Hey, yeah, remember those guys, they made every funny movie of the early 2000s, and then all of a sudden, poof! They disappeared, Judd Apatow’s minions took their place, and they were never seen filming good movies together again. Each of what I consider the five main pillars of the frat pack has had a noticeable decline in the types of films they’ve made since, opting for kids and chick movies that yes, probably made more money, but made a whole lot more suck too.
Here’s a visual representation showing what I mean. For each of them I could have picked any number of good, old movies and new, bad ones, but I tried to stick with the prime examples.
Ben Stiller 2001 vs. Ben Stiller 2009
How do you make a sequel to Meet the Parents AND Night at the Museum, but not Zoolander? Oh right, money. In his defense, Tropic Thunder was almost a return to form. But didn’t anyone see The Heartbreak Kid? Man…
Owen Wilson 2005 vs. Owen Wilson 2008
Doing a movie with Jennifer Aniston and a puppy may be a way to cure depression, but that doesn’t make it good idea.
Vince Vaughn 2004 vs. Vince Vaughn 2007
The “Vince Vaughn” character (the only one he can play, let’s be honest) works well in R-rated comedies, but not so much in PG kids movies and chick flicks with Reese Witherspoon.
Luke Wilson 2003 vs. Luke Wilson 2008
Wow, that one hits hard. Straight to DVD with Jessica Simpson? Come on Luke, you’re better than that.
Will Ferrell 2004 vs. Will Ferrell 2009
I honestly think Ferrell has seen the biggest drop in quality, and you can actually mark it year by year. Does anyone, even four year-olds, think Land of the Lost looks good?
So what happened here? If I had to guess, I think it’s one or more of a few options.
A) All of these guys had kids, and wanted to make movies that they could actually see without burning their ears off. I have no idea if any of these guys actually had kids.
B) They wanted to “grow up” and stop making the same types of movies over and over again, even if they were pretty good. What was the last Frat Pack movie anyways? Wedding Crashers?
C) Jennifer Aniston. She’s been in shitty movies with 3 out of the 5 (Ben Stiller – Along Came Polly, Owen Wilson – Marley and Me and Vince Vaughn – The Break Up). But that still leaves two unaccounted for.
D) Apatow’s crew took over. It’s clear that Apatow’s boys (Rogen, Rudd, Segel, Hill, etc.) are the new Frat Pack, but why? Why can’t both groups of people keep making funny movies? I understand that comedy teams come in waves, but I can’t figure out why these guys just called it quits completely.
What do you think happened?