That’s My Boy: That’s So Funny?

Posted: June 15, 2012 by jperritt in Comedy, Musical
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Let me begin by saying, I think Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg are hilarious. I grew up watching Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore and laughed until it hurt. I saw Hot Rod, as well as, some of the Lonely Island videos and think they are equally funny. Even though I have laughed at some of Sandler’s and Samberg’s work, doesn’t mean I should and doesn’t mean it’s okay.

People have a funny way of justifying our sin. I am not saying you are in sin if you watch Sandler and Samberg’s newest film, That’s My Boy, but I think it raises a few questions for us to consider.

Laughter = Sinless

Getting back to my point of justifying our sin, laughter has often been a means to ease the guilt that sin brings. Sometimes you may even hear people remark, “I know it’s bad, but it was so funny.” There is no doubt that TMB will make people laugh. The two stars are funny, the premise can be funny, but there is a lot of filth in this movie. The content described is crude sexual content throughout, nudity, drug use and language. Therefore, Christians must be cautious of exposing themselves to content like this and merely passing it off as ‘Yeah, but it’s funny.’

J.C. Ryle, in his book, Holiness, reminds us about the deceitfulness of our sin:

Men try to cheat themselves into the belief that sin is not quite so sinful as God says it is, and that they are not so bad as they really are.

Ryle’s truth rings true in a culture that loves to laugh at sin. We must be reminded that sin is, first and foremost, offensive towards God. Let us be careful what we laugh at.

What Is Funny?

This leads me to my next thought from TMB, should we be laughing at the storyline from this film? When Donny (Sandler) was a teenager, he had sex with one of his high school teachers. She gets pregnant and has a boy, however, she goes to prison for statutory rape and Donny is left to raise Todd (Samberg). The story follows Donny and Todd’s later years as Donny tries to reconnect with his son. However, Todd is much more mature than his father, but Donny ends up getting his son to follow his sinfully indulgent lifestyle of drugs and sex. I must confess that I have not seen the film, so I don’t know if Donny sees the error of his ways and turns from them but I wouldn’t bet on it.

So my question is, what is funny? If you were to read the above premise of the film, without a knowledge of it being a comedy, you would assume it described a depressing drama. But, Hollywood has turned statutory rape, sex, and drugs into humor. Should that be funny?

The same thing could be said about another movie being released this weekend, Rock of Ages. A musical that celebrates rebellion and indulgence in sex and drugs, however, since it’s a musical it gets a pass. Musicals have a way of doing that. They make things seem innocent, because they sing about depravity…it’s just so cheery!!

As Christians, we must be very cautious of laughing at our sin, because Satan loves for us to think sin is harmless. Let us remember that sin damns people to hell, which isn’t funny. Let me draw from Ryle once more:

We are too apt to forget that temptation to sin will rarely present itself to us in its true colours, saying, “I am your deadly enemy, and I want to ruin you forever in hell.” Oh, no! sin comes to us like Judas, with a kiss; and like Joab, with an outstretched hand and flattering words.

With films like That’s My Boy and Rock of Ages, we could add that sin comes to us in songs and laughter. Just so we’re clear, I am not saying Christians should abstain from these movies. Rather, they should be wise and discerning enough to consider these things as they watch these films. How do these films convey sin? What do they present to be funny? Is it okay for us to share in the world’s laughter? Some of the sins in the film might be funny and we may laugh at the jokes, but let us remember it was sin that nailed God’s perfect Son to the cross. That’s no laughing matter.

  1. Craig Barnard says:

    Amen, and Amen. Thank you John for this very well put article on TMB. I am sad to say I am guilty of hushing sin aside by the same, “…..but it is so funny.” Thank you for this wonderful encouragement to discernment. I pray others will take note and your lead.

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