Saturday, April 11, 2020

Juxtaposition.

Blogging from A to Z Challenge


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


Juxtaposition.

The juxtaposition -- putting two or more things side by side for comparison or contrast -- of characters or settings can add humor.

The Odd Couple (1968) juxtaposes a controlling neat freak, Felix (Jack Lemmon), with slovenly Oscar (Walter Matthau). They drive each other bonkers, but it makes great comedy.

Movieclips: The Odd Couple - Oscar Breaks Down

In Twins (1988), Julius (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Vincent (Danny DeVito) are opposites in size and personality. One is tall, the other short, one believes in honesty and integrity and the other is a crook. Putting the two of them together as twins brings numerous comedic moments and they eventually form a bond.

Movieclips: Twins - A New Look

Sometimes the contrast between a character and the setting adds comedy. For instance, in The Parent Trap (1961) when the citified Vicky Robinson (Joanna Barnes) goes on a primitive camping trip with Mitch (Brian Keith) and his daughters (Hayley Mills) it's funny to see her prissiness in the wilderness. I laugh when Vicky demands, "Get me out of this stinking fresh air!"

The contrast between character and setting is magnified in My Giant (1998). Not only do we see a side by side comparison of the character's heights but we see the contrast in their settings. Sammy (Billy Crystal) looks so tiny in the giant's home, and the giant, Max (Gheorghe Muresan) towers over everyone in Sammy's world.

Warner Bros. Trailer - My Giant

What movies come to mind when you consider the juxtaposition of characters or settings?

8 comments:

  1. How about the two main characters in Green Book? Tony and Don Shirley could hardly be more different, and the film does a wonderful job in showing their differences as men living in that time in America, often quite comedically.

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  2. @Sue ... I haven't seen Green Book yet, but hope to soon. Sounds like a great film.

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  3. Pretty Woman has two pretty different lead characters. And I agree with Sue's comment about Green Book and you should definitely see it!
    PS: I ADORE the original Parent Trap. I just watched it again the other night on Disney+

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  4. I didn't know My Giant, thank you for the trailer!

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  5. I never saw Twins or My Giant but loved the Odd Couple and both versions of the Parent Trap. I agree with Sue about the Green Book. Have a wonderful Sunday.

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  6. @Frederique ... You're welcome! My Giant didn't draw a large audience, but I enjoyed it.

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  7. @Janet ... I like both versions of The Parent Trap, too. I thought they did an excellent job with the remake.

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  8. @Dyanne ... my apologies... I just discovered your comment sitting in my "to be moderated" folder, so it's just now getting published on Apr 14. Sorry for the late response!

    The two main characters in Pretty Woman definitely came from different environments. That would make a good contrast.

    Thanks for commenting!

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