In honor of watching The Hitman’s Bodyguard yesterday and not hating it anywhere near how much I expected to (Okay, I actually liked it), I decided to put together a list of my favorite stupid-funny/funny-stupid movies (I think people call them comedies? I need to pretend I don’t know and am unfamiliar with the genre so I can keep my high brow sophisticate cred.)
The problem is that I was going through my movie ratings list and came up with TOO MANY comedies that I like (27).
So here are the criteria: The movies herein listed must be intended as comedies, and the comedic aspect must be the primary one. The main audience can’t be children.
That rules out The Princess Bride, Pirates of the Caribbean, Labyrinth, and Suicide Squad. No matter how funny I find these movies, and regardless of the fact that I could watch all of them (except Suicide Squad) infinite times and be completely at peace. (There goes my sophisticate cred.)
But now I still have 24. Which is too many, so I’m going to eliminate the ones I have doubts about- either because I haven’t watched them recently enough or feel that I’ve gotten tired of them with a second watching- because comedy gets tired really easily, and I feel like the best funny movies are the ones that keep you smiling and stay funny no matter how many times you see them. There goes What’s Up, Doc? with Barbra Streisand, Sister Act with Whoopi Goldberg, The Other Guys with Ferrell and Wahlberg (don’t worry, Ferrell will be otherwise represented), and Young Frankenstein (I’m sorry, it’s not funny to me very much anymore, even if it is a classic).
Okay. 21. Still too many, I need under 20 to feel that I have an adequately discriminating list. Let’s chuck ones that don’t fit the aesthetic I’m going for. They meet all criteria, but subjectively I feel like they’re not quite right for this list. Bye bye Some Like it Hot and Gentelemen Prefer Blondes (both are too much screwball comedies rather than stupid-funny comedies), and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Kingman isn’t a comedy. It’s deadly serious. Just kidding. But I do think it edges too far toward action/adventure for inclusion here. And Priceless with Audrey Tautou. Too much a romance, and again, too much the modern screwball comedy (Oooh, I like that. This film really is the modern descendent of all those excellent Golden Age screwball comedies.)
Okay, the FINAL SEVENTEEN (not a round number but I’ll live.)
(Actually, 16 is one of my favorite numbers (8, 16, and 64) so let’s get rid of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, since I already mentioned it and have watched it too recently to really know if it will still feel cute and fresh given a few months). I will say I thought the character development and relationship development between Reynolds and Jackson was very organic and believable, and well done. I liked the original view at love, the kind of believable romantic aspects (speaking of love interests, I need to keep an eye out for Elodie Yung now!), and the hints of serious philosophy that played around the sidelines (“Question for a higher power: Who is more evil- the man who kills bad guys or the one who protects them?” Paraphrased.)
Okay, 16, GO!:
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, 1988: Classic.
- Blades of Glory, 2007: Eminently quotable.
- Tucker and Dale VS. Evil, 2010: The turns have tabled when the rednecks are the ones to be attacked by preppy college coeds.
- Airplane!, 1980: Don’t call me Shirley.
- Groundhog Day, 1993
- Napoleon Dynamite, 2004: One of my generation’s classics.
- Beverly Hills Cop, 1984
- The Pink Panther, 1963: Much better than any remake.
- Trading Places, 1983: A Christmas movie?
- Ghostbusters, 1984
- In Bruges, 2008
- 21 Jump Street, 2012
- My Cousin Vinny, 1992
- Raising Arizona, 1987: I love motorcycle guy.
Why were the ’80s so prolific?
Do I have an ’80s sense of humor?