It goes without saying that a certain virus is currently affecting the film industry. But don’t worry, because the talented comedy filmmaker Edgar Wright has listed 100 comedy films to keep your spirits high during this particular time.
With productions being delayed, release dates being pushed back to next year, and film festivals being cancelled, moviegoers have been left a little more disappointed. Yes, while there may be a lot of problems bigger than this one, top filmmaker Edgar Wright has compiled an extensive list of comedies to cheer everyone up.
Wright himself is something of a comedy genius, and is well known for his distinct visual comedy style. To name a few, the writer-director has created some of the most iconic comedies of the 2000s, including both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz of his hilarious ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. More recently, in 2017 he finally made the acclaimed action comedy hit Baby Driver, starring Ansel Elgort and Jamie Foxx, which was based on a script that he had been working on as far back as 1995.
Comedy is a genre that most of us enjoy, but most of the time we don’t realise the deeper importance of it. The world essentially runs on emotions, and comedy is something that evokes the most positive ones.
So, he made a list of 100 films on the app Letterboxd. He’s chosen to leave his own films out of the list. Along with the list, Wright said:
“To get you through these tough times, please enjoy a generous helping of SOME of my favourite screen comedies that I’ve enjoyed over the years.”
You can check out the full list at Letterboxd, but here are my own top 10 highlights from his list, since I didn’t know something like the first 40 films on the list, and since you (probably) won’t make it through all 100.
My Top 10 Picks From Wright’s List
The Graduate (1967)
Why not go ahead and watch an older film? The Graduate is the oldest film on this (shortened) list, and stars a young Dustin Hoffman as a college graduate who is seduced by an older woman, and then falls in love with her daughter. The performances are without a doubt corny, but it’s an entertaining film and Hoffman’s goofy character is an interesting one, when you consider what he went on to do later in his career.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
I haven’t seen this movie in a long time, but I remember being in tears from laughing when I did. Made by the famous British comedy group Monty Python, Holy Grail is a classic spoof film about Medieval Britain, with the goofiest characters you’ve ever imagined. You can’t possibly go wrong with Monty Python’s suite of zany films.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a John Hughes classic about a senior high school student who convinces his girlfriend and his best friend to skip school with him and enjoy the day off exploring the city. Isn’t that what most of us need; a moment to stop and enjoy ourselves? And come on, who couldn’t love Matthew Broderick being a charismatic rebel, the “Bueller, Bueller” scene, and Cameron demolishing his dad’s Ferrari? It perfectly captures the essence of the 80s and makes for a nostalgic viewing experience.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Another John Hughes classic, this film stars Steve Martin and the late John Candy as two unlikely grown men who are forced to drive cross-country together after their flight is cancelled. The relationship between the two characters is nothing short of comedy gold, and Martin’s grumpy character always makes me laugh in the scenes where he can’t help but snap at Candy. It’s a heartwarming film in the end, and well worth a watch.
“Beetlejuice, beetlejuice, beetlejuice!” This film is about a married couple who tragically die together, and after their house is sold, their dead poltergeist selves seek the help of fellow dead man, Beetlejuice (played by Michael Keaton) to scare the new owners out of the house. Haven’t seen this one in a long time, but I remember watching it in my childhood and loving it. I’m definitely due for a rewatch.
Groundhog Day (1993)
Starring Bill Murray in the lead role, Groundhog Day is about a TV weatherman who finds himself stuck in an endless daily time loop. He learns to use this time towards his own self-improvement, which is what the film is widely considered an allegory of. Besides all the philosophical interpretations, it’s a touching film that is widely considered to be one of the greatest comedies of all time.
School of Rock (2003)
I grew up with this movie. School of Rock is about Dewey Finn (played by Jack Black), a down-on-his luck rock musician who poses as a substitute teacher to make ends meet. When he discovers the musical talent of his class, he decides to form his own rock band with them. Jack Black’s performance as the energetic musician is hilarious and unforgettable, and by the end the film proves to be something truly meaningful.
We all love this one. Anchorman, set in the 1970s, is about a TV news reporter who goes head-to-head with his new rival female coworker. I honestly don’t know what else to say about it. The film has a juvenile and ridiculous sense of humour that we can’t help but laugh at, and it never fails to put a smile on my face.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
This movie is so weirdly and unconventionally funny, but that’s exactly why it’s perfect. I don’t even know how to summarise this movie aside from “weird high school student meets weird exchange student”. The sense of humour of this film always makes me laugh, in ways I don’t even know why or how. Just watch it.
Superbad is hilarious, and it’s about three underaged teenagers who go on a mission to score some alcohol for an upcoming party. It was written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, based on their high school experiences in Vancouver, Canada. Jonah Hill gained recognition after this film for his first leading performance as a vulgar teen alongside Michael Cera. The film captures the teen experience in a hilarious yet authentic way, and is regarded as one of the great modern teen comedies. You’ll find some of the most golden comedic exchanges in this film that still hold up today.
It’s always important to keep a positive attitude, and comedy can work wonders for your mood. Everyone loves to laugh, so go ahead and do yourself a favour by watching, or re-watching, one of these great comedies.
By the way, Edgar Wright’s next film, Last Night in Soho, is due for release on 18 September 2020.
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