Hello, fellow readers. I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, so I thought I’d start up again with an easy piece.
People who are well-acquainted with me know that I have a very particular taste when it comes to comedy. Even I can’t always describe it that well, much less at least assume which films will make me laugh. This leaves me with very few comedies that I actually find funny, and even fewer that I continue to laugh at after multiple viewings. Those few that do make me laugh time and time again, though, are cherished additions to my film collection, and thus worthy of sharing. The following have been attempted to be placed in an ascending order of favoritism.
Pure, quality, and hysterical British comedy at its finest. When I first saw it in eighth grade or so, I didn’t know what to expect. I left amazed at how crazy it was. It was a different form of comedy than what I was used to seeing at the time, one that seems to dabble in parody without becoming bogged down with the cheapness of it. This was also my introduction to British humor, and it didn’t make a bad impression at all.
The first time I saw this I was at a party with a bunch of friends. I was laughing my ass off at the movie. My friends weren’t. They complained that they didn’t understand what was going on or what the main idea behind the film was. It’s simple, really: all of the major characters are selfish and a bit stupid and through their greed/stupidity their lives become a bit worse off than they were at the beginning. Plus, there’s a good chemistry between all of the leads that when placed in the story’s whacky situations and with the Coen Brothers’ excellent dialogue, it’s a joy to watch it play out. I don’t see how one couldn’t like it.
This is more or less on here because this was probably the first Will Ferrell movie I saw and it made an impression on me before I could find out that he plays the same character in every other one of his movies. The comedic timing and delivery in this film was spot-on, which is what keeps me laughing every time I view it.
The only Apatow-directed movie I’ve seen, and that may or may not be a good thing. With Apatow’s movies (and I’m counting the ones he produced with this description), it’s very hit or miss. His style of humor seems to take the traditional vulgar comedy routines and put a certain sort of charm, if you will, on them–sort of like a refresh. Sometimes this works, sometimes it’s just mediocre. This one works, particularly because of Steve Carell’s terrific performance as the friendly-yet-socially-awkward Andy Stitzer and the great dialogue that he’s given. That, and the decent supporting cast of Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and Romany Malco basically set this film up for non-stop laughs. Apatow had a good directorial debut with this–and can’t much speak for the two films he succeeded this with.
As Homer points out at the beginning of the film, who would want to see a movie in the theater that everybody could see on television for free? Apparently many people did. The Simpsons have always been a source for sharp, witty satire, but their style is to blend that with parody and that combination is usually successful only in half-hour fragments. Even though this film seems like the combination of three or four individual episodes with a basic plot to hold them together, it never starts to become trivial. The jokes retain their quality and stay pretty fresh. Predictable? Sometimes,but boring? Never.
Ultra-violence, comic book references, and geek humor? Sign me up! It’s not really a comedy, but Dave Lizewski’s (played by Aaron Johnson) dialogue and narration both as himself and his superhero alter-ego Kick-Ass is at times awkward to the point of being comic gold. Add his friends and the mysterious and violent superheroes Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage channeling Adam West) and Hit-Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) and you’ve got a perfect laugh-cringe flick.
I thought this would be higher (even though this is a stoner film, no pun intended), but there were too many other ones to still fit in the list. However, this cult classic has it all: witty dialogue, terrific characterization, and wacky situations that are handled once again with perfect comedic timing by the Coen brothers. Plus, bowling never seemed so trippy before. This film, Dude, definitely abides with me.
What do you get when you have three dumb but good-intentioned escaped convicts trudging their way through the 1930s South and involving themselves with all sorts of tom foolery? A great comedy. It basically has everything that the previous Coen brothers films have that make it so great, but this was the first of their films that I ever saw, so it left a special imprint on my film tastes.
Not only is this one of my favorite comedies but it’s also one of my all-time favorite films. It’s a perfect blend of laughs and mystery, a comedy with a neo-noir twist. Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer have great chemistry as a East Coaster out of his comfort zone and a hard-as-nails and gay private detective, respectively, as they try to solve a case of murder and deceit in Tinseltown. Not only that, but this benefits from Shane Black’s sharp writing and terrific direction when handling this cross-genre flick. He knows how to get you to laugh even in the darkest and worst situations. And for that I applaud him.
I know, you’re probably thinking: “Seriously? This guy chose this film to top his list, and nothing that would be considered more or less a classic?” And my answer to that is a solid YES. You don’t have to be high to appreciate this great comedy. This Apatow-produced film centers on bromances, and though there are only two main ones–Seth Rogen and James Franco (and later Danny McBride), and Craig Robinson and Kevin Corrigan–they are terrifically acted out that it makes it not only convincing that these guys are best buds but that they are also true and sometimes dumb stoners. The action is choreographed and the dialogue is written so perfectly and hysterically that you cannot not watch this film and have a smile creep across your face. This film picks me up and makes me laugh no matter what mood I’m in. This film is the bee’s knees, man, and that’s why I place it as my favorite comedy of all time.