7. Dumb and Dumber
The Farrelly brothers have definitely made their mark on cinematic comedy with “There’s Something About Mary” and the very underrated “Kingpin”, but “Dumb and Dumber” is their shining star.
The story of two friends making a cross-country journey to return a suitcase capped off a very good stretch for star Jim Carrey. He burst on the comedy scene in a big way with “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” and “The Mask” shortly before this film’s release.
Carrey’s goofy delivery in the film was amazing and the gross out humor started a whole slew of copycats. He is also a physical comedy master, so his antics with costar Jeff Daniels were even more memorable.
If there was a list made of “Biggest Decline in Quality from Part 1 to Part 2” Dumb and Dumber would be one of the films to make the list. “Dumb and Dumberer” was reprehensible.
1. “Samsonite! I was way off!”
2. “No, you can’t do that… you can’t triple stamp a double stamp, you can’t triple stamp a double stamp! Lloyd!”
3. “Austria! Well, then. G’day mate! Let’s put another shrimp on the barbie!”
4. “Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?”
5. “They’re driving an ’84… Sheepdog.”
6. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance. YEAH!”
7. “Radio? Who needs a radio? Ready, Harry?”
8. “The first time I set eyes on Mary Swanson, I just got that old fashioned romantic feeling where I’d do anything to bone her.”
9. “Suck me sideways.”
10. “I can’t stop once I stop going Harry! It stings…”
It wasn’t until many years into my life, it was discovered by me, “Airplane!” was such a direct parody of the “Airport” film series.
Call me stupid!
Some scenes, like the little girl receiving a donor heart, for example, were direct copies of a scene from an “Airport” film. The style of parody for “Airplane!” was what was so genius.
While you were watching the top fin of an unseen plane juxtaposed against the opening “Jaws” theme playing, you knew you were in for something special.
The dialogue. The way it was presented. Not only the jokes in the wordplay, but also action happening in the background as well as what was being said.
The ludicrous situations: Girl Scouts fighting in a bar while the “Bee Gee’s” are playing, an airplane captain’s inappropriate conversation with a young boy and a mysterious ailment only striking passengers who had the fish are only a few of the unforgettable moments.
It’s too bad they never made “Airplane 3” even though they said they would at the end of “Airplane 2”.
1. “No, thank you, I take it black, like my men.”
2. “I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley.”
3. “The hell I don’t! LISTEN, KID! I’ve been hearing that crap ever since I was at UCLA. I’m out there busting my buns every night! Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes!”
4. “I just want to tell you both good luck. We’re all counting on you.”
5. “Alright, give me a Hamm on five, hold the Mayo.”
6. “Joey, do you like movies about gladiators? You ever seen a grown man naked?”
7. “Oh, stewardess! I speak jive.”
8. “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit smoking. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit drinking. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.”
9. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your stewardess speaking… We regret any inconvenience the sudden cabin movement might have caused, this is due to periodic air pockets we encountered, there’s no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you enjoy the rest of your flight… By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?”
10. “Oh, it’s a big pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels and it looks like a big Tylenol.”
11. “It’s an entirely different kind of flying, altogether.”
12. “It was at that moment that I first realized Elaine had doubts about our relationship. And that, as much as anything else, led to my drinking problem.”
13. “Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Toto! It’s a twister! It’s a twister!”
14. “I haven’t felt this awful since we saw that Ronald Reagan film.”
15. “We have clearance, Clarence.”
5. The Big Lebowski
There is no way the Coen Brothers believe when this film was released in 1998 and did less than $18 million in total box office we would still be talking about this film this many years later.
“The Big Lebowski” has transcended just being a movie about “The Dude” and his strange friends to being a pure phenomenon. The film is almost impossible to describe, as are a lot of Coen Brothers projects, and have to be experienced to be understood.
“Lebowski” lore has almost become a religion of sorts, with many writing about the character’s motives and possible secret or inferred meanings.
What are the Coen Brothers saying about society by the characters “The Dude” interact with? Is there meaning, or is it just meant to be enjoyed as a stoner comedy?
Let’s the following quotes help you decide.
1. “Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not “Mr. Lebowski”. You’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”
2. “Shut the fuck up, Donny!”
3. “Obviously you’re not a golfer.”
4. “Mind if I do a J?”
5. “Do you have to use so many cuss words?”
6. “God damn you Walter! You fuckin’ asshole! Everything’s a fuckin’ travesty with you, man! And what was all that shit about Vietnam? What the FUCK, has anything got to do with Vietnam? What the fuck are you talking about?”
7. “This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass, Larry.”
8. “Careful man, there’s a beverage here!”
9. “Nobody fucks with the Jesus.”
10. “You’re not wrong Walter. You’re just an asshole.”
11. “She’s not my special lady, she’s my fucking lady friend. I’m just helping her conceive, man!”
12. “That rug really tied the room together.”
4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
In the ethereal Python argument, which is better “Holy Grail” or “Life of Brian”, most agree “Holy Grail” comes out on top.
IMDb has ratings of 8.3 vs 8.1 and rottentomatoes.com has them as 97/95% vs. 96/93% respectively.
Personally, while both are great, hilarious and classics, “Holy Grail” has always been held in higher regard for me just by saying the laughs are a little longer, a little louder and a little more consistent.
Python is not for everyone and might be considered “an acquired taste”. They might be the type of humor you have to have grown up on to appreciate or must have to watch the films many times apiece to truly have reverence for their comedic genius.
The “Python” actors truly immerse themselves in every one of their efforts through collaborative writing and playing many characters throughout their films.
These quotes, when rereading them, always bring a smile to my face.
1. “We are the Knights who say ni!”
2. “How could a 5-ounce bird possibly carry a 1-pound coconut?”
3. “Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let’s not bicker and argue over who killed who.”
4. “Look, that rabbit’s got a vicious streak a mile wide! It’s a killer!”
5. “It’s just a flesh wound.”
6. “I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries.”
7. “Bring out yer dead”
8. “On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.”
9. “Oh! Now we see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!”
10. “Burn her anyway!”
3. National Lampoon’s Animal House
When my college freshman son asked me about joining a fraternity, my first thoughts were of “Animal House” and all the things he had better not do.
The Delta Tau Chi Fraternity in this film does everything to the extreme, much to the dismay of Dean Wormer who is determined to expel all of them.
Frat antics and the homecoming parade fill this film with lots of memories and unique dialogue.
John Belushi was unmatched in the leading role as John Blutarsky and really proved he could headline a feature film.
It’s such a shame his film career only lasted three years from 1978-1981 when he died of a drug overdose on March 5th, 1982 at age 33.
1. “TOGA! TOGA!”
2. “Food fight!”
3. “Do you mind if we dance with your dates?”
4. “Greg, honey, is it supposed to be this soft?”
5. “They took the bar! The whole fucking bar!”
6. “”What? Over? Did you say ‘over’? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”
7. “May I have ten thousand marbles, please?”
8. “A wimp and a blimp!”
9. “Well, as of this moment, they’re on double secret probation.”
10. “And most recently of all, a “Roman Toga Party” was held from which we have received more than two dozen reports of individual acts of perversion SO profound and disgusting that decorum prohibits listing them here.”
11. “I’m a zit—get it?”
2. Blazing Saddles
Back in 1974, political correctness as it is today was nonexistent. Warner Brothers executives were hesitant to release such a goofy, offbeat and silly western parody at the time thinking no one would want to go see it.
It was only after director Mel Brooks rescreened the film for the studio employees did they realize they could have a hit on their hands.
It’s hard to believe when you look at his filmography, Mel Brooks only directed 11 feature films. Seems like it should be so many more.
He really garnered a formidable ensemble of actors for this film and throughout his career of great movies in the 1960s – 1980s. Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Madeline Khan, Slim Pickens and Cleavon Little deliver such comedy few movies had seen to that point in cinema.
1. “Hey, where the white women at?”
2. “O Lord, do we have the strength to carry off this mighty task in one night? Or are we just jerking off?”
3. “Well, my name is Jim, but most people call me… Jim.”
4. “Excuse me while I whip this out.”
5. “You know…morons.”
6. “Are we…black?”
7. “My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.”
8. “Hello, handsome. Is that a 10-gallon hat, or are you just enjoying the show?”
9. “Men, you are about to embark on a great crusade to stamp out runaway decency in the west. Now you men will only be risking your lives, whilst I will be risking an almost certain Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.”
10. “Yeah, but I shoot with THIS hand.”
Caddyshack should be on everyone’s short list of favorite comedies of all time.
The combination of Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight and the scene-stealing Bill Murray makes the film more than a classic, a true institution.
Most 1980s comedies are now “politically incorrect” by today’s standards or include gratuitous nudity; however, none of that matters in the case of Caddyshack.
The first rule of any great comedy is to be funny. The general plot and characters almost become irrelevant as long as there are consistent punchlines. That is where Caddyshack is above them all.
It would be interesting to see the original script by Brian Doyle-Murray, the late, great, director Harold Ramis and Douglas Kenney as compared to the final film. A lot of what you read is that actors were just given general directions or ideas of what was supposed to happen in various scenes without specific dialogue.
Whichever the case, if there was just one comedy you were forced to watch over and over again, there are none better.
1. “Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac… It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole! It’s in the hole!”
2. “Don’t be obsessed with your desires Danny. The Zen philosopher, Basho, once wrote, ‘A flute with no holes, is not a flute. A donut with no hole, is a Danish.’ He was a funny guy.”
3. “Oh, this is the worst-looking hat I ever saw. What, when you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup, huh? Oh, it looks good on you though.”
4. “You’re a lot of woman, you know that? Yeah, wanna make 14 dollars the hard way?”
5. “This is a hybrid. This is a cross, ah, of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff.”
6. “Check me if I’m wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers, they’re gonna lock me up and throw away the key…”
7. “Last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.”
8. “Hey, doll. Could you scare up another round for our table over here? And tell the cook this is low grade dog food. I’ve had better food at the ballgame, you know? This steak still has marks from where the jockey was hitting it.”
9. “Your uncle molests collies.”
10. “I’m going to give you a little advice. There’s a force in the universe that makes things happen. And all you have to do is get in touch with it, stop thinking, let things happen, and be the ball.”
11. “You don’t have to go to college. This isn’t Russia. Is this Russia? This isn’t Russia.”
12. “I guess you’ll just have to keep beating yourself.”
13. “I’m going to put it right on the line. There’s been a lot of complaints already. Fooling around on the course, bad language, smoking grass, poor caddying. If you guys want to get fired. If you want to be replaced by golf carts, just keep it up.”
14. “I have to laugh, because I’ve outsmarted even myself. My enemy, my foe, is an animal. In order to conquer the animal, I have to learn to think like an animal. And, whenever possible, to look like one. I’ve gotta get inside this guy’s pelt and crawl around for a few days.
15. “Remember Danny – Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three rights make a left.”
Honorable Mentions: (These were tough to leave off!)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
This is Spinal Tap
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Life of Brian
There’s Something About Mary
National Lampoon’s Vacation & Christmas Vacation
Author Bio: Andy Kubica is a life-long cinephile. Having spend time as a video store manager, movie theater manager and the first DVD buyer for a former rental chain he now spends every waking moment reducing his film “bucket list”.