Recommend me some comedies!
October 9, 2011 12:45 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite comedy films of the past 5 years?

After not watching many movies over the past 4 years or due to the time commitments of launching a freelance career, family, etc. etc., I am trying to get back into the habit of a once-a-week "movie night" with my husband. My husband watches movies a LOT and pretty much sees everything he ever wants to see, so his vote doesn't count.

I'm particularly interested in recommendations for comedies, since it seems so much harder to get it "right." I tend to prefer indie films, but I think I am decreasingly beguiled by cleverness for cleverness' sake. For example, I've loved Wes Anderson and last night finally got around to watching The Darjeeling Limited, the last one of his I hadn't seen. I found I didn't like it as much as earlier Anderson films, though, and I don't know if that's because it wasn't as good, or because I am now looking for more HAHA and a bit less WTF?

In other words, I'm looking for comedies that strike a balance between not being stupid/trite and not being completely out there.

Other examples of work I've liked: Cohen brothers (love), Little Miss Sunshine, Napoleon Dynamite, Anchorman. Feel free to recommend me more mainstream comedies if you think they are actually well done.
posted by drlith to Media & Arts (62 answers total) 89 users marked this as a favorite
hmm...outside your time range, but prob. right up your alley, judging by your favorites: John Waters' Serial Mom.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:51 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I felt the same way about Darjeeling Ltd. Too serious in places and maybe not enough ... action? Like the funny stuff was really funny but there were those big indie pauses in the middle, and a lot of fighting. I also like the goofy just comedy approach of Anchorman. A few more that I've liked recently

- Horrible Bosses - a funny movie about a weirdo topic, but pulls it off by not going for over the top gross or otherwise. Great performance by Kevin Spacey.
- Paul - I know it looks wicked dumb but it's actually pretty good [anything by Frost/Pegg is worth watching - Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz especially]
- Cedar Rapids - another wacky movie with a good heart and great acting by Ed Helms and John C Reilley
- Wet Hot American Summer - all star cast, old movie that made the rounds again recently
- Galaxy Quest - nerdy humor, well made
- Animated movies are getting better, I've enjoyed Despicable Me & Megamind, among others
posted by jessamyn at 12:55 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I (to my surprise) loved Forgetting Sarah Marshall and its sequel, Get Him to the Greek. Both were very funny, but had emotional elements that rang true as well. I like how Apatow's films never wrap up too neatly.
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:57 PM on October 9, 2011 [3 favorites]

Bridesmaids was hilarious! Might be kind of stupid for you, but it wasn't stupid in the traditional way, so I'm still going to recommend it!
posted by katypickle at 1:04 PM on October 9, 2011

Four Lions is a great black comedy about an inept terror cell. Speaking of Apatow, I really enjoyed Funny People, though it is firmly in dramatic comedy territory.
posted by Lorin at 1:05 PM on October 9, 2011 [4 favorites]

Hot Fuzz

I Love You, Man

Pretty much anything Pixar (in the last five years: Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3).
posted by Rhaomi at 1:05 PM on October 9, 2011

Mystery Team
posted by muta at 1:17 PM on October 9, 2011 [5 favorites]

Wall-E and Despicable Me are right up there. Animated? Yes. Hilarious and adorable? Yes.
Zombieland was pretty good and silly, particularly if you like Woody Harrelson.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - nerdy fun, mostly funny.
Yes to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but I can't recommend Get Him to The Greek.
posted by Glinn at 1:17 PM on October 9, 2011

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
I Love You, Man
Easy A
posted by wsquared at 1:17 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Easy A was hilarious.
posted by firei at 1:18 PM on October 9, 2011 [4 favorites]

Adventureland. Jesse Eisenberg is great in this.
posted by Lorin at 1:19 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I love Blades of Glory.
posted by DoubleLune at 1:28 PM on October 9, 2011

Although not entirely a comedy, I just watched "The Perfect Host" with David Hyde Pierce and its one of the best darkly comic films I've seen in a long time. Niles Crane gets his freak on and its awesome.
posted by elendil71 at 1:36 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Accepted was much btter than I expected. An uplifting '80s style loser-glorifying college comedy.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 1:36 PM on October 9, 2011

Bienvenue Chez Les Sh'tis aka Welcome to the Styx (2008) is a charming French comedy about a postal worker.
posted by yaymukund at 1:37 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Zombieland is great. If you liked Shaun of the Dead you will also like Black Sheep (no not that one), an indie New Zealand film.
posted by boobjob at 1:42 PM on October 9, 2011

I too really enjoyed The Hangover and am only slightly embarrassed to admit it.

this is a moment of personal growth.
posted by elizardbits at 2:06 PM on October 9, 2011

Just outside of your time range, Mean Girls was completely hilarious. Tropic Thunder is another recent favorite.
posted by migurski at 2:12 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

not really what you're asking for, but I thought Slither was hilarious. It may in fact be the last really funny movie I saw- IMO comedic shows are so much better than any movies these days.
posted by abirdinthehand at 2:15 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

"Easy A" struck a perfect balance of clever/ridiculous, and Emma Stone has a really good comic sense.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:15 PM on October 9, 2011

I Love You, Man
Role Models
Tropic Thunder is great
Hot Rod
Yes Man
Gentlemen Broncos
posted by rhizome at 2:18 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Punch Drunk Love
Away We Go
posted by MrFish at 2:36 PM on October 9, 2011

I love Apatow movies because vulgar + sweet = comedy gold. You really can't catch up on modern comedies without Apatow.

Also seconding Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Paul. I love those guys.

Movies I haven't seen suggested above already:

Date Night
Run Fatboy Run
The Ringer
Lars and the Real Girl
Death at a Funeral (the British one, not the one with Chris Rock)
Bad Santa
Hot Tub Time Machine
Wristcutters: A Love Story

Have fun!
posted by dchrssyr at 2:49 PM on October 9, 2011

Whip It is more sports story than comedy, but it's also really funny, and generally kicks ass.
posted by wobh at 2:54 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

1. Recommend for me. Unless you want us to recommend you personally, and I hardly know you.
  • Tropic Thunder
  • Step Brothers
  • Pineapple Express
  • Hot Fuzz
  • Bridesmaids

posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:59 PM on October 9, 2011

Attack the Block!
posted by monkeys with typewriters at 3:13 PM on October 9, 2011

And also Bon Cop, Bad Cop.
posted by monkeys with typewriters at 3:14 PM on October 9, 2011

Ken Loach's Looking For Eric is hilarious, and you don't have to care about football or know who Eric Cantona is to enjoy it.

The former may be a documentary, but a double-bill of Anvil! The Story of Anvil and This Is Spinal Tap will make the milk come out of your nose.

I am, of course, going to assume you've seen Spinal Tap...right?
posted by Chichibio at 3:27 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

I have to say, as a woman and a human being, I hated Bridesmaids. I couldn't even get through it. It was just one bad stereotype after the next. Really, don't waste your time. It struck me more as "a bunch of (for various reasons) pathetic women doing sad things and making terrible decisions" instead of a comedy. It's not even dark comedy, really, unless you find stereotyping women and really pathetic romantic comedies hilarious. /rant

And I was really pleasantly surprised by Paul. I guess I just took that one at face value, i.e. cheesy alien movie, but it was Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (among other great people) at their funniest and sweetest. Must see!
posted by two lights above the sea at 3:35 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

In the loop. One of the best political comedies I've seen.
posted by ouke at 4:29 PM on October 9, 2011 [7 favorites]

Here are my picks from the last 2 years.

Funny People
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Hangover
Inglorius Basterds
The Informant!

The Other Guys
Youth In Revolt
Despicable Me
Get Him to the Greek

I keep a list of these things.
posted by ephemerista at 4:47 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

I watch a lot of movies, but it's very rare that a comedy will actually make me laugh out loud. The two funniest movies I've seen in recent years, hands down, are Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Black Dynamite. The trailers don't really do them justice, but should give you a feel for their style.

Oh, and if you haven't seen Fantastic Mr. Fox, absolutely watch that. It's very good, even though it's presented as a kids' movie.
posted by Sibrax at 4:55 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

oh yeah, if you like Napoleon Dynamite you'll probably love Gentlemen Broncos.

Funny People was a great movie but it wasn't a comedy.

Tropic Thunder was hysterical. Bad Santa is one of my all time favorites but it's not that recent.

Some great suggestions in this thread!
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:00 PM on October 9, 2011

1. Walk Hard
2. Walk Hard
3. Walk Hard
4. Walk Hard
5. Bridesmaids
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:46 PM on October 9, 2011

To my surprise, I enjoyed Hot Tub Time Machine from beginning to end.
posted by Philemon at 7:05 PM on October 9, 2011 [2 favorites]

Funny People and Away we go were great, although more dramedy than pure comedy. You and Me and Everyone We Know has one of the funniest scenes ever, although it is also more of a dramedy. Be Kind Rewind was hilarious and smart. Tropic Thunder and The Hangover were good, too.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:58 PM on October 9, 2011

Also seconding In the Loop. Fantastic.
posted by thinkingwoman at 8:00 PM on October 9, 2011

The Sweetest Thing is a great girl comedy, the kind of movie I think everyone wanted Bridesmaids to be. Doesn't pass the Bechdel test, but still.
posted by Brittanie at 8:03 PM on October 9, 2011

My wife and I came back from a really stressful funeral and laughed all the way through Pineapple Express. Twice.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:35 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

We just saw Our Idiot Brother and it was wryly, sweetly, very funny. (Disclosure: I knew the writer and the director when we were kids.)
posted by nicwolff at 9:27 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

Stranger Than Fiction
Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Mid-August Lunch
In Bruges
Happy Go Lucky
Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day
It's Complicated
Good Hair
Big Fan
The Yes Men Fix the World
Midnight in Paris
posted by brujita at 10:30 PM on October 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by bardic at 12:50 AM on October 10, 2011

The House Bunny
posted by muta at 4:45 AM on October 10, 2011

A lot of movies I would have suggested are listed here already. Seconding TROPIC THUNDER (but don't see it with a chatterer, some lines make the movie when you least expect it), Inglorious Basterds, Easy A, The Hangover, Lars and the Real Girl, Yes Men Fix The World, Scott Pilgrim, Fantastic Mr. Fox, In The Loop, Be Kind Rewind.

Some comedies I have re-watched recently and enjoyed:

Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Hamlet 2
Tenacious D: Pick of Destiny
It's Kind of a Funny Story
The Trotsky
Despicable Me
posted by JLovebomb at 4:57 AM on October 10, 2011

The Foot Fist Way and (the horrifyingly dark) Observe and Report.
The Snake
I love MacGruber but I might be alone on that.
posted by Chenko at 5:23 AM on October 10, 2011

Ken Loach's Looking For Eric is hilarious, and you don't have to care about football or know who Eric Cantona is to enjoy it.

I disagree - it is funny in parts, very funny, but halfway through the plot takes a swing firmly into darker territory. If you're unfamiliar with northern accents as well you may struggle with the dialogue.
posted by mippy at 5:53 AM on October 10, 2011

Seconding from above: Despicable Me and Lars and the Real Girl.

Keep an eye out for a release of A Bag of Hammers, which I very much enjoyed. Although it's done the film festival circuit and there doesn't seem to be a DVD/streaming release yet. (It has a shockingly-to-me low IMDB rating, though, so I may be very much in the minority on this one.)

If you're open to shorts, I highly recommend God of Love, which deservedly won the 2010 Oscar for Best Live Action Short.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:08 AM on October 10, 2011

Reno 911!: Miami
posted by heatvision at 7:59 AM on October 10, 2011

Another vote for Bridesmaids here. BIG laughs.
posted by jbickers at 10:15 AM on October 10, 2011

My Best Friend (2006, Patrice Leconte)
Stranger Than Fiction (2006, Marc Forster)
The Valet (2006, Francis Veber)

Eagle vs. Shark (2007, Taika Waititi)
Expired (2007, Cecilia Miniucchi)
Hot Rod (2007, Akiva Schaffer)
Superbad (2007, Greg Mottola)

Baby Mama (2008, Michael McCullers)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008, Nicholas Stoller)
Step Brothers (2008, Adam McKay)

Adventureland (2009, Greg Mottola)
The Brothers Bloom (2009, Rian Johnson)
I Love You, Man (2009, John Hamburg)
Leaves of Grass (2009, Tim Blake Nelson)
White on Rice (2009, Dave Boyle)
Zombieland (2009, Ruben Fleischer)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010, Edgar Wright)
posted by dgeiser13 at 11:47 AM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Have you seen _A Serious Man_? (Coen Brothers). It's brilliant.

Seconding _Greenberg_ (Noah Baumbach of "Squid and the Whale" - so if you haven't seen that one, highly recommended as well)

I'm not sure why someone up there listed _Volver_ as a comedy, but that's a fantastic movie (Almovadar dir.)
posted by DMelanogaster at 5:40 PM on October 10, 2011

CMD-F Kick-Ass

wait seriously, this whole thread and no one linked Kick-Ass? holy crap.

it's free on Netflix streaming. Go watch it. Now.
posted by lonefrontranger at 6:52 PM on October 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

I'm not kidding. Way more funny than Brokeback Mountain.
posted by quadog at 10:15 PM on October 10, 2011

Zombieland, Bridesmaids, The Hangover, Tropic Thunder.

Watching Elf and Bad Santa back to back is a holiday tradition.

Hot Tub Time Machine, if you were alive and a teenager before 1989.

Super Troopers is older, but still worth seeing.

Adventureland wasn't a comedy. Kick-Ass wasn't that good.
posted by talldean at 6:47 AM on October 11, 2011

Seconding (fifthing?) Walk Hard. Very improperly marketed, very underrated. If you've ever watched a music bio-pic or have any interest in music, you will love it. John C. Reily is phenomenal.

Similarly underrated: Ishtar. Yes, seriously.
posted by SampleSize at 2:34 PM on October 11, 2011

I wasn't expecting to enjoy Superbad but I did.
posted by ifjuly at 2:55 PM on October 11, 2011

Very improperly marketed

"Walk Hard" was not improperly marketed per se, it came out during the TV Writer's Strike, so there were no talk shows on which to promote it. There was, however, a tour of the band, which was a nice side-effect.
posted by rhizome at 3:25 PM on October 11, 2011

You've lucked out and wandered into a renaissance of great comedy:

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Clerks 2
Zach and Miri Make a Porno
I Love You, Man
Role Models
Knocked Up
Get Him to the Greek
Talledega Nights
Arthur (I thought it was funny, most would likely disagree).
Kung Fu Panda
Despicable Me
The Hangover
Tropic Thunder

I left out a bunch of good movies that were not pure comedies.

Not funny/bad:
* Pineapple Express - funny for 30 minutes, then dumb.
* Bruno - Pushed things way, way too far. Had moments, but not worth the pain of the rest of the movie.
* Funny People - Good actors, but not funny, and actually pretty forgettable.
posted by cnc at 5:26 PM on October 11, 2011

posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 9:57 PM on October 15, 2011 [3 favorites]

The Other Guys - I have hated just about everything Ferrell has done since Anchorman, but this one was pretty funny.
Scott Pilgrim - great for us 20/30-something "kids" who grew up with video games :)
The Hangover
Tropic Thunder!!! Loved this one.
Idiocracy - might be out of your window, but still great.
In the Loop
Four Lions
Paul - probably my favorite movie from this year (except Harry Potter)

(comedies I didn't like, as a data point: Superbad, Talledega nights, Walk Hard)
posted by getawaysticks at 7:59 AM on October 17, 2011

Oh! And Death at a Funeral (2007, the original).
posted by getawaysticks at 7:10 AM on October 18, 2011

Extract made me laugh (but I'm also a girl who liked Bridesmaids).
posted by bluefly at 7:34 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

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