Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Funniest Movies

Last night, I was talking to my friend Rinda about favorite funny movies of all time. I always hesitate to tell people "You must see this movie! It's hilarious!" because humor, more than almost anything else in life, is so subjective. Something I think is fall-down -laugh-aloud you might think is the dumbest thing you've ever seen. This isn't helped by the fact that maybe I have an odd sense of humor. I'm not much for slapstick usually, or potty humor (though, honestly, who doesn't think that scene from Blazing Saddles is funny???). I've discovered that what I really love is something that seems very silly and goofy, but has something smart and even biting underneath. Or something just plain silly. So, here are some of my favorites:

This is Spinal Tap (just like I always cry at the end of Breakfast at Tiffanys, even though I've seen that movie 50,305 times--hey, it's raining, and "Moon River" is playing, and Audrey Hepburn can't find the cat!--so I always laugh at the "Stonehenge" scene in this movie)

In the same "mockumentary" vein, Waiting for Guffman and Best In Show ("We both love soup...")

Office Space (hasn't everyone had a boss like that? "Ummm--yeaaahh..." And Jennifer Aniston flipping off the entire TGIFridays)

The Christmas Story (IMO, the primo Christmas movie. My family and I watch it every year, and can quote the whole movie. I even bought my dad a miniature version of the lamp last year. It's REALLY ugly)

O brother, where art thou? (--"I am the only daddy you got! I'm the damn paterfamilas" --"But you ain't bona fide!" I've often wished I could just say to that to a bad date and have that be the end of it.)

Zoolander (at least the first half hour or so, and then the "walk off". The spectacle of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as male models is priceless, until the movie devolves into that assasination plot that is too silly even for me)

And I have an enormous love for '30s screwball comedies. I've often wished life could be like that all the time, fabulous clothes, great repartee, "hilarious consequences," and Cary Grant. Some favorites--Bringing Up Baby, The Awful Truth ("I wouldn't go on living with you if you were dipped in platinum!"), My Man Godfrey, Ninotchka

And my very favorite funny movie EVER is Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It's the epitome of the "silly but smart" idea (warning--these quotes are from memory, geek that I am, and may not be totally accurate):

King Arthur--"The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shining samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king.
Dennis the peasant--"Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you"

Or the classic French soldiers! "You don't frighten us, English pig dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called Arthur king, you and all your silly English k-nig-hts. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.
Sir Galahad--"Is there someone else up there we can talk to?"
Frenchman--"No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time."

I could go on all day, but I won't. Aren't you glad? :) What are some of your own favorite funny movies? I need to add to my list...


Arlene said...

You've named a few of my favorites here. I love the humor of Christopher Guest and his whole cast. I think Waiting for Guffman is still my favorite of his movies. And I know what you mean about the Breakfast at Tiffany's scene, although it's hard to stomach Mickey Rooney playing the Asian guy. However, I'm not able to stomach Bringing Up Baby. Hepburn's voice drives me insane in that movie, although I like her later work.

Cara King said...

Yes, you named lots of my faves too! My list would include:

Office Space
Monty Python & the Holy Grail
His Girl Friday
Grosse Pointe Blank
Spinal Tap

I haven't seen Airplane in years, but I expect I'd still find it just as funny!

I'm sure there are tons I've forgotten... Plus, I laugh a lot at a bunch of different Jane Austen adaptations...


Amanda McCabe said...

I agree about the Mickey Rooney thing, Arlene--I mostly fast forward through those scenes and pretend they don't exist. They really mar an otherwise chic movie. As for Katherine Hepburn's voice, it drives me crazy in "Philadelphia Story", but I don't notice it so much in BUB! :)

And how could I forget to add Napoleon Dynamite to my list of funny movies--GOSH!!!

Betty S said...

O brother, where art thou? Is probably my favorite movie of all time.

Kelli McBride said...

Our lists are so alike it's scary!! Other favs: Young Frankenstein (Abby Normal, give me a sedagive, put the candle back, and Frau Blucher, etc.)

Love and Death (Woody Allen and Diane Keaton)

Some Like It Hot AND The Great Race (both with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon)

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Sixteen Candles
Stir Crazy (Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor in Jail)
Back to the Future I
Smokey and the Bandit and Stroker Ace (Burt Reynolds)
Happy Gilmore
Horsefeathers (Marx Brothers)
Singing in the Rain (Gene Kelley)
Pillow Talk
A Fish Named Wanda
Naked Gun (the first and second films)
The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Shirley Temple..."you remind me of a man....")

Man! You took all my favs.