I disagree with Verhoeven and quibble with most of the other answers given here. I hated Lost in Translation. I was Lost. In Translation. Actually I was lost in the crypt keeper having a fling with a high school student and it supposedly being romantic. But that is beside the point. I really don’t care what was whispered to the young girl at the end. I just wanted the old guy to leave her alone. I love you Bill Murray. This is not directed at you specifically. I had the same reaction watching Havana. Old men and young women. Yuck.
Verhoeven may think he knows what the ending to Total Recall means, but there really is no answer within the content of the film. The light comes from the sun in the film, not the blade of a knife. Like most of these explanations, if the film doesn’t contain it, the interpretation is open to question no matter what the director intended. In the same vein, Donnie Darko ends with him killing himself in much the same way that the director’s cut of Butterfly Effect ends with a very bad ending that is supposed to be interpreted as good for everyone except the protagonist. Too bad that the suits at corporate headquarters were right and made the director change the ending. It is a much better film that way.
Star Trek 2009 is not Star Trek, nor do NuSpock’s notions of logic or ethics actually equate to anything Gene Roddenberry filmed or wrote about Vulcans. Nothing about that film made sense to anyone aside from the Abramanator. Same with the second film.
If you really have unanswered questions about obscure films, blame the director. The art, the film, should contain all the relevant information needed to understand it in itself. If miscommunication happens it is the artist’s fault, not the fault of the viewer.
Better than blaming the director; if this frequently happens to you, take someone with you to walk you through the film afterwards. Audience makes all the difference. Most comedies are targeted to a specific audience. Take a member of that group with you to watch the film, preferably with an audience the film is targeted at. The comedy might actually be funny that way rather than just striking you as stupid or cringe-worthy.