film: (Chaplin) – Tillie’s Punctured Romance

I don’t care if it is the first feature-length comedy ever, because it still sucks–which, I mean to say, is that it contains everything I never liked about American comedies. The majority of its humor is from slapstick violence, some of it’s from alcohol, and a lot is because Tillie’s a real beast. I suppose this would fall into the category “farce”–the same as Comedy of Errors, in which the main purpose is to get laughs, and the only resemblance between two is that despite excessive beatings, nobody seems to get hurt. It grows tiresome to watch these people who seem so alien to their own bodies, falling over everything, having difficulties running or moving or even thinking clearly. However, one sequence of bandied violence, between Chaplin and his crooked girlfriend, was nearly identical to a sequence in The Thin Man. Both begin with one person bumping the other, and end with the man raising his arm back across his body about to strike the girl, and then stopping when noticed by somebody else. In The Thin Man it’s funny because you can see the characters in love, you can see how well they get along, and it’s quite endearing, their little battles of wit and this pretended violence. Yet in Tillie it’s only a droplet in the sea, it’s nothing–it’s not cute, it’s not sweet, it’s not funny. Yet–the one thing that confuses all is when Chaplin and his girlfriend are caught making out. It’s as if they may love each other after all. I don’t know–perhaps I don’t have a good sense of humor. I began watching a Will Farrell movie–uhm, Anchorman–everyone was talking about, and had to turn it off after fifteen minutes of not even finding something to smile at, and the same goes for School of Rock which I watched half an hour of last night. Not funny. I can tell when I’m supposed to laugh. But it just doesn’t do it for me. Yet the Dick van Dyke Show does. In any case, I’ve decided life is too short to watch any of the other Fantomas films, or Tillie films. Fuck that.

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