We asked our readers to share their thoughts on the renaissance of R-rated, more adult-themed comedies, and they weren't shy with their opinions. Thank you for joining our discussion. Here are a selection of reader comments:
"There's no way 'Wedding Crashers' could have been 'Wedding Crashers' if you inhibit what it was that Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn were able to do in that movie." Yeah, instead it would have been a better movie. I don't like raunchy comedy because it's not intelligent. Anyone can make a dirty joke. Making a good comedy or getting your audience to laugh without dirty or profane humor takes talent. But does raunchiness sell better? Maybe. But if so, it's only because the writers weren't good enough to write a cleaner movie with appeal. Look at some other blockbusters. Batman, for example. This movie set all kind of records while entirely avoiding raunchiness. Sure, raunchiness could have been in there (and plenty of similar movies are loaded with it) but the writers were good enough to make a blockbuster without it. That's the real challenge. Nobody believes that garbage about the redeeming social importance of working with taboos. Everybody does raunchiness so it's no longer a taboo. My question to comic writers is this: Can you break the new barrier? Can you make me laugh without raunchiness? – Sam, Tallahassee, Fla.
As an adult who spends time with and laughs with other adults, I certainly don't mind hearing some adult language. In the world I live in, people actually curse and make rude jokes from time to time. Why would I not want a movie that does the same? – Andrew, Madison, Wis.
Actually I no long attend "r" rated movies- if they have been found to be that offensive to get that rating it is nothing I want to see. I get enough in my daily life - I don't need to pay to be 'entertained' by it. — Rachel, Vallejo, Calif.
Yes. Having survived 15 years of Disney movies and TV as a parent of three who are now all in their teens, I think I deserve some adult humor without the annoyance of kids being depicted as way smarter than their parents and all other adults. – Bob, Pittsburgh
I certainly don't like the raunchy adult themed movies produced today. On the rare occasion that there is a family friendly movie - then I will attend. – Jackie, Orlando
When I was 15, and saw "Blazing Saddles" for the first time in the theater, I was surprised and delighted that there were movies this crude and this funny. However, as I got older, the shock- and -giggle value began to wear thin, and as movies became more and more gross, I was repelled by many of them. There is a big difference between "Blazing Saddles" and "Harold and Kumar." I don't mind the raunchy stuff if the movie is genuinely funny, and doesn't substitute can-you-top-this-crudeness for actual plot and good acting. – Leslie, El Paso, Texas
Some of them are funny. Others are just plain stupid. Regardless, I don't like the movie police trying to censor what they don't like so that no one can see it. If you don't like the movie, stay home! – Bob, Plainfield, Ill.
It’s not necessary in the least. Something can be just as funny when it’s not raunchy. The moral fabric of our society is going down the toilet. – Patrick, Salt Lake City
I'm extremely wary of raunchy shows and movies. As a viewer, I feel I'm being degraded by shows and movies which offer poor dialogue and lame storyline/stunts/cursing/body parts instead of the higher quality dialogue and storyline of prior movies up until and including some of the 1980's. Perhaps Hollywood feels that that's all that our simple minds can handle. A proponent of raunch would assert that if I don't want to see it, I shouldn't watch. But it's everywhere; you cannot escape it, whether it's TV or movies or You Tube or music or promoted on the morning news shows. However, my all-time favorite ploy is "unrated." Constantly, my children inadvertently buy or rent "unrated" DVD's that were rated "R" at the theater because it was the only version offered at that particular store and there is no warning label on the DVD for sale. I was stunned to happen upon an "extra feature" on the American Pie/Band Camp DVD in which a former porn star shows you how to "handle" vegetables and fruits, such as bananas and melons. "Unrated" should be outlawed and DVD dealers should have to see ID in order to sell "R" to anyone under 17. I realize it's hard to take the word of someone in their 30's, but here's something to consider: my 16 and 19 year old daughters have taken to seeking out old classics, such as Singing in the Rain and West Side Story, solely for the quality. Smart kids! I only wish Hollywood would give us more credit for having a brain. – Lisa, Shreveport, La.
"Adult-themed" comedies? I suppose by "adult-themed" you mean unrestrained behavior, which, ironically, is as "childish" as it gets. – Tony, Murray, Ky.
Movies like Superbad & Pineapple Express harkens back to the golden days of such classics like Animal House & Porky’s … the days when you could go see an R-rated movie and not be worried about being politically correct. Some of us want to see topless women, racial humor, and drug use in movies without having to worry about upsetting the sensibilities of the PC crowd, or worry about the angry mom of the 15 year old that snuck into the movie theatre. – Alex, Industry, Calif.
There's an old say "You are what you eat". In this case for Americans, it's what you watch. Raunchy movies inspire raunchy behavior. But Hollywood doesn't care how its movies affect society's behavior or accepts responsibility for what it puts on the screen. It only cares about making money. – Shawn, Antioch, Tenn.
I do not enjoy raunchy comedies. I would like to be able to go see a movie with my younger sisters and not cringe or have to have a discussion afterward with them. I am particularly annoyed that a lot of comedies go from PG-13 to Unrated as soon as they hit the movie stores. – Melinda, Costa Mesa, Calif.
I willingly admit that I have enjoyed some of the resent "raunchy" comedies, but like anything else...it gets old fast and I'm going to want something different and not raunchy and raunchier. It's insulting. – Spencer, Vancouver
We don't even have kids at home anymore and it concerns me that raunchy comedy makes more money. There's enough stress and trauma in life without having to think that you have to laugh at raunchy comedy. To me it's a cop-out. There's more talent involved in being able to make people laugh without being raunchy. – Lynn, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Finally, the return of adult-themed comedies! It seems like every weekend, there is a new Disney or Pixar flick, which is fine for the kids, but I'm glad they're thinking of the adults again. We work hard, lead busy lives; it's nice to go to the movies and LAUGH! – Sheree, Lancaster, Calif.
Our country's morals are going down the tubes and the perverted garbage that is passed off as entertainment is a major cause of this condition. There has been some excellent movies produced that not only entertain but at the same time teach worthwhile character qualities and life lessons that help preserve what should be common decency. – Roger, Alpena, Ark.
Let's be real about this. The majority of box office money does NOT come from kids; it comes from their parents and the other ADULTS out here that go to work for the money! If it was "slob humor" that made an unbelievable comedy out of 'Caddyshack' and 'Animal House', and it is now called "raunchy", then YES, I want more of these comedies. Everyone likes a family-friendly comedy, but even 'National Lampoon's Vacation' had the f-bomb and nudity in it. I am an adult who appreciates someone willing to make a good comedy like most of the Judd Apatow movies made in the last few years. Thank God for the people with the cajones to make these movies, otherwise we never would have seen 'The Big Lebowski', 'Blazing Saddles', 'Trading Places', or 'Grandma's Boy', but we would still have 'The Burbs' "which is nice!" I think 'Pineapple Express' and 'Stepbrothers' are just what ADULTS in a struggling economy filled with worries and doubts needs! – Cory, Bethalto, Ill.
I am an under-50 man who thinks that comedy's purpose is not to push boundaries, but to make us laugh. I think Sid Ceasar could make us laugh without a dirty word because he was clever. Laughs about body functions and sex are easy to get, but much of it is embarrassed laughter, not wit or humor. With few exceptions, if you can't make me laugh with a clean joke, adding offensive language, passing gas, or a violent image will not make it funnier. – H.D., Dallas
I love all kinds of comedy, though I lean more towards raunchy and adult oriented comedy over family stuff. The truth is, if you do not like a show or movie, then do not watch it. No one should have the right to decide for me what is appropriate for me to watch or listen to or hear. I am amazed that people forget that they are not required to buy a ticket or that the remote will actually change the channel. The fact that there are films you would never watch is part of the burden of being in a democracy. Personally, I am more offended by all the church programming than any movie...though, I just change the channel and get on with my life. – John, Conroe, Texas
These few raunchy comedies have become a breath of fresh air to comedies similar to what Pixar’s cleaver family-friendly films have done previously. Before movies like "Toy Story" and "Cars" family-friendly movies were notorious for putting parents to sleep in the movie theatre; equating to an expensive nap. However, Pixar put intelligent adult humor into fun kid movies and set a new standard of movies that are truly fun for all ages. Raunchy movies, just like kid movies, played to a small audience. People like Seth Rogan have put intelligent humor into these raunchy/stoner films so that they appeal to a much wider audience. The outstanding performance of these two types of movies has become a hindrance to slapstick comedy that lands in the middle. Moderately funny situations and physical comedy just don't cut it anymore. Plus, who doesn't like a dirty joke? – David, San Diego