hardees gets to call itself a “restaurant.”