Quentin Tarantino Explains How Bill Murray’s Comedy Movie Formula Failed Where Chevy Chase’s Succeeded

Quentin Tarantino has a vast knowledge of film history. This knowledge greatly contributes to his filmography. Many obscure movies have inspired Tarantino’s nine movies. He loves to chat about the film medium in interviews. Tarantino communicates that passion deeply. Tarantino once talked about actor Bill Murray’s comedy movie formula. He criticized it and explained why Chevy Chase movies do it better.

Quentin Tarantino incorporates comedy into his movies

'Pulp Fiction' filmmaker Quentin Tarantino wearing a black-collared shirt
Quentin Tarantino | Noam Galai/Getty Images

Tarantino’s movies are frequently classified as action or drama. However, the filmmaker himself doesn’t see it that way. His movies have dramatic elements, but they also incorporate humor. Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill are perfect examples of how Tarantino fuses the genres together.

Tarantino’s humor takes the slapstick comedy violence to the next level. It’s much less innocent than many older slapstick examples, but that doesn’t remove the comedy that he injects into the situations, the dialogue, and physical comedy. Tarantino has a signature style that truly stands out.

Quentin Tarantino criticized Bill Murray’s comedy

The Joe Rogan Experience talked with Tarantino in an interview. He analyzed the differences between Murray and Chase’s movies. He talked about how the 70s brought a cynical format to the movies, but the genre changed in the 80s. Movies started to require characters to be likable.

“Critics always really preferred Bill Murray movies to Chevy Chase movies,” Tarantino said. “However, it does seem as if the point of all the Bill Murray movies is that he’s this kind of hip, cool, curmudgeon, smartass guy, who in the last 20 minutes gets a transformation and becomes this nice guy. And almost apologizes for who he was the entire movie before that happened.”

Tarantino continued with examples: “Stripes, Groundhog Day, Scrooged. The whole thing. For instance, Stripes. How does he go from where Warren Oates kicks his ass, deservedly kicks his ass…to where now he’s rallying the troops? Now, he’s getting their army on during the parade and now he’s leading a secret mission. Same thing with Groundhog Day. I mean, does anybody really think a less sarcastic Bill Murray is a better Bill Murray? Maybe it’s better for Andie MacDowell, but not for us as the viewer.”

“Yet, Chevy Chase movies don’t play that s***,” Tarantino said. “Chevy Chase is the same supercilious a**hole at the end of the movie that he is at the beginning. He never changes in his stuff…I mean, unless they have him playing a dope like he is in the Vacation movies. But when he’s playing like a Chevy character, he never apologizes for who he is, stays the same way through the whole film, and even if there’s a slight change, that’s not the whole point of the movie, like changing him into a nice, cuddly guy.”

The comedy genre has shifted gears

Movies change based on what’s going on in the world. Social events, wars, pandemics, the economy, and other factors need to be considered. The current Hollywood-produced comedy is nothing like it was before. The crass comedy has taken center stage with movies such as Judd Apatow flicks.

Tarantino integrates comedy that he finds amusing into his movies. It’s clear that many classic movies tend to inspire Tarantino’s works rather than more recent works. He might be digging deeper into the comedy genre with his 10th and final movie. However, no official details have been released quite yet.

RELATED: Quentin Tarantino Opens Up About Foot Fetish Accusations: ‘That’s Just Good Direction’