Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000)
Dude, Where’s My Car? was the absolute favourite movie of one of my ex-girlfriend’s. Oh, how she would laugh when she watched it. The problem however is that Dude, Where’s My Car? is an absolutely terrible movie – the kind of terrible that makes a guy re-evaluate his relationship choices. In fact, this movie may very well be the reason she is my ex-girlfriend*. It’s that bad.
My ex-girlfriend would laugh so much when she was watching this movie – which she watched more often than I would care to admit – that I began to wonder if I just didn’t know a good joke when I heard one. Then again, I had introduced her to Laurel and Hardy, and she repaid me by giving me Ashton Kutcher, so it seems I got the short end of that particular stick. She knew I hated it, so perhaps this was just an innovative approach to get me to leave her.
I was in my early twenties when I was introduced to this abomination, which is probably the target age group for all of the toilet gags and lewd humour on display, but even at that infantile age I had higher comedic standards. Dude, Where’s My Car? is just a lazy movie that is more tragedy than comedy.
*Not the reason she is my ex-girlfriend.
Way Out West (1937)
The classic title card.
I have been a great fan of Laurel & Hardy for many years, and this feature is widely regarded as their finest effort. I have a few other suggestions for that spot, but it’s certainly a solid choice.
A long time ago I introduced one of my ex-girlfriends to Way Out West (and the comedy duo in general) and she memorably shrugged indifferently and said to me, “I’ve seen Steve Martin do that”, as if somehow Laurel & Hardy had travelled forward in time, watched a bunch of Martin’s movies and then gone back to film their interpretation in black and white. To this day I still don’t know if she was pulling my leg!
Eighty years after Way Out West, and there is still no double act that has the same chemistry or comic timing as the original masters of the art, and that perhaps says as much about Laurel & Hardy as performers as it does about the progress of cinema since they stopped making movies.
“Eat the hat.”
From the running gag of Stan using his thumb as a lighter, to the scene where he eats Ollie’s hat after losing a wager, to Ollie’s continual breaking of the fourth wall by looking into the camera in frustration at his partner, Way Out West is a classic of the genre that deserves its place in history.
I know it’s difficult for the current generation to go back and check out these old movies, but I rewatched this one last week, and if you approach it with an open mind, I think you’ll find that it holds up surprisingly well.
But do yourself a favour and watch it in the original black and white form – those colourised versions are (for the most part) cheap and tacky.