Will Ferrell’s new movie bombs: why are audiences rejecting ‘adult’ comedies like The House?

Judging by the reviews, the film additionally sounds a bit same-y: an attempt to recreate the anarchic heyday of Ferrell’s career, which saw him star in inventive, zany titles such as Zoolander and Anchorman, that instead ends up falling depressingly flat.

There’s additionally a sense that, when it comes to adult-oriented comedies, mainstream Hollywood is now a little behind the curve, desperately striving to be edgy without ever quite hitting the mark (a little like a Dad telling dirty jokes at a party full of teenagers, mortifying his children in the process).

The House, for example, contains what the LA Times described as “a disturbing date rape joke made in the first five minutes of the movie” – a line that signals, according to the reviewer “the type of lazily written taboo comedy that awaits”.

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