Film review: 'Jojo Rabbit' seeks humor in the darkest of places [trailer]

This image released by Fox Searchlight Pictures shows, from left, Roman Griffin Davis, Taika Waititi and Scarlett Johansson in a scene from the WWII satirical film "Jojo Rabbit." (Kimberley French/Fox Searchlight Pictures via AP)

"Oh good, another Hitler comedy! It's been too long," said no studio development executive, ever.

But of course, absurd as the idea may seem, some attempts to wring humor from the horrors of Nazi Germany have stood the test of time: Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator," Ernst Lubitsch's "To Be or Not To Be," Mel Brooks' "The Producers," and Roberto Benigni's "Life Is Beautiful," to name a few.

Now comes the boldly, unabashedly quirky "Jojo Rabbit" by New Zealand director Taika Waititi, who attempts this fiendishly difficult balancing act at a time when Nazi jokes seem even more potent and dangerous than a few decades ago.

And that is precisely the point, Waititi says: Now, especially now, is the time to remind younger generations of what happened more than 70 years ago.