Admittedly, comedy is subjective. But there are some comedy movies that most can (and should) agree just don’t hold up. Comedies that haven’t aged well include films that are impossible to enjoy outside of the context in which they were created. Some of the greatest comedy films of all time have pieces that have to be explained away with the excuse “that’s just the way things were”…but that’s really not an excuse. The same goes for classic video games: some classic movies just don’t hold up under scrutiny, and their worth is really only as a time capsule museum piece.
Of course, expecting a writer in 1959, for example, to understand how social mores would change over the course of 60 years is improbable. However, there are some very popular comedies that are just plain offensive no matter how you look at them.
Keep reading to remember all of the movies you used to think were hilarious and vote up the ones that have aged most horribly.
1. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Combines The Worst Of Racist Caricatures With A Manic Pixie Dream Girl
This 1961 romantic comedy has provided the blueprint for most of the Manic Pixie Dream Girls and the following films that featured them. Audrey Hepburn’s naive eccentric socialite Holly Golightly is hardly a three-dimensional character. But time has been kind to the character, likely because of how good Hepburn is in the film. And no matter how daffy Hepburn’s portrayal of Golightly is it’s never going to seem offensive next to Mickey Rooney’s portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi. Yunioshi is a Japanese photographer who lives in Golightly’s apartment building. aucasian Rooney speaks faux-broken Chinese, wears buck-teeth, tapes his eyelids, and is arguably one of the most racist characters in the history of film.
It’s hard to believe that people weren’t upset with Rooney’s portrayal at the time, but Rooney himself claimed that there was no racist intent in the character. Regarding later criticism of his racist depiction, he said:
“…breaks my heart…Never in all the more than 40 years after we made it — not one complaint. Every place I’ve gone in the world people say, ‘You were so funny.’ Asians and Chinese come up to me and say, ‘Mickey you were out of this world.’”
If you’ve seen the film recently then you know how unlikely it is that anyone of Asian descent has ever told Rooney that he’s “out of this world.”