I’ll be the first one to say it: I love good “bad” movies.
In a world full of film bros and cinema connoisseurs, enjoying “bad” movies is looked down upon. If you dare to lower your taste in film, you’re viewed as a simpleton — someone who doesn’t understand the true meaning of cinema.
But I don’t care. Call me dimwitted; dismiss my opinions on any and every film. As someone with a film studies minor, I have no shame in enjoying a bad movie. Yes, I rated “Pitch Perfect” higher than “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Blade Runner” and “Brazil” on Letterboxd. What about it?
Sometimes I don’t want to commit to an intense, plot-heavy film. Sometimes I just want something fun, something that will make me laugh and not think too much.
And there’s no better film for that than a Melissa McCarthy film.
The MMCU (Melissa McCarthy Cinematic Universe as I’ve dubbed it) is full of great, “bad” movies that never fail to make me laugh or bring me comfort. Sure, McCarthy essentially plays the same unkempt, obnoxious character in every film — refer to “Tammy,” “Identity Thief,” “Thunder Force” and “The Heat” — but she practically owns that schtick now, and it’s funny every single time.
At one point in time, I refused to subject myself to such “dumb” movies. I didn’t want to be seen as tasteless or unintelligent.
Now that I’ve allowed myself to indulge in whatever kind of movies I want, I’ve realized that I’m neither of those things. I’m simply a person who is enjoying something, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I love poorly rated movies like “Grown Ups,” “The Nutty Professor” and “Ma.” But I also love critically acclaimed movies like “Do the Right Thing,” “Carol” and “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” The films I enjoy don’t define me or how intelligent I am, and the same goes for you.
Part of the reason why I love bad movies so much is because of their sheer absurdity. It’s not often that you see a cast of cartoon characters escape the TV in an attempt to cheer up a random teenage girl, like in 2004’s “Fat Albert.” And where else can you see Adam Sandler in drag while playing his twin sister beside 2011’s “Jack and Jill?”
The humor in these movies is often lowbrow, raunchy and cheap, but it will always get a chuckle out of me. Comedy doesn’t always have to be elaborate and deep. It can simply take the form of a wedding party getting irritable bowels while dress shopping or a grown man eating glue in a first grade classroom.
Every movie you watch doesn’t have to be something profound. If filmmakers didn’t take risks and venture beyond the norm, we’d just have a bunch of thinkpieces. It’s OK for something to just be silly.
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There’s nothing wrong with having fun, and that’s exactly what many of my favorite “bad” movies are: fun. They have crazy plots, exuberant characters and, oftentimes, amazing soundtracks.
Take 2018’s “The Happytime Murders,” for instance. It follows a messy police officer (McCarthy) and her disgraced, rugged puppet partner (Bill Barretta) as they solve the interconnected murders of famous puppet TV stars. Plus, the soundtrack features several hit songs like “Call Me Maybe” and “Sexy and I Know It.”
But because people feel the need for every movie to be a highbrow, cinematic masterpiece, “The Happytime Murders” was met with a plethora of negative reviews.
Not to mention, several “bad” movies are chock-full of campy performances, which is another reason why I love them so much. Camp is all about being unserious and ironic, and I hate to break it to you, but you won’t find camp in something like “Citizen Kane.”
It’s time that we stop taking everything so seriously. Movies were created for people to enjoy and as an entertaining way to pass time. We already over complicate so many things in our daily lives, so why do we have to do the same to the films we consume?
So go ahead — let yourself shamelessly enjoy a bad movie. Don’t know where to start? I’ve got a list of my favorite “bad” movies on Letterboxd (none have above a 3.5 star rating).
Don’t let other people and their superiority complexes scare you from enjoying something. As long as one person is enjoying a film, it’s done what it’s supposed to — “bad” or not.