The Comedy of Sexuality

There seems to be a common trend here. Many of us aimed a little too high with the first drafts of our proposals, aiming for too broad of a topic – myself included! My proposal conference helped me to focus on a more specific topic for my project.

Originally, I wanted my project to cover the linguistic changes in comedic films throughout the years – one decade at a time. However, I am now going to track the changes in sex and sexuality through the funniest comedy film of each decade, starting with the 1950’s rather than the 1930’s and ending at the 2000’s rather than the 2010’s (considering this decade is not even halfway over yet!) I am not necessarily going to focus on the linguistic aspects of the comedy. Instead, I will watch each of these five comedy films looking specifically for examples of sex and sexuality. Later on in the process of working on ┬áthis project, I will somehow connect the information in the films and my research to linguistics.

I also want to add some aspect of comparison between the top grossing film versus the viewer’s choice film. What is it that defines what is funny in terms of sex and sexuality? Is this different in the films that are “critically acclaimed” and the films that are not so critically acclaimed, but are inappropriately hilarious? Are jokes revolving sexuality more appropriate or accepted if a movie is critically acclaimed or maybe if the movie is not critically acclaimed?

I am very excited to start this project, and of course excited to watch some new, hilarious films!

2 thoughts to “The Comedy of Sexuality”

  1. Wow, even paired down from 9 films to 5, this still sounds like an immense challenge. Although I think you’re on a good track pairing it down further to a specific kind of comedy, i.e. sex and sexuality. Now that this is your new focus, are you going to delve into any lit analysis of why those things are funny, why they weren’t once but are now or visa versa? This is a topic with such an enormous amount of depth behind it that I’m curious to see all the avenues you decide to take. As always, here if you need to bounce ideas off somebody! Keep up the good work!

  2. I think you’ve done a good job narrowing your focus, which is something I need to do too! It’ll be so interesting to see how sex and sexuality were represented throughout the decades. Are you looking specifically at sexual language? Innuendo and humor? Or are you looking at visual examples as well?

    Your questions at the end of this post are awesome. They bring up issues of legitimacy and artistic merit. Do critically acclaimed movies get away with more raunchy humor, or does raunchy humor bar a movie from achieving an “artistic” or “legitimate” status? I’m sure the kinds of movies that win Oscars today are wildly different, especially in regards to sexual content, from the kinds that won fifty years ago.

    Great ideas. Good luck!

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