List compiled by Eddie on 6/11/2015
Making any feature length film is undoubtedly hard but making a comedy film that is in fact funny is an unenviable task.
Lots of entries into the genre may contain ripe premises (this year’s Pixels springs to mind here, Due Date) or even a fine cast (Funny People, The Watch) but that doesn’t necessarily translate into an automatic win for the picture and a classic comedy really is a dime a dozen.
Delving into comedies both recent and not so recent, below is a list of 10 films that might not be representative of the best comedy films ever! But they’re films that should be sought out by anyone looking to have their funny bone’s tickled, and really who doesn’t want that?
Happy reading and happy watching!
Disclaimer – Plot summaries from IMDB.com
10. Welcome to Colinwood (2002)
Directed by – Anthony and Joe Russo (Captain America: Winter Soldier)
Starring – George Clooney, Sam Rockwell, Michael Jeter
When petty thief Cosimo is given the plan for the perfect heist from a lifer in prison – the kind of job you dream about – he has to get out of jail, fast. But with Cosimo stuck in the joint, it’s up to his girl Rosalind to track down a patsy.
A little seen and low key dark comedy that marked an early entry into now Blockbuster directing duo The Russo Brother’s career. A very Coen Brothers like comedy that features some scene stealing supports from the late Michael Jeter and the always good Luiz Guzman.
Quote – “Put your damn pants back on!”…. “I can’t, I’ll catch pneumonia”
Favourite scene – The big robbery doesn’t go to plan.
9. Gettin’ Square (2003)
Directed by – Jonathan Teplitzky (The Railway Man)
Starring – Sam Worthington, David Wenham, Timothy Spall
Gettin’ Square is about starting over, keeping clean and going straight.
Recently reviewed as a classic here on J and E, this Aussie gem is a whip smart crime comedy that is elevated to hugely enjoyable levels thanks to David Wenham’s role for the ages as criminal dummy John Spiteri. One of Australia’s best ever comedies.
Quote – “Oh, I gotta get home. Who’s paying for my bus fare today?”
Favourite scene – Spit’s court date proceedings.
8. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Directed by – Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almighty)
Starring – Jim Carey, Courtney Cox
A goofy detective specializing in animals goes in search of a missing dolphin mascot of a football team.
With Jim Carey in the prime of his career, Ace Ventura is a deservedly well known and well liked comedy. With a story that could be solved in 20 minutes the film gets by on just letting Carey be Carey and the crazed comedian was arguably never better than he is here.
Quote – “Excuse me sir, but do you have a mint? Perhaps some Binaca?”
Favourite scene – The realisation that it’s not Snowflake in the tank.
7. Office Space (1999)
Directed by – Mike Judge (Idiocracy)
Starring – Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Stephen Root
Three company workers who hate their jobs decide to rebel against their greedy boss.
It’s almost not worth arguing against the fact that Mike Judge is an underrated comedic voice in the industry but his low budget 1999 offer of Office Space is a seriously well-loved gem that is a joy to watch for anyone that’s ever worked in an office. Strange and loveable, this truly is a unique comedy classic that features Ron Livingston’s best ever performance.
Quote – “The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care”
Favourite scene – The office workers take bats to the hated office photocopier.
6. Observe and Report (2009)
Directed by – Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way)
Starring – Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, Michael Pena
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a local pest from turning a shopper’s paradise into a living nightmare.
A controversial pick no doubt, Jody Hill’s pitch black comedy was both praised and derided upon release and now faces a life of obscurity thanks to some lacklustre audiences reactions. It you’ve never seen the film however, Observe and Report is worth a shot, as for those that buy into the film will be rewarded with some downright classic material and perhaps the best lead performance of Seth Rogen’s career.
Quote – “You don’t need to thank me. I’m just a guy with a gun. I’m just a cop”
Favourite scene – Ronnie let’s his shrink know about his true feelings.
5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Directed by – Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones (Monty Python the Life of Brian)
Starring – John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles.
A list such as this wouldn’t be right without a Monty Python film and with the Holy Grail we have the greatest example of the British group’s vast talents with a feature that’s both downright bonkers and laugh out loud funny. With too many classic scenes to mention and with one of cinemas greatest endings, The Holy Grail is a peak of such genre films.
Quote – “’Tis but a scratch”
Favourite scene – the bringing out of the dead.
4. Snatch (2000)
Directed by – Guy Ritchie (The Man From U.N.C.L.E)
Starring – Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander
Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewellers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.
With a small budget and a cast to die for, then up and coming filmmaker Guy Ritchie shocked the movie loving world with this energetic and street smart comedy caper that continues to be found and loved by audience’s to this day. One of those rare films that can be watched multiple times and enjoyed the same on each viewing, Snatch deserves its title as a classic of modern day cinema.
Quote – “You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity”
Favourite scene – the first meeting with Brad Pitt’s gypsy Mickey.
3. Step Brothers (2008)
Directed by – Adam McKay (The Other Guys)
Starring – Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly
Two aimless middle-aged losers still living at home are forced against their will to become room-mates when their parents marry.
While it shouldn’t by any means even exist, for better or worse Step Brother’s does and thanks to some incredibly funny (and immature) turns from its two stars in the form of Will Ferrell and the never funnier John C. Reilly, Step Brothers is a film that you just can’t help but laugh at even though you know you should be better than it.
Quote – “Why are you so sweaty?”
Favourite scene – The boys spend their first night together in a shared room.
2. The Big Lebowski (1998)
Directed by – The Coen Brothers (No Country For Old Men)
Starring – Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore
“The Dude” Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.
A dreamy comedy classic that made both stars out of rugs and bowling, The Big Lebowski is a crowning achievement of the Coen Brothers illustrious career and made Jeff Bridges an icon to hippies the world over. With a fantastic supporting cast and a killer soundtrack, Lebowski is an all-round comedic masterpiece.
Quote – “Yeah, well. The Dude abides”
Favourite scene – A marmot is unleashed into Lebowski’s bath.
1. Hot Rod (2007)
Directed by – Akiva Schaffer (The Watch)
Starring – Andy Samberg, Isla Fisher, Danny McBride
Self-proclaimed stuntman Rod Kimble is preparing for the jump of his life – to clear fifteen buses to raise money for his abusive stepfather Frank’s life-saving heart operation.
Shunned upon original release, over a number of years now Hot Rod has become not only a much loved film but a member of pop culture references you probably didn’t even know stemmed from this tale of one man sticking it to his step dad. With a barely there storyline and with no character growth, Hot Rod should really be an out and out fail but if you’ve never given this movie a chance, you need to rectify that soon and see what all the fuss is about.
Quote – “My name is Rod, and I like to party”
Favourite scene – John Farnham inspires the crowd, until an impromptu riot breaks out.
Honourable mentions – Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Death at a Funeral (UK version), Anchorman, Superbad, The Hangover, Top Secret, King of Comedy, This is the End, Uncle Buck, Bottle Rocket, Withnail and I.
What are some of your favourite comedy films? Are there some hidden gems out there you’d like to share with everyone? Let us know in the comments below!