The best comedy films of the last ten years, in order of their release dates:
Get Him To The Greek (2010)
Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs
This is my pick for the best comedy of 2010. Jonah Hill and Russell Brand make a hilarious duo, and P. Diddy surprises with a standout performance. As Aldous Snow, Brand’s free-wheeling character pokes and prods Ben (Hill), a record executive whose been stuck with the task of getting the rockstar to the Greek amphitheatre in Los Angeles. This proves to be a journey, and a very humorous one at that. Russell Brand constantly amuses viewers with his character’s vulgar-but-likeable personality. Walking on eggshells around Snow, Ben must party with him and partake in whatever random activities he chooses in an effort to reach the Amphitheatre. If he doesn’t get Snow to the concert on time, his insane boss (played by P. Diddy) will fire him. In addition to this mountain of work stress, Ben’s relationship with his girlfriend (Elizabeth Moss) also suffers as he travels with Snow since the rockstar gets him into all kinds of trouble. Ultimately, the easygoing Ben puts his foot down after realizing all the shenanigans he’s gone through in order to to accomplish someone else’s goal.
What some fans of 2010’s “Get Him To The Greek” might not know is that the movie is actually a spin-off sequel to the 2008 flick “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. This first movie introduces Brand’s character of Aldous Snow, in the context that he’s the new boyfriend of Sarah Marshall. After five years of dating Peter Bretter (Jason Segel), Sarah (Kristen Bell) has dumped him to be with another man. Things get worse when he finds out that his ex, who’s an up-and-coming actress, is dating the obnoxious British rock star Aldous Snow. Devastated and unable to fill a void, he takes a trip to Hawaii in hopes that it will take his mind off things. Upon checking into his resort, Peter makes the dreaded discovery that Sarah and Aldous have also chosen this location as their vacation spot. As a result of his unfortunate circumstances, a sympathetic hotel concierge by the name of Rachel (Mila Kunis) offers to give Peter a free room. Over the course of his stay there, Peter begins to spend time with this girl, and the company provides him with a much-needed distraction from his ex and her new obnoxious boyfriend. Jonah Hill also stars in the film, though he’s not a main character. As a resort waiter named Matthew, he plays a likable character that brings comic relief to Peter’s life at just the right time.
I Love You Man (2009)
Paul Rudd, Andy Samberg, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones
The idea behind this movie is different and creative. As the two main characters, Paul Rudd and Jason Segel have excellent chemistry onscreen.
Real estate agent Peter Klaven (Rudd) is on top of the world after getting engaged to the love of his life, Zooey (Rashida Jones). Yet when his fiance goes to share the exciting news with her girl friends, Peter realizes that he can’t do the same. This is because he has no male friends, and as his parents later point out, he is more adept at getting along with women. After this Peter has a more startling revelation: This lack of male friends will prevent him from having a best man. The movie starts to get funny when Rudd’s character goes on a series of “man dates”. When these don’t work, a discouraged Klaven attends a showing of Lou Ferrigno’s mansion, where he has a chance encounter with a man by the name of Sydney Fife (Jason Segel). The investor ends up playing a significant role in Peter’s life, and the experience teaches him some valuable lessons about friendship.
The Hangover (2009)
Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Jeffrey Tambor, Zach Galifianakis
The movie’s plotline follows the hysterical, disaster-filled trip of four men as they try to find their friend they’ve lost in Las Vegas. The guy missing in action is Doug (Justin Bartha), a groom-to-be whose scheduled to walk down the aisle in less than 24 hours. Each main character has his own quirks, something that sets the stage for clashes and very funny moments. Stu (Ed Helms) is a proper-looking dentist whose so whipped by his girlfriend that he has to lie about the stag party, telling her the group is going to the Napa Valley. Alan (Zach Galifianakis), Doug’s awkward future brother-in-law, is easily one of the funniest characters in the movie. Roger Ebert even called Galifianakis’ acting “the kind of breakout performance that made John Belushi a star after “Animal House.”
Superb performances by supporting cast members such as Mike Epps and Heather Graham make The Hangover complete as a great comedy.
Pineapple Express (2008)
Seth Rogen, James Franco
This is a movie that revolves around a pot-smoking process server named Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) and his marijuana dealer (James Franco). In a ridiculous plot twist, Denton is visiting Saul Silver (Franco) at his apartment when the two accidentally witness a murder. Upon being seen, they panic and go on the run, remaining paranoid that the killers are right behind them. Seeing that he’s a brilliant actor, James Franco easily adapts to the less-serious role of this easygoing pot dealer. His disposition is the polar opposite of Denton (Rogen), whose a real spazz. Seeing him freak out repeatedly is a highlight of the movie.
Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen
This film was actually written by Seth Rogen, who plays the role of a prankster cop in the hilarious and memorable movie that is “Superbad”. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera became comedy’s young shining stars with their roles as Seth and Evan, respectively. As High School seniors, Seth and Evan are best friends who desperately want to lose their virginity before heading off to college. The banter back and forth between these two is funny, since Hill’s character is always on edge. Seth and Evan make up two thirds of a hilarious trio in the movie, made complete by their nerdy friend Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). Fogell’s trip to the liquor store is one of the most memorable scenes in Superbad. Seth, Evan, and Fogell fear being caught by the police almost as much as they fear being rejected by their crushes. That’s why the two prank-playing police officers of Michaels and Slater (Seth Rogen and Bill Hader, respectively) make the movie even funnier. Not exactly on the right side of the law, Rogen and Hader’s characters demonstrate what some cops might do with a lot of free time and a complete lack of judgment.
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright
The Simpsons movie succeeded in overcoming a widely-held notion that often comes with films based on TV series: that they’ll be an extended version of the show. Luckily for Simpsons fans, this movie was different. It’s a laugh a minute, taking viewers back to the glory days of Homer and friends. The ironic part is the film’s plot, which delivers all this hilarity with a storyline that revolves around protecting the environment and battling corruption within the government. In addition to its content, “The Simpsons Movie” was colored with the largest palette the animators had ever had available to them. This made for amazing big-screen animations that surpassed all the prior comedy series-to-movie projects in quality.
Wedding Crashers (2005)
Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Isla Fischer
Unlike most comedy films, Wedding Crashers was able to make (mostly) everyone laugh. It’s hard not to love Owen Wilson, who, as John Beckwith, makes up one half of the wedding crashers team. As his hilarious co-star and partner in crime, Vince Vaughn plays the paranoid and uptight character of Jeremy Grey. The whole idea of crashing weddings to bed women was introduced through this movie, and such a ridiculous concept alone made people laugh.
Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate
Anchorman is one of the most memorable comedies of this decade. Will Ferrell’s performance as over-the-top newscaster Ron Burgundy will convince any viewer that as a comedic films actor, he’s a gem. It’s the 1970’s in San Diego, and Ron Burgundy is an aloof and sexist anchorman who believes he’s the best thing to ever hit the evening news. Making things even funnier is Burgundy’s workplace posse, a team of dummies that includes characters played by Paul Rudd and “The Office’s” Steve Caroll. The movie’s plotline follows Burgundy and his crew as they watch a good looking and ambitious woman by the name of Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) join their office. Seemingly mesmerized by this new lady, a narcissistic Burgundy sets out to bed her. And while she seems somewhat charmed by his ridiculous advances, Corningstone makes it clear that she’s serious about becoming a news anchor. Threatened by such an idea, Ron and his posse set out to make sure that no woman will have a place on the evening news. As a performance, the over-the-top character of Ron Burgundy will convince any viewer that as a comedic films actor, Will Ferrell is a gem.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries
“Napoleon Dynamite” has become a cult classic among comedy films. Though its story tone is different compared to others commonly seen in this genre, loyal fans of “Napoleon Dynamite” find the featured misfits and their dry humor to be entirely amusing. As the main character of Napoleon, Jon Heder plays a lanky and beyond-nerdy teenager who’s situated entirely outside of reality.
Along with a legion of fans, the movie has a polarizing effect which produces some people who simply don’t get it. The “it” here is referring to what’s funny.
For these viewers, the movie can serve another purpose. A review from reelviews.net reads: “No matter how much of a loser a person believes himself to be, he couldn’t possibly be in worse shape than the protagonist of Jared Hess’ wickedly funny high school comedy.” Indeed the clueless teenagers seem like they’re from another planet, and this leaves viewers feeling thankful that they’re not so far disconnected from reality.
Old School (2003)
Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, Jeremy Piven
This is a classic comedy that will never fade in popularity. The movie centers on three men, Mitch (Luke Wilson), Frank (Will Ferrell) and Beanie (Vince Vaughn), all of whom are experiencing a different kind of mid-life malaise. After Mitch endures the bedroom scene (his quote about “a damn magic show” is still well-known) he moves into a house on the edge of a University campus. Beanie decides to throw Mitch a kegger, where we see the mild-mannered Frank funnel numerous beers and revert into what he calls his pre-marital “Frank the Tank” persona. Loving Mitch’s new digs, Beanie then comes up with the idea to start a fraternity so that the men can re-live their college glory days. Though it sounds outrageous, the transformation would allow Mitch to keep his house.
As a comedian, Will Ferrell is fearless, and his performance is a big part of why the film is one of the stand-out comedies of the decade. Additionally, men similar in age to Mitch, Frank and Beanie can definitely relate to their problems. Their crazy and irresponsible coping mechanisms demonstrated throughout the movie give those viewers a temporary remedy via non-stop humor.