It's been a long time since I've laughed like that at a movie scene, but this one made me howl!
The Men Who Stare at Goats is fundamentally a story about heart-break, betrayal, torture and war, so there shouldn't be anything funny about it at all. But the sheer juxtaposition of the violence and the New Age themes worked.
It had to be played for laughs, because there was no other way of comprehending it.
The movie is billed as a comedy, as well as a drama, and the most bizarre facts of all are actually true. There really was a battalion of US Special Forces, based at Fort Bragg, who explored esoteric ways of gaining a military advantage. It was populated by soldiers with demonstrable psychic ability. They did train to use this in combat.
What the film does is take that reality and create a fictitious story about it. Like it needed that!
For the geeks amongst us, there were real moments of hilarity which had nothing to with the actual story in hand. The psychic soldiers called themselves Jedis. Ewan McGregor played the reporter finding out about them. I giggled so much hearing him ask, "What's a Jedi?"
If you don't know, Ewan, then the Rebel Alliance is truly sunk.