When it comes to what film someone wants to watch, the first thing to always consider is what kind of mood you are in. Typically, we all love a good laugh, so it should not be shocking that Hollywood has given us countless comedy classics. While not all comedies are made equal, sometimes a comedy comes along that reaches cult status and may even have phrases that have entered our everyday jargon. This century has seen some amazing achievements on screen – The Lord of the Rings, The Revenant, Harry Potter, Avatar, but how many times do you need to see a Hobbit save the world? In contrast, comedy films seem like a genre that once you have a successful film, people are going to want to watch it again and again. It was where Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogen, Ed Helms, Jason Sudeikis, Melissa McCarthy, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn established themselves as being some of the very best in terms of comedy.
So, what makes a comedy worthy of a spot on the list? Other than having to contain constant humour, it needs to be as funny as the first time we watched it (or more so), because you know the best comedies aren’t the ones you watch once and forget about it.
More than any other genre, a good comedy film also needs to be quotable. While this may make you grow tired of the film when you’ve heard the same joke from The Hangover 40 times, but it’s still a sign of a classic film! Lastly, just because we’re going to throw one more requirement, the film needs to have some heart, meaning, it can’t just be humor, there needs to be something people care about too. Many missed out due to a lack of heart, but here we have entries that prove you can succeed on all the areas necessary. No matter your gender, these are films stacked in your collection that show the scars of heavy use. Having a bad day? Pop one in the player and things may not seem so bad.
As with all top 10s, this will be heavily debated. If you have a film that you believe should be on this list, please add a comment with your reasoning along with the entry that it should replace. And if you haven’t seen any of these classics, call in sick and spend a day on the couch, you won’t regret it.
10. Horrible Bosses (2011)
Featuring an all-star cast, three idiots and mother****** Jones, this gem quickly reached cult status and made us ponder the question: Would killing our bosses REALLY make our life easier? I mean, no, probably not, but it makes for a great film! The main stars of the film (Sudeikis, Day, Bateman) are sick of their lives and the way they are treated in the workplace. Charlie Day is a dentist’s assistant, who is being sexually harassed by the dentist (a seductive Jennifer Aniston), Jason Sudeikis is under the new rule of the son of the former boss (a receded Colin Farrell), and lastly, our main man, Jason Bateman, is constantly denied a promotion by Kevin Spacey, who laughs at the death of his Gam Gam (truly despicable stuff). As they attempt to follow the advice of mother****** Jones (Jamie Foxx), hilarity ensues. With things ranging from toothbrushes up asses, accidental sniffing of cocaine, to singing along to “that’s not my name!” there’s something in there for everyone! While the sequel failed, it does not mean that the original is not well deserving of its place in this top 10.
9. Knocked Up (2007)
This is the film that tossed Seth Rogen into the spotlight as a new heavyweight in comedy. Yes, that is a slight play on words; he loves dick jokes and is a wide man (see, I can be funny too!). The loser-gets-a-hot-girl narrative is nothing that we haven’t seen before in Hollywood, but getting the hot girl pregnant during a one-night stand added spice and heart to the saga. Rogen’s awkwardness, hopelessness, strange band of friends and lack of steady income make his match with a presenter who interviews stars quite a predicament. The film also features some great performances from Jason Segel, as well as Jonah Hill. While getting the girl pregnant is far from the only bizarre situation in the film, it does get credit for the originality of the plot. Not to mention demonstrating the very real possibilities of a one-night stand, Knocked Up is a flick that can be watched over and over again, if only to re-watch the beard growing competition that occurs!
8. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Considered to be Will Ferrell‘s most iconic role, Anchorman quickly reached popular status upon release with its wacky humour, dry style and odd-ball characters. Filled to the brim with quotable lines and insults means you’ll hear Ron Burgundy’s wit amongst friends regularly, whether it’s the longer jokes or just a quick “That escalated quickly!” The cluelessness of the lead characters is superb and leads to some great banter. Steve Carell is equally as funny as Brick, a weather reporter who clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing. Then you have Paul Rudd who is supposed to be the sophisticated one of the group, and then you Ferrell’s misguided arrogance to lead the way. Cameos are everywhere, the 70s style is in full effect, and the characters are just loveable idiots. The pressure of being challenged by a woman for top job brings out some of the most memorable things from Ron Burgundy, whose life starts spiralling out of control and leads us to laughs throughout. Like most films on here, the sequel was a disappointment, but not enough to completely ruin the memory of the first.
7. Mean Girls (2004)
An iconic moment in every girl’s life is watching Mean Girls. Not to mention every guy knows it’s one of his guilty pleasure movies. Good luck trying to get out of high school without hearing Mean Girls, and the films take on the bitchiness of high school, all throughout your day. It’s a typical rise and fall story that anyone can enjoy, but it’s executed well. Like another film on this list, it is less common to see a female dominated led cast, but it just makes some of the jokes all the more relatable for some viewers. The film could have been a huge moment for Lindsay Lohan’s career. While the success was enough to turn anyone into an established star, she soon she moved to drugs and rehab and was unfortunately not able to recover. Whether you enjoy watching the girls, the jokes or watching Lohan’s transformation throughout the film, there is no doubting that watching it will be an enjoyable part of your day. The real key takeaway from the film? School girls are like African animals.
6. Old School (2003)
It was here that Frank the Tank was born, so you better believe that this film gets recognized. Who’s Frank? Well he went streaking, he chugged beer, he refereed topless girls wrestling and he had faith in his boy Blue (until y’know, his boy Blue died from being overexcited by seeing boobs, but hey, it’ll happen to us all), so you could say he’s a pretty cool guy. Along with Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughn, the trio attempt to recapture the glory days of university by establishing a fraternity with parties and mayhem. The male bonding here is where we get our laughs and should be relatable to anyone who has had their fair share of party days. Ferrell returns to his crazy ways. Wilson attracts younger women, and Vince Vaughn’s character may look boring as a speaker salesmen, but it is anything but. Director Todd Phillips helped put his mark on comedy with this film, and while he eventually bettered this attempt (with what you ask? Keep reading!) it remains to be a go-to watch for a night in with the lads.
5. Wedding Crashers (2005)
The combination of Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn made this comedy an outrageous hit. These two men attend weddings (of people they don’t know) and pretend to be distant relations, utilizing the opportunity to pick up girls. At least you know the plot sounds original! But as with all good things, they must come to an end and what better way for that than having Owen Wilson fall in love with the stunning Rachel McAdams. Hilarity only ramps up from there as Wilson and Vaughn continue to find themselves in awkward, but hilarious situations. Vaughn isn’t having such a great time, as Christopher Walken‘s other daughter (played by the equally beautiful Isla Fisher) attaches herself like a lost puppy and is a classic “Stage 5 Clinger”. The entire family is nuts, whether it is Bradley Cooper who shoots Vaughn, the mom who wants to show off her new tits, or the brother who paints naked pictures of Vaughn. And we haven’t even talked about Walken’s character, whose makes the film worth your time for his performance alone. When you top it off with Will Ferrell holding weapons and yelling about meatloaf, you get the recipe for the 5th best comedy of the new millennium.
4. Bridesmaids (2011)
Billed as the female version of The Hangover, Bridesmaids is an entry into the comedy genre that felt refreshing and unique. This was a monumental film for Kristin Wiig, who is outstanding on SNL, but now also has a film where she is a strong leading lady under her belt. Wiig’s performance is perhaps matched by Rose Byrne, as the two duke it out for the title of best friend. The scene in which the ladies try on expensive dresses, only to come down with food poisoning and destroy them with multiple bodily fluids is one of the best comedic moments this century has witnessed. It was also where Melissa McCarthy entered the minds of directors everywhere, and has since landed some fantastic films. Also make sure not to be fooled by the title or all-female cast, men love this movie just as much as women. Even if the guys may not see themselves in the characters quite as easily!
3. Superbad (2007)
Who could forget McLovin? Here is where Jonah Hill became a star, and Seth Rogen was further established. Here is where comedy took a new turn, and in an amazing way. This tale of high school students searching for sex is hard to top, even if it does seem like a formula that had been done before. Combining Hill’s wit, Cera‘s goofiness and McLovin’s bond with the police officers creates anarchy and a cult classic. Based on Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s childhood (they also directed the film), Superbad goes where few other comedies have dared to tread. Period stains, perverse jokes, law breaking and a prod on authority are just some of the themes tackled and implemented. Emma Stone was another outstanding addition to the film, who is also finding herself tremendous success as an actress. This film is so good, that seeing the three boys reunite in This is the End, almost made that awful film worth it. Yet when you see these actors together, there is no doubting that they have tremendous chemistry.
2. Step Brothers (2008)
The combination of Will Ferrell and John C Reilly had already been established as a direct route to the funny bone, but Step Brothers quickly became their best work yet (remaining so to this day). 40-year-old men acting like 12-year-old boys who are forced to move in together due to their parents’ marriage means getting along is highly improbable, but highly hilarious. It is easy to see how putting these two idiots in the same household means they’ll battle for dominance. They sleep-walk, argue, torment each other…and then become best friends through a mutual enemy, Derek, who is Will Ferrell’s brother (a person so vile, he could unite any foes!) Bullied by school children, interviewing as a team to “**** shit up,” building bunk beds for activities and Catalina Wine Mixer are just some of the scenes you’ll recite with your pals. A big challenger for 1st place.
1. The Hangover (2009)
And the winner is…The Hangover! Another film directed by Todd Phillips, and should be enough to establish him as the best comedic director out there. Four friends go to Las Vegas for a bucks party and end up so hung that they can’t remember what antics ensued during the inebriation, including losing the friend that is set to get married. Every scene is golden. The sequels may have failed, but this is the comedy that defines our generation. Alan is the socially-retarded guy nobody wanted to come, yet he places himself and the group in such bizarre situations that you can’t help but laugh. Whether it is stealing Mike Tyson’s tiger, watching Stu get married to a stripper, locking a small Chinese man in the trunk, commandeering a cop car, or getting shot and tasered, the iconic moments are endless. But why have me recite them to you, now that you’ve finished this list you should go and watch this movie again!