My favorite comedies and yours?

After reading Keith’s interesting post about comedies at “Keith and the Movies” http://keithandthemovies.com/2013/10/22/your-voices-on-the-state-of-the-comedy-genre/

I have thought about comedies for days. How to define them, how they aren’t so hot today. What makes a good comedy depends on the type. Everyone has differing tastes. Here’s a few of mine and would be interested in knowing yours.

Classic

Classic era comedies use fast-pitched clever dialogues with plenty of pun and silly situations that make you smile and feel good. Cary Grant’s repertoire like The Philadelphia Story (1940) shows off his sardonic charm.  Silent films used amazing choreography and slapstick lunacy to make you laugh. The tricks actors performed were real which created a lot of respect for me. Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin were masters.

Because of censorship, I can’t think of any comedies from the early years in film that were lewd or crude or indecent. Here’s a great scene by Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last, 1923.

Slapstick

Anything Monty Python is fine by me. “Needn’t say more, needn’t say more!” Their voices, their poke at British history, their crazy antics always make me laugh.  How do you know a witch is a witch?

I adore Gene Wilder. He’s my favorite comedian and his portrayal in  Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein is priceless. Sexual innuendos pushed the envelope back in the 70s.

Dark Comedies

I appreciate irony and wit and throw in some horror and combine it with laughs–what a great combination.  Nothing beats American Werewolf in London. (The following clip has some swearing). It’s the 80s–the envelope is pushed farther….

Contemporary comedies

Now it seems like there is no envelope left to push. There’s an elegance in inference–just ask Oscar Wilde. There’s a host of romantic comedies out there and SNL gave birth to two generations of comedians who branched out and made their own films. Also, there’s Seth Rogen, et al, who love to shock and find themselves into absurd situations. Pineapple Express made me laugh out loud, and I can cite 20 great scenes from different comedies (Jim Carrey going backwards in a tutu in Ace Ventura Pet Detective) that were hilarious, but when talking about a film as a whole composition, I find today’s comedies lacking in intelligence and wit. It seems profanity and gratuitous sex reigns supreme. Maybe I’m just getting old. The most recent comedy that made me laugh out loud, despite being lewd and crude and politically incorrect was Tropic Thunder. 

But enough of me! What are your favorite comedies?

17 thoughts on “My favorite comedies and yours?

Add yours

    1. Loved Groundhog Day. There’s a fun, intelligent comedy! Big Lebowski is a man’s man comedy. Borat–I hate that movie, but the naked chase scene was so funny and disgusting I laughed myself sick.

  1. Shaun of the Dead, Mean Girls, She’s The Man, Little Miss Sunshine (its comedy, right?)…but nothing quite beats Stephen Chow. Mostly known in the Western world for Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer but his comedy ruled way before that in his 90s Hong Kong “absurd” comedies 🙂

    1. Wow. I couldn’t agree with you more and I’m glad you mentioned him. He is so quirky and original! Loved ‘The Life Aquatic with SZ’ and ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’. I bet you are excited for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ ?

    1. Yay! We share the same sense of humor. Woody Allen’s humor is dry and quirky, which is great for me. I really loved Midnight in Paris and liked Vicky Cristina Barcelona. His movies always get my attention.

  2. Greetings from NYC, Cindy! I like comedies that aren’t crude or mean-spirited. Some of my faves are Top Secret!, Gods Must Be Crazy, and lots of British comedies like Hot Fuzz. I like a little irony too, so yeah I also love Groundhog Day.

    1. Hi, Ruth–hope you are enjoying NYC. Too much concrete for me. 😉
      All your comedy choices are good ones for me as well. Thinking about Simon Pegg and comedies–I thought ‘Run, Fatboy, Run’ was funny and charming.

  3. What a great selection of comedies. I have to say I´m not really demanding audience when talking about comedies. The movie doesn´t need to score Oscar nomination for me to watch it. When I´m in mood for a good laughter I will watch almost everything. I´m really looking for Christmas. It´s gonna be plenty of that in TV.

    1. Hi! What’s made you laugh lately? The other day, I happened to have ‘Finding Nemo’ on and when the pelican flew into the dentist’s office and the bratty niece was going nuts, the people in the waiting room were witnessing the havoc and I cackled until my ribs hurt 🙂

  4. Another great topic!

    Anything by Edgar Wright. Or Wes Anderson. Moonrise Kingdom is brilliant. Paul Fieg shows promise as well.

    Oh. As for one particular movie: The original, British Death at a Funeral has always stood out as being awesome.

    1. Wes Anderson is very funny. I still haven’t seen Moonrise Kingdom, but it’s on my queque in Netflix. Paul Fieg can be very funny, but sometimes he gets tiring. Rewatched ‘Bridesmaids’ last week and still laughed, and ‘Knocked Up’ was charming.

      1. The Heat is pretty hilarious, too. A bit heavy on the gross out factor, but funny all the same.

        And I suspect you’ll love Moonrise Kingdom. I saw about 90 2012 movies, give or take some (I wasn’t blogging yet, so wasn’t counting). Moonrise Kingdom was my second favorite.

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