Does adult comedy have to be about exaggerated expressions, dialogues, loud, screaming voices, completely implausible situations and a general lack of any kind of intelligence? Why can't we have instead, some genuine humour, a real plot, an actual story, some decent acting and believable characters?

The recent movie release Grand Masti  was supposed to have been an adult comedy – however this movie, full of suggestion and innuendo was simply distasteful. Not funny; distasteful. This is the same low brow humour (if it can even loosely be termed as such) and appallingly poor taste  that was to be found in Masti, Kyaa Cool Hai Hum and its sequel Kyaa Super Kool Hai Hum and so many others of this ilk.

Grand Masti Poster 223x300 The Adult Comedy or Crass Farce?What is adult comedy?

Adult comedy is supposed to be dark humour or humour that appeals to the adult mind. Boolywood seems to have got a hold of the wrong end of the stick here, because what our film makers think of as adult comedy is just a bunch of dirty jokes of the double meaning variety, interspersed with situational farce, over acting, skin show and some intimate scenes thrown in for good measure.

Some of the prerequisites of the adult comedy in India are overly exaggerated expressions, dialogues delivered in loud, screaming voices, rushing around for no reason, completely implausible situations and a general lack of any kind of intelligence among any characters. Supposedly it is dirty jokes that make for an ‘adult comedy’. And under the heading of dirty jokes, all we can expect is utterly crass, sophomoric humour that comes from a wholly male space, with an unabashedly lustful gaze.

Indian adult comedies try to ape the West

Indian filmmakers copy from the west. A lot. They copy stories, they copy music, they copy dialogue, they copy action sequences, they copy scenes frame for frame – and it must be mentioned that all of this copying falls under the heading of ‘being inspired’. So why shouldn’t they be ‘inspired’ by adult comedies made in the west? It was only a matter of time before Bollywood cottoned on to the huge potential of making similarly crass comedies for Indian audiences.

So what we essentially have, is the Carry On series of films, the Police Academy series of films, the American Pie variety of films now being set into an Indian mould and being served up with some desi tadka. These western films also consist of double meaning jokes of the reasonably crass variety, the mandatory dumb blondes (women blessed with very ample cleavages, fluttering eyelashes, vacuous expressions and visibly absent brains), and silly situations that are supposed to be funny. They also tend to be exploitative of women and at least a little sleazy.

Some of these films did contain some laugh out loud funny moments, and there was at least some inoffensive humour there. However when Indian filmmakers decided to remake films of this genre, they unfortunately borrowed some of the worst aspects of this comedy genre – they took the sleaze, the sexploitation, the cleavage, the suggestiveness, the wink-wink type of double meaning, the farce, – any shreds of genuine humour were however left behind.

Dirty jokes and skin show are not tantamount to adult comedy

I would humbly suggest to our Indian filmmakers that dirty jokes and skin show are not tantamount to adult humour. The supposed humour on display is utterly low brow and sophomoric if not positively juvenile; and it is disrespectful to women. Alas it is just not funny! Please people, loud overacting by horny guys and the fluttering of eyelashes by dumb bimbos displaying eye popping cleavage is not funny!

So what should adult comedy be like?

Delhi belly poster 208x300 The Adult Comedy or Crass Farce?By now, if you’ve actually been reading this article, you’re thinking I’m a complete prude without much of a sense of humour. Not so. I thought that Delhi Belly was one of the funniest movies ever to be made. I had tears of mirth running down my face several times during the film. My movie buddy and I watched the film together thrice, enjoying this uproariously funny movie hugely each time.

Delhi Belly had some very adult content but it was a genuine comedy. It wasn’t a clean comedy either – with scatological jokes, references to pubic lice and diarrhea and much more that was utterly gross.  But it was funny! The point is that the screenplay writers actually exerted themselves to create a real plot, an actual story and believable characters. They sat down and created some original jokes, in sharp contrast to the guys who write our supposed adult comedies – the latter seem to just sit down with the latest copy of What Football Jokes Did Next, insert them into something that vaguely resembles a story and call it a screenplay.

Even movies such as Mixed Doubles and Vicky Donor were funny films with mature themes – an actual story, with genuine humour as against crass suggestiveness. Good acting as against over-the-top tomfoolery. Now can the genuine Indian Adult Comedy please stand up? Many Indians are smart enough to demand good humourous cinema – give the film going janta some credit please?

Also see

Bring Back Sarabhai vs Sarabhai
Grand Masti Review

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