Not every comedy movie delivers the laughs — with the script, direction, or comedic timing missing the mark. Movie lovers on an online forum discussed films that are so laugh-free that they make dad jokes seem like comedic gold. Here are the top 24 responses.
1. Hot Pursuit (2015)
Meet Rose Cooper, the cop whose every move screams, “Oops!” She’s given a shot at redemption when she’s assigned to protect Daniella Riva, a sassy widow with a dangerous past. Together, they zoom through Texas, dodging crooked cops and trigger-happy gunmen. But their biggest challenge? Making us crack up while on the run.
2. Holmes and Watson (2018)
Once upon a time, there was this comedy of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. But instead of eliciting laughter, it left fans in tears. Critics frowned upon it and fans gave it a pitiful 3.9/10 score on IMDb. Also, rumor has it that this movie marked the end of the bromance between John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell.
3. You People (2023)
With comedy, there’s a fine line between poking fun and crossing boundaries. You People stepped on that line, and the audience was unamused. It wasn’t offensive, just heavy-handed and as funny as a rubber chicken without a squeak. A disappointed viewer said it was “devoid of any joy or soul.”
4. Zoolander 2 (2016)
Isn’t it mind-boggling how some comedy sequels tank despite the brilliance of their predecessors? You’d think they’d stick to the winning formula and let us revel in the hilarity. Take Austin Powers, for instance. They practically made the same movie three times, and people loved each one! But, nope. Not Zoolander 2. Such a tragic fall from comedic grace.
5. The Happytime Murders (2018)
This adult comedy starring Melissa McCarthy murdered fans’ expectation of a happy time in front of the big screen — another in McCarthy’s array of botched comedies. It’s like the creators were so fixated on shock value that they forgot to include actual jokes. The movie’s many plot holes, jokes that crash and burn, jokes that never take off, jokes that overstay their welcome, and some mildly problematic jokes only turned fans off.
6. The Love Guru (2008)
In this film, the main character wants to become the world’s greatest love guru. Along the way, he discovers his self-worth and helps a hockey player get his life back on track. Sadly, he forgot to bring the laughs. It’s genuinely baffling how unfunny this movie is.
7. Juwanna Mann (2002)
In a brilliant move to save his basketball career, a star player embraces his feminine side and joins the women’s professional basketball league. Because, you know, nothing screams “solution” like cross-dressing on the court. One person said it didn’t even humor them when they were 15 years old, the “prime age for still finding bad comedies funny.”
8. Duplex (2003)
Duplex is like a melting pot of anti-comedy, where every bizarre trope and questionable idea is thrown in for good measure. A young couple stumbles upon an exquisite duplex in the dreamy New York neighborhood they’ve always longed for. The only catch? They must find a way to eliminate the current tenant, a sweet little old lady.
Don’t get your hopes up for belly-aching laughter because this movie doesn’t deliver the typical Ben Stiller comedy punches. One die-hard Stiller fan said it made them “angry watching it.”
9. Running With Scissors (2006)
Running With Scissors isn’t all bad. It has its enjoyable moments, just not in the comedy department. The marketing and trailer promised loud laughter, but many viewers agree that’s not what they experienced. The tale of a boy abandoned by his mother, who later abandons her in return, fails to deliver the comedic punch we were hoping for. If you approach it as something other than comedy, you might find some enjoyment. Keyword: might.
10. Ghostbusters (2016)
Four paranormal enthusiasts come together to save Manhattan in a world plagued by ghosts. But there’s one thing they forgot in their mission — comedy! With a stellar cast and the promise of a female-led Ghostbusters movie, expectations were high. Unfortunately, the script was unexciting. It’s almost as if they gathered many friends and said, “Hey, you’ve all done comedy before, right? Just wing it and hope for the best.”
11. Couples Retreat (2009)
In Couples Retreat, four couples in a tropical paradise are on a dreamy vacation. However, they are not prepared for compulsory therapy sessions at the resort. Despite the stellar cast, the film didn’t meet viewer expectations. It struggled to choose the right audience and tried too hard to be comedic. Viewers often found they were only sitting through awkward and cliché scenes.
12. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2019)
When Jay and Silent Bob unknowingly sign away their names and rights to a movie, they embark on a Hollywood adventure to stop the film from being made. But the filmmakers seemed to forget they were making an actual movie somewhere along the way. It ended up being a big ol’ serving of fan service, leaving viewers craving more substance. It’s like they milked the “It’s a reboot. Let’s throw in all the nostalgia” bit so much that it became the very thing they were meant to ridicule.
13. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Enter the strange world of Napoleon Dynamite, where a listless teenager helps his quirky friend run for class president while navigating his family life. This movie is a love-it-or-hate affair, and as you age, it tends to hit more on the sad rather than the silly spectrum.
14. Soul Plane (2004)
Buckle up for the raucous ride on the first flight of a black-owned airline, where stereotypes are higher than the plane. This movie crammed every racial stereotype you know into one joyride. And the worst part? It wasn’t even cleverly done. It’s a shame it didn’t take a more self-aware, satirical approach. No wonder it crash-landed with a 4.5/10 rating on IMDb and an 18% on Rotten Tomatoes.
15. Going Overboard (1989)
In Going Overboard, a struggling comedian sets his sights on cruise ship stardom. It stars Adam Sandler in his film debut. One disappointed viewer said it took them days to watch this movie because they could only handle watching 30 minutes at a time.
16. A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)
Once upon a time, a cowardly farmer fell for a mysterious woman in the wild west, only to discover her husband was a notorious gunslinger. Sounds like an absorbing movie, right? Well, it seems people didn’t find the whole “death affair” thing all that hilarious. This movie is alright, but it couldn’t quite crack up the masses.
17. Nothing But Trouble (1991)
They say this film was supposed to be a summer blockbuster comedy, but it never even made it to the starting line, and it’s easy to see why. Some call it a terrible movie, while others argue it’s a one-of-a-kind gem. But most agree that a businessman and his pals trapped by a sadistic judge and his delightfully eccentric family in an utterly bizarre mansion is more scary than funny, especially for those brave souls who watched it as kids.
18. Joe Dirt 2 (2015)
This movie is a puzzle disguised as a comedy! Joe Dirt 2 takes viewers on a journey of time travel, magical boots, and head-scratching questions. Who is this movie actually made for? And why are lumberjacks continuously passing gas into Joe’s open mouth? Some agree it’d have been better if the filmmakers had focused on simpler adventures like Joe tracking down his sister or exploring the quirky life of a redneck.
19. Little Man (2006)
A wannabe dad mistakes a dwarf criminal for his newly-adopted son. Silly? Definitely. Realistic? Not so much. For starters, vertically-challenged adults and babies don’t exactly look alike. And when it comes to the characters and punchlines, they fell short of being laugh-out-loud funny. It’s safe to say that this comedy missed the mark, both literally and figuratively.
20. Grown Ups (2010)
After the passing of their high school basketball coach, five friends reunite for a Fourth of July weekend filled with nostalgia and shenanigans. This movie, written by the comedic genius Adam Sandler himself, missed the mark when capturing his signature hilarity. With a cast full of comedic talent, you’d think the laughs would pour in like an all-you-can-eat buffet.
21. Thunder Force (2021)
In a world teeming with supervillains, Lydia and Emily, two childhood best friends, reunite when one of them develops a treatment that grants them superpowers. They valiantly battle villains and strive to tickle viewers’ funny bones. Did they succeed? If they did, the film wouldn’t be on this list.
22. The Benchwarmers (2006)
The Benchwarmers is about three guys who try to compensate for their missed childhood opportunities by forming a three-player baseball team to take on regular kids’ Little League squads. Sound interesting? Not really. Still, it might hit the sweet spot if you’re still in the single-digit or early teenage range.
23. Clerks III (2022)
Producer and director Kevin Smith put his heart and soul into Clerks III, trying to find that resonant core, but unfortunately, it fell a bit flat. The gang’s all here — Dante, Elias, Jay, and Silent Bob — enlisted by Randal after his heart attack to make a movie about how it all started. But despite the anticipation and love for the first two films, Clerks III struggled to convince viewers it was a comedy worth remembering.
24. Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
When a cartoonist loses his job, he moves back in with his parents. Things take a bizarre turn when he starts spreading rumors about his father abusing his younger brother, Freddy. Now, even from this, it’s pretty obvious what’s wrong with this “comedy.” Many viewers had the urge to walk out of the theater just minutes into the movie. Even those with a broad sense of humor failed to find the humor in this film, which says something.
Boloere Divine Seibidor, fondly called B.S., is a Nigerian-based writer and poet. Her favorite topics include music, especially Hip-Hop, film, lifestyle, and fashion. She’s been published by Feral Journal, Fantasy Magazine, The Temz Review, and most notably, Wealth of Geeks. She enjoys romantic dinners, movie nights, and touring new sights. When she’s not writing, she’s delving back in time to the underground world of Hip-Hop, watching TikTok, or visiting the cinema.