I'm a big fan of bloggers posting screenshots from films. So I thought I would start doing the same. Here's a sequence from "the jerk" that I've always found funny.
So here they are. Bernadette Peters and Steve Martin in Carl Reiner's "the jerk."
See how the kiss is the easy laugh? But Steve's look at the end is what sells the entire sequence for me.
It works on a lot of levels, building on the archetype of the hollywood kiss. It manages to be humorous, this weird gag of sorts, as well as oddly character-driven. Finally, the best part of this gag is the last shot, a look that requires a strong performance to be funny.
I'll make a huge generalization here--these days nearly every big studio animation has some sort of romance. Mostly, these love interests interact in some kind of playful, awkward banter. That's fine, and more often than not it's hilarious. But I wish there were more moments like these in large animated films (maybe not quite as weird?). silent, physical interaction goes a long way. And it can still be hilarious and emotional. Can't wait to see how it's done in wall-e.
It's not an easy thing to do. I'll get off my soapbox. What do you guys think?