Episode 151: Tropic Thunder (2008)

Welcome to another episode of “Whitewashing”! Kind of surprising how many of the movies we’ve discussed are comparatively recent, hm? Might make one question how much progress we’ve made.  But this one is . . . a bit odd.  We’re talking about “Tropic Thunder,” a comedy about how hard it is to make movies.  Sure, that’s something we can all sympathize with.  Much of this movie is a series of inside jokes for Hollywood folks and Hollywood obsessives but there’s some actual humor here, and a very interesting cast.  Why is this movie part of this particular series? Uh, well, it’s a bit complicated, very nuanced, it would take a scientist to explain . . . look Robert Downey Jr. spends nearly all of this movie in what is effectively blackface.  His character, an obsessive method actor, is cast as a black character in this movie-within-the-movie and to get into the part, he undergoes a controversial “skin darkening” process.  So the movie seems at least somewhat aware of how problematic that is.  Does it take the opportunity to address the issue? Is it the major focus of the movie? Well, if I tell you that, you wouldn’t need to listen, would you? Sheesh, what were you thinking, asking questions like that . . . Give a listen!

Poll question: Is there any movie that has ever made you laugh so hard that your face hurt? If so, which one?

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4 thoughts on “Episode 151: Tropic Thunder (2008)”

  1. The movie that made me laugh so hard it hurt the first time, and still makes me laugh: Airplane! Yes, there are inappropriate parts in there that don’t wash now, but nobody will ever replace Johnny. Another one (and I know Mike agrees with me on this one): What’s Up Doc?

    1. I have to say, as much as I love “What’s Up, Doc?” I don’t think it’s ever made me laugh THAT hard. And now it’s more a comfortable blanket that just makes me warm and toasty. Thanks for the answers, Val!

  2. I have never seen tropic thunder, it just did not appeal to me at all. The blackface didn’t help, even if it was obvious parody.

    I have laughed at a ton of movies but never so hard it hurt! At a play, a friend of mine had to bury his face in my coat because he was laughing so hard he thought he might pee, though!

    1. For my part, you didn’t miss much, Vince. It tried very hard but was just kind of a mess. I have one movie I can remember laughing that hard at, but I’ll save it for the show. Thanks as always, Vince!

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