Summer Superlatives ’09: Top 5 Comedies

I’m all about comedies at the movies, but I’m pretty tough when it comes to reviewing humor. I’m usually either pretty generous in reviewing a comedy that manages to make me hysterical a good number of times and stingy if I’m not won over by the characters.

 All in all, 2009 was a pretty solid comedy summer, but there was a clear favorite and if you’ve been following my blog, you already know what it is. I do understand that means a lot of you don’t, but you don’t have to think hard to realize which of the summer’s comedies was head and shoulders above the rest.



 5. “Funny People” 

I held out a lot of hope for “Funny People” as being one of those laugh-out-loud comedies with a really strong sentimental side. It ended up being a really long mish-mash of stories and comedy techniques. There were some definitely funny parts and I think it was one of the more appropriate starring roles for Adam Sandler considering he played himself, but Judd Apatow’s previous directorial efforts were easily better. I still enjoyed it overall. Read all my comments here.



 4. “Inglourious Basterds”

I felt a little strange and guilty laughing at some of these jokes, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t laugh. Quentin Tarantino’s latest had some lines that were just so good you couldn’t not laugh at them. Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine was one of the summer’s funnier characters, even if it required considerably little talent of Pitt, whose comedy roles tend to be idiots, interestingly enough. Though some parts weren’t funny – Eli Roth as “The Bear Jew” – “Basterds” easily belongs on the top five list. Read all my comments here.



3. “Bruno”

Although it wasn’t satirically on par with “Borat” by any means, “Bruno” was so outrageous that you had to laugh just to make it through the film. Sacha Baren Cohen lays it on thick in this film, praying on our completely and utter homophobia in this country and taking several shots at celebrity culture (and numerous celebrities). If you haven’t seen it and you’re not too easily offended or disgusted by nudity, I can think of a better rental for this winter. When it does hit shelves, I will be sure to post my whole review.



 2. “(500) Days of Summer”

I wouldn’t normally put a romantic comedy toward the top of this list, but I rated “Summer” higher that the last three films and it was a comedy among all things. Well, it was definitely deserving too. “Summer” is a romantic comedy that challenged a lot of the annoying clichés we deal with regularly from the genre by confronting them. Its disjointed chronology narrative structure allowed for humor to slip into places where other films simply couldn’t fit it and then it just  charmed our pants off. Read all my comments here.



1.  “The Hangover”

I haven’t laughed that hard that often at a movie in at least a year or two. “The Hangover” was just perfect execution on an idea that felt (and really was) so familiar despite never having been done before. We’d seen Las Vegas comedies, buddy comedies, bachelor party comedies, but never with the brilliant premise of “The Hangover.” The reveal of one’s embarrassing drunken misadventures is funny when your hung over friend tells you about it the next day – a movie about that is even better. Best of all, “The Hangover” gave us new faces to look at in Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha. What an excellently calculated cast. It’s like we were served pretty good leftovers at a five star restaurant and didn’t even notice. This could easily be my first Holiday DVD pick-up and I’ll surely post my review then.




1 Comment

  1. Brett says:

    I think Pitt's turn as Jeffrey Goines in 12 Monkeys is a comedic role (even if not in a comedy) that showed off considerable talent.

    In response to your list, I think Up belongs somewhere in the top five – in fact, on my list, it might be gunning for one of the top two spots. And though it wasn't billed as a comedy, I laughed plenty at the Wolverine movie; it was too damn ridiculous for words.

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