Classic British comedy – it’s not actually funny, is it? I don’t just mean the acknowledged pap like Carry On and Benny Hill; the alleged good stuff is often pretty shoddy too. I just watched the “classic” 1955 Ealing comedy The Ladykillers and laughed approximately once and that was at something the cat did. Now I’m even more baffled than I was at the time by the invective directed towards the Coens' remake a few years ago. It was hardly the brothers’ best work, but it was amusing enough – I saw it at a preview screening and the audience were pishing themselves throughout. I guess it crossed a lot of critics because not only was it a remake but it was a remake of a forrin film and therefore hateful in a way that even the Coen factor couldn’t mitigate.
Compare The Ladykillers to an actual comedy classic of the era (one that is funny and well-made, Some Like It Hot, say) and it’s like comparing the episode of Neighbours in which Madge died to Hamlet. Of course one must allow for the proverbial subjective nature of humour, especially when viewing the comedy product of another era, but still there’s obviously something wrong with people who rave about The Ladykillers. Oh look, Obi Wan Kenobi with funny dentures! How sophisticated and quintessentially British! (Fortunately The Ladykillers isn't French because then critics would have to pretend it is funny and meaningful.)
In short, I'm right and everybody else is wrong. Amazing how often that happens.