Why do comedy movies focus on making the protagonist a jerk?

I have random thoughts every now and then that dive deep into my mind and make me really think, like today's random thought about Mr. Waternoose in Monsters Inc. The whole film is about how a monster whose job is to scare kids for energy, and learns that his job isn't exactly what most would call "cool." The end of the film shows Sully confronting his boss Mr. Waternoose about kidnapping a child, to which Mr. Waternoose responds "I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die." This line got me thinking that Mr. Waternoose, while possibly trying to secure his lucrative position as an executive of Monsters Inc., is also just trying to keep the community's electricity going, and maintaining the jobs of hundreds, I presume, at Monsters Inc. Yes, it's wrong to kidnap children, I get that, but is Mr. Waternoose really a bad guy?

This same thought process kind of goes with other comedies like RV, not exactly the film of choice for most philosophical thoughts, but the movie is about Robin Williams character trying to balance family life with his high maintenance job. He takes the family on a vacation, in part to make his wife happy that he's taking time off from work, but mainly to get to an important meeting he has with Will Arnett, or something, I don't really think anyone remembers much of this movie. Towards the end of the movie, the family finds out that the whole vacation was just so Robin Williams character can get to his big meeting, and the family gets mad at him for it. The movie is supposed to make you feel angry that Robin Williams' character is so consumed with work, but aside from taking work calls at home, and doing work at home, Robin Williams character still seems to have a positive relationship with his family, so why are we angry that Robin Williams' character sacrifices his personal time to make money for his family?

Again, in the film Deck the Halls, which is a masterpiece, and Daddy's Home, the main dads in the films are just trying to connect with their kids, when the nuisance character comes in and takes the attention of the kids off the main dad, and to the nuisance character. The audience is supposed to be angry at the main dad for competing and failing to gain back the attention, and why? In Deck the Halls, Matthew Broderick's character has to compete with nuisance Danny DeVito's character, where DeVito's character just wants his house's Christmas lights to be seen on Google Earth, for some reason, driving his family to resent him for his competitive nature. The whole film is supposed to make you feel bad for DeVito's character because he has problems with his family, when all I want to feel bad for is Matthew Broderick's character because all Ferris Bueller wants is his family to think he's a great dad. I mean really, they're both being annoying, as the whole film is, but DeVito's character being an asshole has absolutely zero consequences, which is painful to watch. The same thing essentially goes for Daddy's Home, where Will Ferrell's character has to compete with nuisance Marky Mark Wahlburg's character, who wants to steal everything from Will Ferrell's character. It's entirely aggravating, and really just makes me angry to watch when the whole point of the film is to laugh.

So what should be taken from this? One, is that I don't use the word nuisance as much as I should, and two, comedies shouldn't make me angry to watch. Why are we getting mad at movie dads for wanting to provide a great experience for their family, when a nuisance character steps in to ruin their life? And why are we getting mad at Mr. Waternoose for wanting to help his community? These are just a few examples, of movie annoyances I have experienced (don't even get me started on Ghostbusters when the government steps in), but I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments, or by email at anthony@guidetti.me


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