While the economic meltdown of 2008 was no laughing matter, the new comedy The Big Short chuckles at the impact of the event and the absurdity of its secrets. As if dissecting the layers of disease, the film dares to explore what can happen when greed overwhelms common sense. And because the movie never takes itself too seriously, while fully respecting the subject matter, it makes the realities of the situation all the more frightening.
The Big Short works as a comedy because of its integrity as a drama. The screenplay by Adam McKay and Charles Randolph — based on the book by Michael Lewis — contains enough factual information to fill an economics class. But, don’t worry, there’s no test during the final credits. While the movie offers a lot of lessons about how sub-prime mortgages killed the housing market and almost destroyed the economy, it never plays as a lecture.