14. What We Do In The Shadows
Just when you were absolutely sick of vampire movies, along comes this one to surprise you in the best possible way. Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s mockumentary about a group of vampires in New Zealand is truly fantastic. In an era in which the genre had been done to death, they offered a totally fresh and unique vision on the subject.
Most important, it’s ridiculously entertaining, and it’s funny throughout its entire running time. Sadly, this isn’t a film that found a mainstream audience, despite the fact that it’s far better, more imaginative and funnier than most comedies Hollywood churns out these days.
It’s hilarious, has great performances, and is a unique, fresh look on a dying genre, which in itself is enough to be worth of praise. It’s one of the finest comedies released in this decade so far, and it deserves a much bigger audience than it has.
13. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
The Coen Brothers are two of the finest auteur directors working today, and their style of comedy is totally unique. It’s not a style that will ever find a mainstream audience, nor will it ever need to be. It’s fresh, original and smart, and they have no shortage of admirers. While it may not be on the same level as The Big Lebowski, this film is easily the funniest film they’ve released this century so far.
O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a lot of fun, anchored by terrific performances from a strong cast that includes George Clooney, John Goodman and John Turturro, all of whom are on top form.
It is full of quick wit, and at the time was some of their most accomplished filmmaking. The film has a killer soundtrack and, to this day, remains very entertaining. The Coens have dedicated a lot of time to dramas in recent years, while their comedies haven’t been quite so successful, but this film is some of their finest work.
While the statement that ‘this is the film that made women funny’ is utter rubbish, as there have been plenty of terrific female comedy performances over the years, that doesn’t change the fact that Bridesmaids is still a very smart and, most importantly, hilarious comedy.
Paul Feig’s film was an immediate success. The women all gave genuinely brilliant performances, particularly Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, Ellie Kemper and, of course, Melissa McCarthy. This was her breakout role and it’s still her best. She has sadly fallen victim to type-casting ever since, and hasn’t had the most consistent track record, but her performance as Megan is surprisingly heartfelt, and she even found herself with an Oscar nomination for it.
It’s witty, it’s smart, it’s funny and it has a lot of already classic moments. It touched the hearts of the entire world and sparked a whole new era for the genre. It might be a little too long, but it is hysterically funny and deservedly became an instant classic.
11. The Hangover
Most of the time, sequels are a disaster. The two Hangover sequels were far from successes, and they alienated a lot of people. The sad thing is that sometimes sequels can become such disasters that they actually tarnish the memory of the original film. So, it is important that we don’t forget how funny the first Hangover film was (and still is).
Whatever the sequels may have become, The Hangover is a fantastic comedy. It took an idea that had been recycled a million times by Hollywood (bachelor party goes wrong) and did something totally new and fresh with it. The idea of having the men wake up and try to retrace their steps was genius, allowing the film to work as a comical and surprising mystery, as the audience found out about the night before at the same time as the characters did.
It’s also hilarious, full of gags, and aided by terrific performances from its three leading stars. For director Todd Phillips, this was his best film since Old School. It was funny, well-acted and original, while at the same time being surprisingly smart and memorable.
Yes, the film suffered from ‘sequel culture’, but The Hangover still works very well.
10. Team America: World Police
Back in 2004, Trey Parker and Matt Stone worked together on this insane but hilarious satirical comedy, which has since become a cult classic. The film uses Thunderbirds-style marionettes, a method which made the production so difficult that Parker and Stone have vowed never to use them again. That’s a shame, because Team America is one heck of a movie.
In this film, nobody is safe. Yes, even North Korea and Kim Jong-il were given what-for, with the Supreme Leader singing a song entitled ‘I’m So Ronery’, which makes you wonder how the film even got released to the public, while being extremely happy that it did.
The idea for this film began life as ‘The Day After The Day After Tomorrow’, before becoming a comedy satire designed to rip-off some famous Jerry Bruckheimer action movies. It’s also constantly funny, including a Matt Damon gag that is still quoted today, as well as the the famous line, ‘America, f**k yeah!’
Parker and Stone have always tried to stay current. ‘South Park’ is now made within a week of airing, so as to stay topical. As impressive as that is, it means the show runs the risk of becoming lost over time. While Team America did the same thing, it’s actually managed to grow in relevance over the years, as the subjects it tackles are still topical today.
Do you remember The Interview? That film ended up being one of the most controversial films of all time because of its subject, with North Korea threatening all-out-war if it was released. When some movie theatres tried to get Team America shown in its place as a sign of resistance, Paramount stopped it from happening. In this overly-offended age that we currently live in, it has to make you wonder if this film would even be made now?
The truth is that it doesn’t matter. The film exists, and it’s even funnier today than it was then. It’s the true definition of a cult classic, and it’s one of the most memorable comedies of this century so far.
9. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson is one of the finest and most original auteur directors working today. His visual style is unparalleled, and The Grand Budapest Hotel may be one of the best-looking movies so far this decade.
This film is, of course, also incredibly funny, measuring some intelligent wit with some brilliant visual gags. Anderson also assembled the finest cast possible to bring this script to life, including the likes of Jude Law, Bill Murray, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton, Léa Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson and Ralph Fiennes, who delivers some of his finest work here.
Anderson has a pretty impressive filmography, so a debate over his best film could last some time, but The Grand Budapest Hotel is easily his funniest.
8. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
This cinematic adaptation from Edgar Wright proved the director’s talents outside of the ‘cornetto trilogy’ to the entire world. This was the birth of one of the most creative and original comedic directors on the planet.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World sadly never found the audience it quite clearly deserved, and actually lost money when it was first released. However, it has since earned the mantle of ‘cult classic’, having found its admiration over time.
It’s one of the most inventive, creative and unique films of the 21st century, in any genre, and shows pitch-perfect use of the ‘visual comedy’ Wright has become so highly-regarded for.
Along with a career-best performance from Michael Cera, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is the kind of comedy that we as an audience should be rewarding, and begging to see more of.