Who bought it? Max. This is a very special edition of The DVD Purge Project because I just bought this the other day (I had it on VHS) so it jumped to the front of the line because A comes before B. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead will have to wait.
Why? Surely you can’t be serious.
Non-Buyer’s response: I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.
Max’s Thoughts: It was frustrating to watch this with Megan, because apparently I’ve spent the past 5 years writing comedies with someone who doesn’t understand how to laugh. She laughed out loud like… five times. FIVE TIMES!?!?! This is Airplane! The essentially-consensus funniest movie ever. I’m pretty sure this means Megan is legally dead. Or a robot.
That Airplane! is a foundational, classic comedy is such a fundamental movie truth, I can hardly see the reason to get deep on this one. So I won’t. One time I tried to count the number of jokes Abrahams and the Zucker Bros attempted. Every now and again, when it comes up, I’ll claim the number is something ridiculous. In reality, I lost count. That is the ferocity and speed with which this movie hits you with jokes. It makes 30 Rock’s “6 jokes per page” rule look like child’s play. Try 6 jokes in 10 seconds of screen-time. This movie is like a self-reloading machine gun that fires jokes. If 8 jokes miss, 3 will hit. It’s a film so ridiculous and specific, yet so broad it holds up 40+ years later. Fun fact: This was a direct spoof of a hyper-specific genre of movie that was basically only around in the 1970’s. They used to make these boilerplate “Airport” dramas where a plane would be in duress and yada, yada, yada. Basically what happens in Airplane! And people still find it funny despite never having seen Airport 1975 (a real, actual movie title). It was an otto-matic KEEP IT from the start. And I didn’t even get into the Kareem-eo (that’s cameo+Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It doesn’t always work).
Megan’s Thoughts: Max almost divorced me partway through this movie because I “wasn’t laughing enough.” Then I started nervous laughing because my lack of laughter was making him mad and I felt like I was ruining the movie for him. But he knew my laughs weren’t real laughs. It was a vicious cycle.
Look, it took me too long to see this comedy classic. Yes, it’s true, I didn’t see Airplane! until 2015. Most of the jokes I’d already heard in other context. And I’m not usually a fan of “spoof” movies. I don’t like any of those Scary Movie or Epic Movie or what have you – it all just gets too over-the-top for me. Comedy is hard. Even the best comedies don’t please everyone – and what does that even mean, the “best” comedy? There’s no formula, no rules, which is why I’m so addicted to writing it in my own screenplays.
I’m sorry, world. I feel like I let everyone down by not loving this movie. I picked a bad week to quit…ok, whatever this isn’t working. It’s a toss for me.
Verdict: Despite Megan, it’s a keep!
Years ago Max bought me a copy of this movie. It is still the best present I’ve ever received.
Megan, I love you, and you are wrong.