In Hindi cinema, sex comedy as a genre has been fraught with difficulties. A number of sex comedies draw inspiration from American franchises such as American pie. The majority, like the masti (2004) and Kya Kool Hai Hum (2005), have turned into successful franchises. Great Masti (2013) was a sequel to the 2004 film and was one of the biggest box office hits of that year.
masti This is how adult comedies took off in Hindi cinema. There were three sexually deprived husbands – played by Aftab, Vivek Oberoi and Riteish Deshmukh in order of extramarital pleasure seeking seniority outside the home with the same Lara Dutta. The message at the end of staying true to spouses, great performances from the entire cast, upbeat music, and most importantly, a fresh twist. The film had it all and pioneered a number of sex comedies.
movies like Kyaa Kool Hain Hum, NO ENTRANCE, Kuch Kuch Locha Hai, Guddu Ki Pistol and many more followed.
All of these films, however, have generally been slammed by critics for their grossness and overtly misogynistic overtones. They are plagued by homophobia, transphobia and sexism. Women and even animals (ew) are reduced to sexual objects. Far from their Hollywood inspirations, Bollywood tends to rely on tired jokes, slapstick humor and over-the-top acting. Even the ghosts have been sexualized in the film.
Sex is taboo and explored in hidden corners of society. However, the way he is treated on screen is rather immature and outdated, relying on caricatures. Some of the most offensive are Mastizaade, Kya Kool Hain Hum 3, Great Great Masti etc Most movies starring Sunny Leone, Tusshar Kapoor, Aftab Shivdesani and Ritesh Deshmukh are bizarre or horrex (horror + sex) sex comedies.
The comedy is juvenile and adolescent, fantasizing about teachers and openly obsessing over women’s bodies. movies like Kya Kool Hain Hum deductible and Great Great Masti ignore the storytelling of their hit predecessors and rely solely on pornographic storylines with no explicit sex scenes. The secretary-boss and the sexy teacher are some of the most common campy scenarios. Sexual harassment is often interpreted as a comedy, especially if the male protagonist is harassed by a homosexual. Because it’s so funny.
Most of them fall into the “so bad they’re good” category. Women are reduced to inflatable sex dolls for men, only meant to show off their chests and hips. The filmmakers consciously capitalize on sleaze value and barely focus on story, plot, or characters. The priority is coarse sexual content and steamy scenes, the bare minimum required to tackle the average Indian man and produce box office numbers. Even the actors who play it, like Vir Das and Sunny Leone, criticized them.
The films are stereotypical, given that the basic ingredients of an average sex comedy are 2 hours of double meaning and proximity to a beach for the bikini scenes. The constant barrage of regressive absurdities gives what should otherwise be a respectable and thrilling genre a bad name.
Many actors have disavowed being associated with one at any time.
Whatever sex comedies I’ve seen so far, I haven’t found them funny. I will never do one because it shows women in a special light. Making women the butt of all the jokes, having sexual innuendos, double meanings just to titillate the public is no fun
– Taapsee Punnu
Audiences are desperate for good Bollywood sex comedies. Filmmakers often argue that the criticism exists because critics cannot stand sexual content due to their “Sanskari mindset”. However, audiences are easily enthusiastic about watching adult films that don’t rely solely on split shots.
Hunter (2015) is a refreshing coming-of-age sex comedy with appropriate nuance and relying on smart comedy rather than crude scenes. Making progressive films about sex can encourage conversations about taboo topics.
The genre needs to be explored that can be fun, integrated with a bigger plot and less eye candy.