Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Fish out of water.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Theme: Humor in film -- what makes me laugh:

Fish out of water.

When an animated fairy-tale character, Giselle (Amy Adams), surfaces in New York as a real human, she is out of her natural element--a fish out of water--and it creates great comedic moments. Add a prince and a sidekick chipmunk entering the real world in search of Giselle and we have even more fish out of water, and more fun! (Enchanted, 2007)

Movieclips Classic Trailers: Enchanted

Many of us might feel like fish out of water right now as we navigate unique situations during a worldwide pandemic. It's doesn't feel like a laughing matter! But that's the beauty of comedies... they let us laugh at characters in crazy situations, and it helps reduce stress.

Just a few favorite fish-out-of-water characters:
  • Madison (Daryl Hannah) might be considered a literal fish out of water... she's a mermaid on land in the movie Splash (1987).
  • Buck Russell (John Candy) is way out of his element when he is asked to take care of his brother's family (Uncle Buck1989).
  • An alien couple (Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin) get stranded on Earth and need to blend in, so they take on the name of Conehead and tell people they are from France (as if that explains their odd shaped heads and peculiar mannerisms). (Coneheads, 1993)
  • Buddy (Will Ferrell), raised as one of Santa's elves, leaves the North Pole to find his natural father in New York. (Elf, 2003)
  • In Klaus (2019), Jesper (voice of Jason Schwartzman), the spoiled freeloading son of the Post Master, is banished to a hostile community on a frozen island in the Arctic. He's very much out of his comfort zone.
As those characters (and many others!) find their way in unfamiliar territory, they give me a lot of laughs.

Do you have a favorite fish-out-of-water film?

(Note: I wrote an academic essay about Enchanted for a Comedy Film class. You can read it here.)


  1. Great examples of some pretty funny films! Uncle Buck was hysterical.

    Janet’s Smiles

  2. What a great selection of films! I love comedy films and TV series but was racking my brains for one featuring a fish out of water. How about The Full Monty? I'm British and this is a British film about out-of-work coal miners who turn to stripping to make some money. They were definitely fishes out of water!

  3. @Janet ... John Candy did a great job as Uncle Buck, huh!

  4. @Toffee ... I've never seen The Full Monty, but from what you described it certainly sounds like they were fish out of water! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I think Buddy the Elf didn't know he was a fish out of water, but everyone else sure did!

  6. @Dyanne ... Yeah, Buddy's unawareness made the movie fun, huh!

  7. There's a funny film starring Simon Pegg called Hector and the Search for Happiness. Hector decides he needs to travel to try to get himself out of a funk, and he is definitely a fish out of water when he lands in Africa. The situations he finds himself in are so extreme! Really good film!

  8. @Sue ... I haven't seen Hector and the Search for Happiness. I'll keep my eye open for that.