10 Good Comedies That Would Have Been Better As Dramas – CBR – Comic Book Resources

While there are plenty of comedies with serious moments, there are some whose entire premises might have been more appropriate within the drama genre.
Comedy is a diverse genre, ranging from family-friendly humor to adult jokes across various mediums. Plenty of genres, such as fantasy or romance, often include comedic elements, but they lack the defining traits of a true comedy. Some stories, however, are defined as comedies, but they include scenes, themes, or concepts that are much more serious in nature.
RELATED: 10 Comedy Shows With Shocking Drama Behind The Scenes
In order to take certain stories or concepts seriously, it's important to include more dramatic moments within an otherwise comedic environment. While there are plenty of comedies with serious moments, there are some whose entire premises might have been more appropriate within the drama genre.
While Groundhog Day is considered, by definition, a comedy film, the actual experience is more similar to that of a drama. The premise itself is comedic — the protagonist, a narcissistic reporter named Phil Connors, has to repeat the same day over and over again — but the execution and theme of the film are surprisingly serious and heartfelt.
After learning that his actions had no consequences, Phil started off indulging in whatever he wanted. But he eventually grew depressed, taking drastic action to try and break his time loop only to discover that he was trapped. The film is surprisingly tragic and would have worked well even if it hadn't been a comedy.
Elf, one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, is famous for Will Ferrell's hilarious performance and dozens of quotable dialogue moments. The premise is ridiculous, but there are also several moments in the film that are surprisingly emotional. Had the film taken a serious approach, it would have had a solid plot to work from.
The general plot of Elf revolves around Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole, and his search for his real father. It's hilarious and bizarre, but it has a fairly serious and heartfelt message about fatherhood, identity, and acceptance. Without all the gags and comedic elements, Buddy's journey would still have been meaningful had the film been a true drama.
One of the most popular '80s teen comedies was Ferris Bueller's Day Off, a fourth-wall-breaking adventure of three kids who ditch school to wander around Chicago. It's a hilarious story with memorable characters and gags, but with some serious moments and darker undertones sprinkled throughout.
Most of the film is fast-paced and ridiculous, throwing the characters into impossible scenarios and hilarious conflicts, but one particular scene shifts the film's tone. After realizing he'll have to confront his father about his wrecked car, Cameron breaks down in frustration. The scene's discussion of teenage troubles and emotions is surprisingly mature, and the story could have taken its tone further had it taken its entire premise seriously.
Mean Girls, a witty teen comedy film about a homeschooled girl learning to navigate public high school, became a cult classic following its release. It focuses on the female high school experience, commentating on social cliques, bullying, and the overall experience of teenagers in such an important stage of life.
RELATED: 10 Most Nostalgic Movies Of The 2000s
While Mean Girls is a solid comedy with a unique sense of humor, it tackles a fairly vulnerable and important topic. The film's overall message — to establish personal boundaries and learn to confront toxic behavior — would have translated well to the drama genre had the writers taken a more serious approach.
The romance comedy The Big Sick, starring Kumali Nanjiani, was written and inspired by Kumali's own life and relationship with his wife and co-writer Emily V. Gordon. The film takes a comedic approach to a very serious premise, documenting the relationship and struggles of Kumali and Emily as a result of their conflicting cultures and expectations.
After Emily is hospitalized and placed in a coma, Kumali is forced to interact directly with her parents and confront his own expectations for the future. Despite being labeled a comedy, the film is deeply meaningful and discusses serious topics in a powerful way.
Despite becoming a box-office flop following its release, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World received generally positive reviews and eventually became a cult classic. It's a bizarre film with a unique style and tone that pulls heavily from video games and comics.
The film's core premise revolves around Scott Pilgrim, an awkward musician who must "battle" his new girlfriend's evil exes. The fight scenes, special effects, and overall humor of the film aren't meant to be taken seriously, but the underlying theme — to take responsibility for one's mistakes and respect the emotions of others — is a fairly important discussion that, had the film taken a more dramatic approach, might have told an even more compelling story.
The film 17 Again, while labeled a comedy, opens with a serious scene and maintains a fairly dramatic tone throughout the entire story. The film's first few minutes show the protagonist, Mike O'Donnell, abandoning a high school basketball game to support his pregnant girlfriend. As a result, Mike puts his dreams aside to be a father.
RELATED: 10 Great Comedies Everyone Forgot Existed
Most of the film follows Mike's life after he is magically transformed back into his 17-year-old self. Rather than pursue the opportunities he believes he missed, he chooses to try and repair his relationship with his wife and kids. The overall premise is heartfelt, tragic, and only comedic in specific scenes or moments.
The 2000 film Meet the Parents, starring Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro, is a hilarious interpretation of a commonly feared situation: meeting a significant other's parents for the first time. The protagonist, Greg Focker, is immediately disliked by his girlfriend's father, a retired CIA operative, and manages to get himself into ridiculous situations as he fails to fix his reputation.
Most of the film is over-the-top and exaggerated, but the quieter and more heartfelt moments of the film are still meaningful. The premise itself is something a broad audience can relate to, and if the film had prioritized its dramatic elements, it would have still been a successful and compelling film.
Even though Deadpool, as a franchise, is defined by its humor and fourth-wall-breaking dialogue, Deadpool 2 tells a fairly serious story compared to its predecessor film. It's still a solid comedy, but Deadpool 2 has several serious and dramatic scenes that could have been taken very seriously if the film's finale had not retconned most of its meaningful moments.
Wade's relationship with and grief over his girlfriend, Vanessa, his depression, and his protectiveness toward Russell are all surprisingly serious and dramatic elements of the film. There are several sad and emotional scenes throughout the film. Had Deadpool's traditional humor been absent from the script, it would have still been a compelling and dramatic superhero story.
Daddy's Home, a lighthearted comedy film starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, was poorly received for a rather shallow and underdeveloped exploration of its premise. The core concept is both humorous and compelling and might have been more successful had the film focused on its dramatic elements over its humor.
In Daddy's Home, Brad Whitaker attempts to gain the affection of his step-children against the stronger and more charismatic personality of their biological father, Dusty Mayron. The two fathers constantly argue and attempt to outdo each other, resulting in hilarious and problematic situations. The premise, however, feels more appropriate within a more serious film.
NEXT: 10 Great Comedies That Celebrate Family


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *