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How to distinguish one comedy from another comedy? The common trope is to make people laugh. The next question then becomes which type of people? The moment you get some idea which audience responds to the kind of humor produced on celluloid (or digital film, if you’d rather be modern), classifying them comes easy afterwards.

Romantic Comedy

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This might have been the type of comedy that was almost beaten to death in years through cinema. While it often presented love stories as relationships that simply develop no matter how insane the situation, how matter how hilarious the circumstances could get and no matter how heated the arguments could be between the main characters, they still end up falling in love. And the most overworked trope that it’s basically cliche is the third kind.

Sometimes the most memorable romantic comedies are the flicks that featured the main characters where one of them has the upper hand in the “almost” relationship. “Almost” because if you are familiar with the Korean romantic comedy “My Sassy Girl”, you can relate to a relationship where the girl (the titular girl in this movie) would put her suitor in inane situations that tested how far would the guy go to win her heart. Sadistic at first glance until you find yourself laughing at the guy’s idiocy just to win the girl’s heart. This takes us to the next type of comedy.

Screwball Comedy

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This type of comedy is one which elicits humor from circumstances that blur the line between idiotic and eccentric. Going back to our example, “My Sassy Girl” got its humor from the various challenges that the girl put the male protagonist into. Besides the way the love story started is not exactly “romantic”. It only ended up falling in the romantic comedy category since the guy really admired the girl.

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Some fans justify the screwball-ness found in the humor as a way for the girl to cope from her pain. More like a way to understand her mood swings. Plus she’s presented as a drinker so at least the humor is not out of making fun of some psychological disorder, if any. It then resulted to the girl finding mild amusement in annoying the male protagonist. Much of the humor is then less about the appearances of the main characters and more about the situations, making it distinct from some movies that are predominantly about the romance.

Comedy of Manners

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Occasionally viewed by some film critics as fish-out-of-water comedies, if the definition1 of the comedy of manners is “comedy that satirizes the manners and affectations of contemporary society and questions societal standards”, then movies like “The Proposal” and “Anger Management” can be considered as comedy of manners. The humor may not always be consistent but the efforts are evident.

“The Proposal” presents the need to get married just to earn citizenship in the United States and the person making the proposal is the woman. Slight jab at gender roles? Sort of. On the other hand. “Anger Management” presents a man’s conundrum – he doesn’t want to get angry because he doesn’t want trouble. And he still gets in trouble because he ends up looking like a doormat. Both flicks presented otherwise serious topics in a light manner without losing sight of poking fun at gender roles and good manners respectively.

Got other ideas about how comedy should be classified? The less snobbish you act towards certain types of comedies, the more you realize how relatable some of these examples are. And perhaps that is what made some of the examples successful in their own right – the effort towards authenticity. As long as it dishes out a legitimate chuckle from you, it succeeded in its goal to entertain you.

So we whether you yourself like to be a comedian, watching or acting out or you like to watch others Comedy has become Big Business. And it’s even being introduced into Corporations. To induce creativity, fun and stress relief. Read more from BBC News…


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