Thursday, November 02, 2006

10 movies that just make me laugh

In honor of tomorrow's opening of "Borat," which, somehow, made it to one screen in my little corner of the world, I humbly offer this list of my 10 funniest movies of all time.

10. Zelig

"The Ku Klux Klan, who saw Zelig as a Jew, that could turn himself into a Negro and an Indian, saw him as a triple threat."
- The narrator of Zelig

There are certainly better Woody Allen movies. If I had to pick my favorite it would always be "Manhattan," but none makes me laugh harder than this mockumentary about Leonard Zelig, who could impersonate himself into just about any situation he wanted to.

9. Dazed and Confused

"All I'm saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life - remind me to kill myself."
- Randall "Pink" Floyd

The first time I saw this, after waiting in line for about an hour for a free screening at UGA, I just didn't get it. My only thought was, "did anyone really have this much fun in high school?" Once I got past my own issues, I've watched it several times since, and it remains my favorite of Richard Linklater's films.

8. Super Troopers

"I'm sorry, Bruce. These boys get that syrup in 'em, they get all antsy in their pantsy."
- Captain O'Hagan

I know the Broken Lizard blokes are too silly for many people, but I still love them. This was how I found them, and I just found out there's a "Super Troopers 2" planned for 2008. I say bring it on.

7. "Hairspray"

"Don't you try to cast one of your voodoo spells on me, native woman."
- Prudence Pingleton

Baltimore will never again be as charming as it was in this John Waters classic, so do yourself a favor and watch it before John Travolta dons a fat suit to crap all over it next summer.

6. "Rushmore"

"But here's my advice to the rest of you: Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the crosshairs and take them down."
- Herman Blume

When I was living in Salisbury, Md., for a second stretch, I once drove two and a half hours to D.C., ostensibly to see an old college friend, but mostly just to see this Wes Anderson flick. It was well worth it. It brought Bill Murray back to us, after all, and it just gets funnier each time I watch it.

From here on out, the competition gets truly heated.

5. Clerks

"It's important to have a job that makes a difference, boys. That's why I manually masturbate caged animals for artificial insemination."

I've followed Kevin Smith just about everywhere except Jersey Girl, and I've almost always been glad I did. "Clerks 2" wasn't nearly as funny as this gem, but it was still fun to see the old gang again this summer.

4. Office Space

"So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life."
- Peter Gibbons

I find I have to watch this movie about once a month, when I've had a really long day, and it's always just the right cure. I can't believe how shoddily Mike Judge is being treated with "Idiocracy," which as far as I know has already left the few theaters it was allowed into.

3. South Park Bigger, Longer & Uncut

"That movie has warped my fragile little mind."
- Eric Cartman

I just rented the eight episodes Parker and Stone managed to make of "That's My Bush," and it only confirmed for me that, even if they do have two of the foulest mouths in the entertainment business, they also have two of the sharpest minds for political satire, especially in this very funny flick.

2. This is Spinal Tap

"You can't really dust for vomit."
- Nigel Tufnel

It' a real shame that Rob Reiner had to turn into such a douche, because with the circle of geeks I ran with in college, no movie was quoted more heavily than this one. I love it so much that it almost made it to No. 1 on this list, which is reserved for ...

1. The Snapper

Dessie Curley: "I haven't cried since I was a kid."
Sharon Curley: "You cried during the World Cup."
Dessie Curley: "Sober, Sharon! Sober!"

This one is so good that it would make two lists for me, this one and any list of my favorite books. It's Roddy Doyle's funniest work, and Stephen Frears brought the story of an unexpected baby ("snapper") and its effect on a large Dublin family to vibrant life on screen.

So, there you have it. If you haven't seen one of or more of these, I highly recommend renting all of them. And, as always, please feel free to respond with any movies that just make you laugh until it hurts.


Anonymous said...

What do you think of the other 2 films in the Barrytown trilogy? Personally, Parker's Commitments was a little boring, but I liked Frears' The Van.

Sameer Vasta said...

It has been such a harrowing week, I need a good laugh, and just you mentioning some of these movies has brought a chuckle out this morning.

I'm a huge fan of Dazed and Confused, Clerks, Office Space, and Rushmore, but surprisingly, I've never seen The Snapper. That's definitely on my list of movies to rent now.

Reel Fanatic said...

I like all the Barrytown flick quite a bit, Jeremy, but I agree with you that "The Commitments" would be the weak link .. I'd put the very underrated "The Van" smack in the middle

Anonymous said...

Lone Star State of Mind is one of those movies that I can watch over and over again and it's just as funny as the first time. It's just a silly little movie. Although, it is a bit more funny late at night.

Reel Fanatic said...

I have to admit, anonymous one, that I had not heard of that ... I'll have to check it out

sanchapanzo said...

Thought 'This is Spinal top' is not all that comical. In fact felt bad for the band watching that movie/documentary, of course some parts were fun.
'Office Space' was good fun.

I relish most of the spoof movies: most of the Leslie Nielson movies, Happy Gilmore was gr8 fun, so was Euro Trip, Hot Shots Part deux was a riot, Scary Movies, School of Rock-Orange County(Jack Black segments in these movies was good fun to watch), Bachelors Party(Tom Hanks was funny, he reminded me of Indian actor Aamir Khan in that movie). I also enjoy watching most Jim Carey movies (Ace Ventura). And I think 'Revenge of the Nerds' series too was top-class fun to watch. The Israeli movie 'Hot Bubblegum' was also nice fun to watch.

Reel Fanatic said...

Those are all great ones too, Sanchapanzo ... School of Rock was on the list of 20 or so that I started out with before cutting it to 10 ... I hadn't heard of "Hot Bubblegum," so I'll have to check that one out too

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

I'm kind of out of the loop being way over here, but can I vote for Napoleon Dynamite and Tommy Boy?

Reel Fanatic said...

Of course you can, Shelley ... Napoleon Dynamite is another one that just missed making my Top 10, and is arguably the most quotable movie ever

Divinity said...

I enjoyed Dazed and Confused a lot more than I thought I would. I would put Waking Life at the top of my Linklater list but D&C is funnier.
The Big Hit and The Wedding Crashers would probably be my additions to the list. And that's admitting a lot since I'm not a fan of Owen Wilson most days.

Reel Fanatic said...

I have to say, Divinity, the last time I really liked Owen Wilson in a movie was way back to Bottle Rocket .. that said, Wedding Crasher is a pretty friggin funny flick

Anonymous said...

Outstanding list! I'd never even heard of The Snapper so I've bookmarked the list, I'll have to get around to seeing the few you mentioned I haven't seen.

Office Space - certainly one of my favourites - EVER.

The two movies topping my funny list are "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and "Canadian Bacon" they both crack me up to no end. There's also a scene in "Rat Race" that starts when Jon Lovitz is racing out of the Nazi museum and ends up in front of the veterans picnic which makes me howl.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm with you on that stretch of Rat Race, Marina, and definitely on Canadian Bacon too .. I miss John Candy so much!

D said...

"These are O.R. scrubs."

"Oh are they?"

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Reel Fanatic said...

It took me a second to remember that one from Rushmore, Derek ... kudos!

Lori said...

'Were you in the sh*?'

(long pause as Bill Murray stares at Jason Schwartzman)

'Yeah, I was in the sh*t.'

'Rushmore' is amazing. Love that one. And 'Spinal Tap' is just classic. I had the great honor of seeing those guys live on the 'Break Like the Wind' tour...what really surprised me is how GOOD they were!

Anyway...a few that always make me laugh are 'When Harry Met Sally' (another great Reiner classic pre-doucheness), 'Ghostbusters,' and 'Dodgeball.' I know none of those are exactly highbrow comedy...but I laugh at all the jokes, no matter how many times I see them.

Reel Fanatic said...

I can definitely take my comedy lowbrow, Lori, as evidenced by my love of "Super Troopers" ... I had no expectations going into "Dodgeball," but it turned to be extremely funny .. I especially liked the cameo by Lance

Jim Marquis said...

My favorites are:
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
(comedy on an epic scale)

Raising Arizona (perfectly
captures Southwest white trash)

Annie Hall (an endless number
of great jokes and moments)

The Big Lebowski (perfectly captures the slacker, artist, bowler, Vietnam Vet cultures)

Mystery Men (Ben Stiller is a superhero whose only power is gotta love that)

When Harry Met Sally (ah, the
combination of love and laughter)

Tyler Durden said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tyler Durden said...

Big yes on "Spinal Tap" (which happens to be one of three movies on your list that I have actually seen). BTW, No "Monty Python" movies in the list ?? I am with J Marquis on "Raising Arizona". If I can keep Nicholas Cage out of my mind, I would clearly enjoy Helen Hunt, John Goodman and William Forsythe anyday. I also think "O Brother" was a good effort (humor and music) and despite what every Coen Brothers fan would say, I rank them above "Barton Fink".

Mark IV said...


Reel Fanatic said...

That's the problem, I guess, when you limit yourself to only 10 flicks ... Of the Coen brothers flicks, I love all three of those you two mentioned, but would put "O Brother" No. 1 ... and you're right that excluding Python was a serious omission on my part .. If I had included one, it would have been "Life of Brian"

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of The Snapper. :]

I'll keep an eye out for it.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm surprised to hear that from you, Emma, because I just assumed it was a bigger hit in the UK than it was here ... actually, I think it originated as a BBC production

Scribe LA said...

Thanks RF... I will rent Snapper and the others I haven't seen immediately. I completely agree about Office Space - always does the trick. I've run into Ron Livingston a couple of times, but I haven't had the nerve to approach, for fear it might turn into an overkill of how much I adored him in OS and Swingers. Next time I run into him, though, I'll put a good word in for yours and my love of OS.

Reel Fanatic said...

He does seem like he would a very approachable dude, Scribe ... but I guess that's why he just works so well on screen, when he's given the opportunity for movie work at all

Anonymous said...

Good choices! I didn't expect to find "The Snapper" at the top of the list, but it's a great choice. I have to make a plea, though, for some of the greats that came out before 1980 -- "Some Like it Hot," "Duck Soup," "Two Tars," "The General." As for more recent, I'd add "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "My Cousin Vinny," and "Ruthless People" (all by Dale Launer and all exceptionally well-plotted as well as being very funny).

Reel Fanatic said...

You're right that my list is very contemporary, Nell .. maybe I'm losing my memory! .. I too love Duck Soup, and would put it near the top of any list of great satirical flicks (as I have in an archive post

Anonymous said...

I'd go for Annie Hall, Waiting For Guffman, Meet The Parents (is that the original?) and The King of Comedy, where Rupert Pupkin is trying to make it while living in mom's basement.

Reel Fanatic said...

The King of Comedy is indeed a great one, Vermont Neighbor, but as far as Scorsese movies go, he made at least one that's for me even funnier, the simply sublime "After Hours"

Anonymous said...

I'll have to rent that. Just read an old Ebert review and it sounds great; offbeat and interesting.

Annie in Austin said...

Dazed and Confused star Wiley Wiggins had a recent birthday and is still adorable


Mazur said...

Good list, but Dr. Strangelove, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey and the eternally underated Pootie-Tang would have to be on mine too.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

What about Swingers??????

Anonymous said...