AMERICA! Where Domestic Abuse is Comedic and Boundaries Don't Exist

The Other Guys (2010)

I get it. I do. This movie was supposed to make fun of Buddy Cop movies, and in most of those movies, there are teams of two men, normally awkwardly paired, that have problems at home, have ridiculous potty mouths, and spend most of their cop careers crashing their police cars through walls. And in that respect, The Other Guys does a good job parodying these types of films. I have to admit that I laughed at the ridiculous scene in which Samuel L. Jackson and the Rock (yes, I still refer to him as the Rock) "aimed for the bushes" and crashed on to the pavement, showing that the absurd antics in most cop movies would end in death if they were actually performed on the streets of NYC. 

However, I cannot watch this movie and, with a conscience, ignore the blatant verbal abuse that Will Ferrel incessantly streams to Eva Mendes throughout. I don't care if it makes fun of the fact that in most cop movies, wives are perfect and submissive and often these glorified, angelic victims (Se7en, anyone?). But to watch Allen Gamble repeatedly tell his wife that she's plain and isn't dressed nice enough for company, to me, isn't funny. It's awkward and uncomfortable. Just because the entire audience knows that she's hot doesn't change the fact that this kind of comedy doesn't fit in this movie. 

I guess what bothers me is that, were this movie a dark, offbeat comedy that deconstructs social norms and uncovers situations that aren't brought to the public very often in an attempt to bring about commentary, maybe the scenes I'm talking about would be acceptable because it would be condemning the behavior and not satirizing it. But who am I kidding? This is a fucking Will Ferrel comedy. The humor comes in watching ridiculously crazy situations that would never happen in real life (as was in Blades of Glory, Elf, and Step Brothers). So it isn't funny that he puts down his wife because, oh wait, THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENS. And in real life, it isn't funny. It's called abuse. Rihanna and Eminem made a whole song about it. The more this kind of behavior is joked about, the more it will be ignored. 

I'm willing to ignore the jokes about a Prius being a woman's car, because if you listen to that and take it to heart, you're an asshole to begin with. I'm willing to laugh at the fact that Mark Wahlberg learned to dance and play the harp ironically. I'm also willing to enjoy watching Michael Keaton spout lyrics to TLC. I'm not willing, however, to sit back and laugh at uncomfortable spousal abuse. I don't care if he tells her she's beautiful later, especially because it's only to get laid. I was also bothered that the fact that she THREW HIM OUT (was I the only one who exclaimed, "Finally!" in the theatre?) was sort of dismissed completely and made to look like he left. He calls her and she says how worried about him she is! I was like, "Seriously?"

And then there was that ridiculous scene with her mother in which she serves as a go between for Allen Gamble and his wife, who are sharing dirty dialogue. I guess it's just exemplary of living in an age where, thanks to the internet, we have absolutely no boundaries. Not only did that sequence last waaaay too long (enough to incite boredom), but by the end of it, I wasn't laughing. I felt bad for the old woman. Not as bad as I felt for Eva Mendes, but still pretty bad. 

I'm not saying this was a terrible movie. As parodies go, it was still better than Vampires Suck (2010) and anything of the "______ Movie" franchise. I did laugh. But I can't see this and ignore what was on the screen. And if you can, either you didn't notice it or didn't want to, both of which I can respect. But if you see the movie after reading this, I just ask you not to laugh during those scenes. Because, in reality, they aren't funny. That's all. 


The Movie Mistress

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