Sunday 13 December 2009

Top Ten Comedy Films

There is nothing like a decent comedy film to brighten your mood. Here is a list of ten really funny films that have made me howl with laughter in the past. Please feel free to let me know your favourites.

10 – There’s Something About Mary

I had absolutely no idea what this film was about when Mrs PM dragged me to the cinema to see it. It was payback time; I had forced her to see one of my testosterone-fuelled action flicks and this was my penance. I sat down munching on popcorn and within ten minutes I was choking with laughter. There are simply so many pure moments of comedy genius; Cameron Diaz and the hair; the interview with the crazy policeman; the cringeworthy moment involving the zipper that frankly still makes my eyes water just thinking about it.

9 - The Blues Brothers

“We’re on a mission from God”. This is another film I saw without knowing a thing about it. some fantastic performances from legendary artists like James Brown, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin. It has everything – a surreal story line, great music, great car chases and top comedy performances from John Belushi and Dan Akroyd.

8 - Borat

We’ve known about Sacha Baron Cohen in the UK for some time. Bizarrely, Borat and Bruno were minor characters compared to the more famous “Ali G”, a completely useless pillock who thinks he is a gangster rapper from a crappy little town in the south of England called Staines. Here in the UK we saw Borat on “Da Ali G Show” before anybody else and we knew what to expect from the movie. I have to say that Sacha Baron Cohen has absolutely no fear; I realise that a lot of the movie is staged but some of the scenes in the movie were unbelievable. Arguably the funniest moment was the naked wrestling in the hotel that ends up gate-crashing a corporate event.

7 – This is Spinal Tap

I love this film because it is an absolute piss-take of a classic British heavy metal band, made even better by the fact that all the actors are American. And the album “Break LikeThe Wind” that appeared some years after the movie, is actually very good and very funny with lyrics like:

When we die, do we haunt the sky?
Do we lurk in the murk of the seas?
What then? Are we born again?
Just to sit asking questions like these?

Back to the movie, scenes like the cock up with “Stonehenge” and the band getting lost on the way to the stage are comedy classics. And remember “These go to 11”:

6 – Some Like It Hot

This is one of my mother’s favourite films. It may be dated now but the ideas and comedy in the film are years ahead of their time. It was also the first film I saw starring Marilyn Monroe – what a lovely woman she was. Jack Lemmon is the star of the film for me, though it has to be said that both he and Tony Curtis were very convincing as women. And of course, the ending of the film is legendary:

5 – Blazing Saddles

I love Mel Brookes and Blazing Saddles is my favourite of his. OK, the ending was a bit crap but the rest of the movie is inspired. Highlights for me include the baked beans around the camp fire, Gene Wilder’s gunslinger and, of course, the inimitable Mongo. Very silly and very funny.

4 - National Lampoon’s Animal House

I saw this film as a sixteen year old and it was the first film that was certificate 15 or above. I cried with laughter. John Belushi’s character Bluto is one of the best comedy characters ever and the film is full of fabulously hilarious scenes. The scene with Niedermeyer’s horse is classic. Here’s John Belushi at his best:

3 – Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Steve Martin will never make a funnier film. He came close with “The Jerk” but “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is in a league of its own. Maybe the reason I love it so much is because it represents one of my worst nightmares – struggling to get home by any means possible and saddled with the most obnoxious man on the planet, played by the brilliant John Candy. I feel Steve Martin’s pain all the way through the film and the poignant ending brings a tear to my eye. But the journey is one of the most hilarious romps I have seen, particularly the socks in the basin and the anguished cry of “THOSE AREN’T PILLOWS!!!!”

2 – Way Out West

I love Laurel and Hardy. My dad introduced me to them as a young child and I have seen just about everything they have ever done. I’m a bit of a sad basket case, owning a DVD box set of most of their feature films and shorts, including quite a few silent films. For me, they are the founders of modern comedy and way ahead of their time. As a child, “Way Out West” had me crying with laughter. These guys are the original “Dumb and Dumber”; so breathtakingly stupid that they defy belief, yet so funny that people still howl with laughter after all these decades. “Way Out West” is my favourite film by the dynamic duo and this is the funniest scene in the film. It is an absolute classic:

1 – Monty Python’s The Life of Brian

This is the funniest film I have seen and also the most misunderstood. It was condemned as blasphemous when it first appeared and was banned in a few areas of the UK, mostly by people who hadn’t seen it. People assumed that just because it was set during the life of Jesus, that it was actually about him. It isn’t – not at all. Jesus appears in the film twice; once at the beginning just after his birth (where the three wise men mistake the baby Brian for Jesus) and once at the Sermon on the Mount. That’s it. The remainder of the film is an hilarious tale that happens to take place at the same time. I laughed so much when I saw it the first time that I had to go and see it again. To this day it is the only film I have ever seen twice at the cinema. There are too many hilarious scenes to mention, so hear are a couple of my favourites:

All ten films have made me laugh – I hope you agree. If you don’t please feel free to let me know your favourites.


Kath Lockett said...

YESSSSS! Spinal Tap:

(Beautiful song played on the piano by Nigel Tufnel) "In D, the saddest of all keys"
Doco maker: "What you call it?"
Nigel: "Lick my love pump."

YESSSS to Planes, Trains and Automobiles and to Life of Brian (our family watchs the latter every Easter).

I can endure the rather dated 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' just for the scenes featuring Ruprecht, the disturbed brother -esp relieving himself at the dinner table.

The chest waxing scene (and the immediate blood-seeping aftermath) in the 40 year old virgin

All of 'The Sure Thing' but mostly the scene where Gib pretends to be a deranged psycho who could 'Rip your heart out and eat it JUST FOR PLEASURREEEE!'

The monkey slapping in 'Night at the Museum'

Sideways; Galaxy Quest; When Harry Met Sally; Dr Horrible; THe Gods must be Crazy; Parenthood....

River said...

I love The Life Of Brian too, and I never understood why people thought it was about Jesus. For heaven's sake, it's called The Life of BRIAN...
I like the Quest for the Holy Grail too and The History of The World Part One.
Blazing Saddles is an all time favourite with us, I remember when we had it on VHS tape, my youngest son wore it out and was over the moon when I gave him a dvd copy one year for christmas.
The Blues Brothers still gets watched a lot, but none of us really enjoyed the sequel. Other funnies we like are The Birdcage, (Robin Williams); Cat Ballou, (Lee Marvin);Mars Attacks,(Jack Nicholson); Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, there's more, but I'm out of time here, the dinner is stating to boil over...

Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" - patchy but some great moments.

"40 Year Old Virgin" - totally agree - the chest waxing scene is hilarious and shows why men shold never go near wax.

"The Sure Thing" - don't think I've seen that.

"Night At The Museum" - patchy but not bad

Oh - and an honourable mention must go to "Galaxy Quest" which would be in the 11-20 list.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi RIver,

"The Holy Grail" is quite funny but not as good as "Life Of Brian".

Bizarrely I've not seen the sequel to the Blues Brothers - I heard it wasn't very good and didn't want anything to mar the original.

Of the rest - coincidentally "Mars Attacks" was on TV last night. I love it but Mrs PM doesn't for some reason. "Cat Balou" - I haven't seen that for years. And I don't think I've seen the Birdcage - I'll have to watch out for that.




An Eerie Tapestry said...

Good list. Definitely agree with There's Something About Mary and The Blues Brothers; though I would have picked different Steve Martin and Mel Brooks movies (The Man With Two Brains and The Producers respectively). Airplane's one of my favourites.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Mark,

Yeah - "The Man With Two Brains" is amusing but I also like "All Of Me".

Of course the other Mel Brooks film worth a mention is "Young Frankenstein" (which almost made it into the top 10).

"Airplane!" - yes - great film but have you seen "Kentucky Fried Movie" by the same guys? Much funnier imho.




An Eerie Tapestry said...

Yes, PM, I've seen Kentucky Fried Movie, and really liked it (the Bruce Lee film spoof in particular) but I still prefer Airplane which I found more consistently funny. On a totally unrelated note, another favourite I forgot to mention in my last comment was Take The Money And Run.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Mark,

Yes "Take The Money And Run" is a great film too, though I think I prefer "Sleeper" and "Play It Again, Sam"

All great films though,



Pia K said...

i agree about 'mary' love that one! i did find 'borat' rather fun, hilarious at times but in such a cringing go away way i could never embrace it as a favourite.

i guess 'a room with a view' strictly doesn't count as a comedy, but being me favoruite movie ever it really has it all, drama, love, suspense, wonderful actors, beautiful settings, quirky details and yes, ta da, humour!

some of my other favourite comedies are; 'best in show' (same guys as 'spinal tap', if you haven't their other movies about a folk singers reunion and a theatrical group, do) - abfab hilarious, even more so for someone who has been involved in the cat/dog show world.
'a fish called wanda', 'four weddings and a funeral', 'love actually', 'confetti', 'peter's friends', 'notting hill', 'little miss sunshine'... hm, somehow this looks like a girly kind of comedy-list. or i mean, a very discerning, top notch quality list of course.

happy new movie watching year!

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pia,

I like "A Fish Called Wanda", particularly Kevin Kline's performance.

Of the others - "Four Weddings ..." is definitely a chick flick as is "Love, Actually" - mildly amusing but not my kind of films really. I quite like "Notting Hill" though - even though it is a rom-com it is quite funny - though I may not be so nice to it if it wasn't for Rhys Ifans.