It’s surprising how many modern day comedies don’t actually work. With most of them the audience sits in their seat for ninety minutes and might be lucky to get one laugh in all that time. But over time there have been a few films that have certainly hit their mark and are guaranteed to have you laughing out loud… hysterically. Here are a few!
Ted (2012) – When a film is shown in a preview screening it is for the distribution company and the publicists to try and gauge how the audience will react to the film. Well at one screening of ‘Ted’ they got more than they bargained for, one person laughed so much they had an asthma attack and another wet themselves. Such is the power of the comedy written by Seth MacFarlane who had already shown the world what he was capable of with the hilarious ‘Family Guy’ television show.
MacFarlane hits the spot with ‘Ted’ a film that sees John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) have to make a choice between his girlfriend Lori Collins (Mila Kunis) and his best friend… a talking teddy bear named Ted (voiced by MacFarlane). The humour may be a little ‘gutter’ for some but ‘Ted’ is certainly one of the better romantic comedies to have surfaced over the last few years.
Scary Movie 2 (2001) – Most parody movies simply don’t work. They are unfunny and deserve to be in the one dollar bin at your local ‘Reject Shop’. However, ‘Scary Movie 2’ bucks that trend, and while the original ‘Scary Movie’ was funny the sequel is absolutely hilarious.
‘Scary Movie 2’ sees Cindy (Anna Faris) return with school friends such as Shorty (Marlon Wayans) and the group head off on a school trip to a ‘haunted house’ with their sleazy Professor (Tim Curry). The film kicks off with a sensational Exorcist parody and really hits the funny bone with a terrific scene with Dwight (David Cross) and Hanson (Chris Elliott) who end up fighting over is the most handicapped.
Just a warning if you don’t have a love of horror films or have never seen ‘Scary Movie’ then you will never understand a lot of the humor in ‘Scary Movie 2’.
American Pie (1999) – There is a reason why ‘American Pie’ has been considered a modern comedy classic… because it’s a comedy that most teenagers can relate to and is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud.
The film itself follows Jim (Jason Biggs), Oz (Chris Klein), Kevin (Thomas Ian Nichols) and Paul (Eddie Kaye Thomas) a group of high school students that are extremely eager to get rid of their virginity. The result is some hilarious scenes, that are at times a bit risky, and the creation of two of the funniest characters to ever grace the big screen Stifler (Seann William Scott) and Michelle ‘The Band Camp Girl’ Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan).
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – For many families right around the world it has become a tradition to watch ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ as soon as you the Christmas tree and tinsel are up. The best thing is no matter how many times you watch it (even after 23 years) this is still a film that will have you laughing out loud.
This sensationally funny film sees Clark (Chevy Chase) have to endure the pain of having his entire family come to his place for a Christmas vacation. While his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) tries to make it something special Clark begins to stress out as the more feral members of his family, people like Eddie (Randy Quaid), begin to wear him down.
While the comedy of ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ varies from subtle Christmas humor (that anyone who has ever had relatives over at Christmas) to things as outlandish as wildlife in a Christmas Tree, there is something that is guaranteed to make people of all ages laugh.
Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) – While director/screenwriter Kevin Smith may have delivered some duds of the years, there was a time when he delivered smart comedies such as ‘Chasing Amy’ and ‘Clerks’. But if you are looking for a laugh-out-loud comedy from Mr. Smith then you can’t go past ‘Jay & Silent Strike Back’.
This film is like a celebration of all Smith’s previous films and shows the events that follow after Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith) learn that comic book makers Holden McNeil (Ben Affleck) and Banky Edwards (Jason Lee) have sold the rights to a comic book that is based on them and that it is now going to be turned into a Hollywood blockbuster… something they certainly don’t want.
While the characters in the film provide some laughs it is the hilarious cameos of people such as Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Wes Craven, Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek that makes this film a comedy classic.
Road Trip (2000) – While largely overshadowed by ‘American Pie’ at the box office in some ways ‘Road Trip’ is the much better comedy and certainly provides more than one laugh-out-loud moment.
Directed by Todd Phillips ‘Road Trip’ sees friends Josh (Breckin Meyer), E.L. (Seann William Scott), Rubin (Paulo Constano) and Kyle (DJ Qualls) embark on an ambitious road trip to prevent Josh’s long distance girlfriend Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard) from seeing a video he made with the beautiful, Beth (Amy Smart).
While many films have tried to make road trips funny over the years nobody succeeds quite like Todd Phillips. The characters he has created are absolutely fabulous and even the fact the film has a narrator, in the form of Barry (Tom Green), never gets in the way of the humor… in fact it enhances it.
Scenes to watch out for are a classic piece of comedy that sees E.L. steal a bus from a school for the blind and if you love your visual humor watch for a scene with Tom Green and a snake.
Not Another Teen Movie (2001) – Like ‘Scary Movie’ ‘Not Another Teen Movie’ is another parody film that hits the mark. Together with a group of screenwriters director Joel Gallen decides to make fun of nearly every ‘teen’ film from other the last thirty years.
Everything from classics such as ‘Sixteen Candles’ and ‘The Breakfast Club’ right through to modern films like ‘American Pie’ are all parodied in a film that centers around a teenage girl named Janey (Chyler Leigh) who suddenly becomes the object of affection for Jake (Chris Evans).
The laughs come through thick and fast and Phillips even points out all the mistakes and clichés that many films have made/included over the years, after just one viewing of ‘Not Another Teen Movie’ you will never be able to watch any other film the same way again.
Comedy is a very sensitive subject. What some people may find funny others may be repulsed by. The secret to finding a film that will really make you laugh out loud is to find one that tickles your fancy and does what it was designed to do… make you laugh!