Though I don't usually spend hours wandering about the internet while lying in bed and eating chips from a bag (I'm too busy exercising or helping urbanite children), I did happen to find something interesting on the web a few months ago. Timeout.com has published a list entitled "100 Best Comedy Movies." Before reading the rankings, I assumed a condescending confidence. After all, I would have already seen most of the movies because, hello, I am the expert on comedy. Have you heard of Portlandia? I have.
However, it didn't take long for me to realize that when it came to the great films of comedy, I hadn't seen many of them. In fact, of the 100 movies on the list, I had only seen 18.
I decided an education was in order. I would watch the entire list and as I did so, I would try to understand why (or, if) these movies deserved to be on the list of the best 100 of all time. On an unrelated note, if you're looking to justify hours (upon hours, upon hours) of pure entertainment, just tell yourself it's for educational purposes. My conscience has dealt well with this reasoning.
And now- because you'd rather read my opinions than those some "movie critic" who "does this for a living"- I present to you reviews of some of my favorite (and least favorite) films I've watched thus far from Timeout.com's 100 Best Comedy Movies:
Note: Timeout's list is NOT a perfect list, in order or in inclusion. No Robin Williams? Please. That being said, the reporters at Timeout do seem to have done their homework and so we will at least give credit for that....but seriously, no Ferris Bueller's Day Off?
Another Note: here is the list if you're interested in checking it out for yourself
100 Best Comedy Movies According to Timeout.com
Timeout ranking: #66
Caroline's Opinion: Deserves to be in top 100, ranking seems right
Importance: Start of the long lasting romance between film and, well, bromance; the unofficial prequel to Old School
Pro: The nicknames which include Otter, Bluto, D-Day and Flounder
Con: I'm a John Belushi fan just as much as the next millennial trying to prove they have good taste, but I had trouble laughing at Bluto. He seemed to be a mix between a caveman who'd been dropped on the head as a child and an alien with a severe drinking problem...it's a real possibility that I was too busy worrying about his genetic makeup to get the humor.
Who should watch this: Anyone who is a supporter of (or, at least, not a total enemy of) fraternity life. It will make you feel like fraternities have a higher purpose and that even if you and your brothers rampage a float called "The Deathmobile" through a town parade, you can still get hired post-grad.
Timeout ranking: #85
Caroline's Opinion: Ranking should be higher, at least top 50
Importance: Bill Murray improvised all of his lines (including the infamous speech) so now we all have to consider the possibility that he might be a comedy wizard
Pro: It's easily the least boring way to watch golf on screen
Bonus Pro: Rodney Dangerfield vs. the WASPs
Con: If you are a stickler for regular plot structure with clear rising and falling action, this is not the movie for you. This movie is barely motivated by its central conflict (the competition for the caddy scholarship) and is instead propelled by constant silliness and merciless satire.
Who Should Watch This: Anyone, really, but especially gophers. I don't want to give anything away, but, trust me -- gophers, you will love this.
Coming To America
Timeout ranking: #64
Caroline's Opinion: Ranking should probably be higher
|Eddie Murphy, I promise|
Importance: The first film I've watched with Eddie Murphy in a starring role which wasn't Dr. Dolitte or Daddy Daycare
Pro: Eddie Murphy playing an old New York Jew
Con: It seems that a lot of critics at the time widely preferred Trading Places to Coming to America with one critic complaining that, "an Eddie Murphy movie would come to this." Dear God, if you're listening, please let that critic watch Dr. Dolittle 2.
Who Should Watch This: My mom, apparently. I watched Coming to America with good ole Trish and it's probably the only movie with multiple uses of f*** that doesn't make her roll her eyes in disgust before saying "I just don't care for that language. Why do they have to use such foul words? Why not just say fooey or bug guts?"
Timeout ranking: #28
Caroline's Opinion: Deserves to be in top 100, ranking seems right
Importance: The stoner comedy that wasn't really a stoner comedy which seems to have paved the way for all the following stoner comedies which were definitely meant to be stoner comedies (if you're high that will make sense)
Pro: The most entertaining opening credits
Con: I'm always a little wary of Saturday Night Lives sketches remade into films. This is most likely because I am terrified of a Gilly movie. Please, SNL, don't make that.
Who Should Watch This: Boys in middle school or anyone who occasionally enjoys middle school boys' humor
There's Something About Mary
Timeout ranking: #27
Caroline's Opinion: Should not even be ranked
|yeah, this is a part of the movie. are you racing to watch it now?|
Pro: It's 119 minutes long which should be just enough time for you to have a nice nap.
Con(s): The plot was served up as predictable, boring, and obnoxious with a side of boners-stuck-in-zippers jokes. I don't have a problem with low-brow humor, I just have this one requirement that it actually be funny. All of this is not to mention that this movie totally puts a black mark on one of the great actors of our time. Of course, I'm talking about Brett Favre. It's like those Wrangler commercials never even happened now.
Who Should Watch This: Die-hard Brett Favre fans who are willing to wait around until the final scene for his cameo. Also, this just in, I've already re-forgotten who Matt Dillon is.
Timeout ranking: #29
Caroline's Opinion: Ranking could be a little higher, but I'm ok with it
Importance: "I like your nurse's uniform, guy." "These are OR scrubs." "O, R they?"
Pro: Wes Anderson both wrote and directed this.
Bonus Pro: Aforementioned potential comedy wizard, Bill Murray.
Con: It pains me to say that Rushmore, a film I openly adore, was not written by Anderson alone, but was co-authored by none other than Owen Wilson. For some reason I really cannot explain (I've tried for years, trust me) Owen Wilson is someone who truly and deeply annoys me. I do not like him. I do not like his voice. I do not like his face. I'm not saying it's ugly, I'm just saying I don't like it...so yeah, that's the one con of the movie.
Who Should Watch This: If you already know you like Wes Anderson movies this one will not disappoint. Also, people who like good movies. They should watch this too.
This is Spinal Tap
Timeout ranking: #1
Caroline's Opinion: Not sure if it deserves #1, definitely top 20
Importance: I did my research on this one -- This is Spinal Tap was the first film mockumentary (that Wikipedia knows about)
Pro: The most entertaining ending credits.
Bonus Pro: the song "Sex Farm."
Con: I shouldn't be allowed to review this movie because there was no way I wouldn't love it. Mockumentary style productions have always been my favorite and this one was done exceptionally well and without any real reference points to base itself off of. If you have a con, let me know.
Who Should Watch This: Fans of The Office and Summer Heights High. This is the movie you've been waiting for.
If you will actually suggest a movie from the list for me to watch next, here are the ones I have already seen:
Sister Act (#100), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (#91), Mean Girls (#90), Caddyshack (#85), Galaxy Quest (#84), Bridesmaids (#79), Old School (#76), National Lampoon's Animal House (#66), Elf (#65), Coming To America (#64), The Royal Tenenbaums (#61), Happy Gilmore (#59), The Hangover (#57), When Harry Met Sally (#50), Office Space (#45), Napoleon Dynamite (#38), Zoolander (#35), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (#34), The Princess Bride (#31), Rushmore (#29), Wayne's World (#28), There's Something About Mary (#27), Dumb and Dumber (#22), Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (#21), Trading Places (#20), The Big Lebowski (#13), Groundhog Day (#8), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (#6), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (#5), Airplane! (#2), This is Spinal Tap (#1)