15 American Comedies of the 21st Century That Are Actually Worth Watching

8. The 40 Year Old Virgin

The 40 Year Old Virgin

Judd Apatow made an impression with his debut comedy The 40 Year Old Virgin, a film that is of much higher quality than its title might suggest. The film is also notable for kicking off Steve Carell’s cinematic body of work, and making him even more popular. The supporting cast which included Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd is hilarious, and with Carell’s performance and Apatow’s unique direction, The 40 Year Old Virgin is a comedy worth checking out.


7. Zombieland


Something of America’s response to Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland is truly funny zom-com with plenty of laughs and mountains of gore. It’s a ceaselessly fun and entertaining film that is both a very successful spoof, as well a fairly legit zombie film. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson make for a hilarious duo, and thanks to a clever script and stylish direction, Zombieland is an outrageous ride that both fans of comedy and zombies will enjoy.


6. Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express

A surprising entry in David Gordon Green’s filmography, but one of the most well-made and hysterical comedies of the 21st century. An already classic stoner film, Pineapple Express is fueled by the hilarious comedy pairing of Seth Rogan and James Franco. They have perfect timing and chemistry, and some of the funniest moments in the film are when the two are just interacting. Constantly funny and enjoyable to watch, Pineapple Express will make you howl.


5. Bridesmaids


Bridesmaids has to been called a female “Hangover”, and in many ways it does fit this description. Arguably even better than The Hangover, Bridesmaids is funny of funny characters and committed performances, and it proves to be a laugh riot from start to finish. Kristen Wiig brings a lot of credibility to the film; her performance is funny but also a little bit melancholy, giving a little depth to the story. The supporting cast, including the utterly hilarious, Oscar nominated Melissa McCarthy, is great, and the film itself is a pleasant comedic surprise.


4. Mean Girls

Mean Girls

A cult classic now, Mean Girls is one of the most quotable and memorable highschool comedies of the last decade, and if you look closer, it’s a film of surprising quality. Mean Girls combines all out chick flick with some subtle social satire, and it’s an instantly iconic and well realized portrait of highschool and highschool hierarchy. Lindsey Lohan and Rachel McAdams are both funny and iconic in the lead roles, and the script by Tina Fey is well-written, hitting all the right character notes and giving the film real personality and flair.


3. Harold and Kumar go to White Castle

Harold and Kumar go to White Castle

One of the greatest stoner comedies of all time, Harold and Kumar go to White Castle is a representation of the best parts of mainstream American comedy. The ultimate “everything that can go wrong, will go wrong” movie, there’s a lot here to love. It’s nothing more than a fun stoner comedy, but the genuine chemistry of Kal Penn and John Cho and the abundance of hilarious side characters make it a great time as well as a comedy that you’ll come back to.


2. Knocked Up

Knocked Up

Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up begins like an all-out comedy, but as it progresses, becomes a more mature dramedy. Seth Rogen is great in the lead role, he does a fantastic job of showing pregnancy from the male’s perspective, and is able to hit the more dramatic notes while at the same time delivering in traditional Rogen fashion. Arguably Apatow’s best film, Knocked Up is a funny movie and a feel good one, while still featuring the necessary raunch-com elements that the actors involved are known for.


1. Superbad


Superbad is the ultimate highschool comedy of the 21st century. It manages to be about friendship, highschool, transitional life periods, and pure raunch hilarity all at once. It may not look so complex on the surface, but dig deeper and you’ll find some surprisingly resonant themes under the surface. Of course these themes aren’t really the main purpose of the movie – Superbad is easily one of the funniest movies of the last decade, and can just as easily be watched for pure entertainment and for the laughs. Michael Cera,

Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse make for an unforgettable comic trio, and through all of the antics and escapades they’re put through just to secure some alcohol for a graduation party, they prove to be real characters with true personalities and who we the audience genuinely connect with.

Author Bio: Gavin Miller is a cinephile who keeps up the blog Cinefreakdude.tumblr.com as well as a YouTube channel – both dedicated to film criticism and discussion. He is an avid Blu-ray collector as well as the director of two short films – “A Chupacabra Afternoon” and “Coffea arabica. Gavin is hugely influenced by the works of David Lynch and Kevin Smith, and he models his lifestyle after The Dude from The Big Lebowski.