The Big Short movie is all about serious things:

  • The 2008 financial crisis (which banks blamed the bad things on immigrants, the poor, and even teachers)

  • mortgage-backed securities

  • ISDA agreement

  • AAA percentages on subprime loans, etc.

So wy did they choose to direct the movie in the comedy genre?

  • I also did not find it funny at all, although you can see how they might have thought they were lightening up the subject matter by having those celebrities explain complicated financial things in unusual settings (e.g., in a bubble bath). I just thought those scenes were kind of insulting to my intelligence, unnecessary, and distracted from the drama and the story, but I could see how someone would think they are funny. Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 16:08

2 Answers 2


The film follows in the tradition of films such as Dr Strangelove By Stanley Kubrick.

In a similar way there was a realisation that the subject matter is so dark, so frightening that the only way to present it is with a vein of dark humour, especially given the complicated financial elements.

To quote the director Adam McKay

"I feel if you do this movie like, say, 'The Insider' — which I think is a great movie — you wouldn't be doing this story justice,"

additionally you can see more here:

But McKay acknowledges he didn't write the script intending to get laughs. It came from the material in Lewis' book that is so outlandish you can only help but laugh, which McKay did while reading it in one sitting in 2010.

  • It seems like the meat of this answer could be stated as, "The book it was based on was clearly meant to be funny. It didn't translate the same way to the screen, but someone picking a genre for the movie could be working from the book." Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 16:10
  • I wouldn't say the book was meant to be funny, but I do get what McKay is talking about. I've read things that are pretty horrible but are so surprising, shocking, audacious, and inconceivable that I can't help but laugh at the absurdity. "Ha! They did what to subprime mortgages!? That's insane!" Meanwhile I'm angry and crying a little on the inside.
    – MattD
    Commented Jul 27, 2016 at 14:19

Check out this link to more about The Big Short (2015) Movie.

“I feel if you do this movie like, say, ‘The Insider‘ — which I think is a great movie — you wouldn’t be doing this story justice,” McKay told Business Insider, referring to the more somber Russell Crowe film about a tobacco-industry whistleblower.

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