What are the best ever Hollywood comedy movies ?
- Anonymous4 years agoFavorite Answer
4. Team America: World Police
Melinda Sue Gordon/AP
Released a year into the Iraq war, this was the first and perhaps the funniest of Hollywood's early reactions to the messy conflict. Based on a brilliantly simple and idiotic conceit – an action movie with puppets, in the style of Gerry "Thunderbirds" Anderson's "supermarionation" – it turns the same scatological splatter-gun on America's jumped-up sense of itself as policeman to the planet that writer-directors Trey Parker and Matt Stone had used on TV in South Park.
Thus our heroes are idiots to their core who spout mindless security-state boilerplate or burst into such patriotic songs as America, **** Yeah! In the majestically over-the-top opening sequence, they manage to defeat the terrorists, but at the expense of knocking over the Eiffel Tower (on to the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre), thus earning the enmity of the French for all time (like they didn't already have that).
Soon Team America is at war with a leftie coalition called the Film Actors' Guild (oh yes, FAG), comprised of celebrities all voiced by Stone and Parker, with Michael Moore, Alec Baldwin, Matt Damon and Sean Penn taking an epic amount of crap for their troubles. Kim Jong-il also makes a major appearance, singing I'm So Ronery in typical South Park "is-it-racist?" style.
Predictably there were censorship problems, given the almost nauseating amounts of scatology and violence. The film-makers described their tribulations with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) at length in Kirby Dick's anti-censorship documentary, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, and many of the excised scenes made it on to the DVD release. Three cheers for bonus features! JP
3. Some Like It Hot
Some Like It Hot film still
Allstar Picture Library
Though it takes place in the Roaring Twenties, Some Like it Hot can be thought of as the first great American comedy of the swinging 60s. It was so advanced for its time in its sexual mores that it won the double-standard for offensive Hollywood cultural product: it was released without the Motion Picture Association of America's seal of approval, and very much with a C (condemned) rating from the Catholic Church's Legion of Decency.
Luckily for director Billy Wilder, who'd made a career of cocking snooks at the censors and the bluenoses, audiences were beginning now to care less and less for the restrictions peddled by the MPAA and the Legion. Wilder was one of the directors (along with Otto Preminger) who helped Hollywood cinema finally grow up. For this we thank him.
And he did it with transvestites. Dressing up Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as showband strumpets on the run from the Chicago mob, on their way to Miami with Sweet Sue's Society Syncopators (lead singer and signature bombshell: one Marilyn Monroe), allowed Wilder and his co-writer IAL Diamond to run every variation on sexual partnerships, homoerotic confusion and misalliance, and the war between the sexes. There are moments in it that still look fresh and ahead of its (and even our) times, the final line "Nobody's perfect!" being one such moment.
So it's a wonder that this sprightly, evergreen comedy was made under such arduous circumstances, largely thanks to Monroe as her off-street life rapidly fell apart around her. Curtis claims he never said working with Marilyn was "like kissing Hitler", but we print the legend anyway – because it's more fun. Despite the back story, Monroe was never more mind-bendingly pneumatic or winningly beautiful than she was here. A perfect American comedy. JP
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Twentieth Century Fox
Could anyone have foreseen just how great a comedy Borat – or to give it its full title, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan – was going to be? Its star, Sacha Baron Cohen, had honed the satirical stunt documentary to perfection in his Ali G TV series, but had crashed and burned when trying to put the character on the big screen, in the awful Ali G Indahouse. It's still a bit of a mystery why Baron Cohen ever got the chance to make a follow-up, but he wisely went back to the format that had proved itself time and again on TV: set up an apparently clueless fictional character, and send him in to encounter real-life types and get them to make idiots of themselves. Borat, the cheerfully antisemitic TV presenter from Kazakhstan, who had populated Baron Cohen's TV spots since the late 90s, may not have appeared promising material for a feature, but boy, was everyone wrong.
The film is based on a simple idea: Borat is making a documentary about the US. But the opening section, in which he introduces his home village and its inhabitants, establishes a tone of breathtaking offensiveness. The "Kazakh" actors clearly have no idea about the outrageous things Borat is saying about them, and Baron Cohen crowns proceedings by staging a "running of the Jew", supposedly a regular local pastime. Thus the stage is set: the film is an incredibly cruel satire, aimed at both post-Soviet bigotry and American social dysfunction.
By the time he gets to the US, Baron Cohen is in full flow, the superficial ingenuousness of his creation opening all sorts of doors. Arguably the most spectacular, and certainly unplanned, result is the consternation he causes by bravely singing a spoof national anthem at a rodeo in Texas; the electric hostility he triggers in the spectators unnerves one of the horses so much it stumbles and falls to the ground.
Baron Cohen, as has been pointed out, can be faulted perhaps for bamboozling the uncomprehending and the weak. But that misses the point of much of what makes Borat great: the joke is almost always on him as well. The sort of comedy that Baron Cohen is trying for is high-risk for sure, and hardly guaranteed to provide results – but Borat is all gold. We may never see its like again. Andrew Pulver
1. Annie Hall
Woody Allen's nakedly autobiographical film is the Oscar-winning sensation which put him on the map – and it's probably his best film, too. This fictionalised account of the rise and fall of a "nervous romance" between Jewish New York comic Alvy Singer (Allen) and the willowy, Waspy Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) was the high-water mark of Allen's gift for sublimely touching and funny screen comedy. It is a gloriously convincing romance, packed with superb gags. Annie Hall also virtually invented the relationship comedy in both movies and literature; it made possible the now degraded romcom genre, and on TV it spawned Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex and the City, and Entourage – though none of these have anything like Annie Hall's passionate romantic pain.
It is an ancestor of the work of Charlie Kaufman, which comes closer to Allen's own darkness. Throwaway jokes about Alvy's paranoid encounters with his TV-watching public look very contemporary in our celeb-happy age. The sensationally funny and daring cameo for Marshall McLuhan, who magically appears in a cinema queue to tell some loudmouth academic that he is wrong and Alvy is right, is an inspired and sophisticated flourish. It depended on a literate audience, who would also be tickled by the idea of a Henry James novel called My Sexual Problem. The film's concluding device – the ecstatic montage of his lost relationship's most poignantly magical memories – incidentally lives on in the Big-Brother-reality-TV convention of showing the departed competitor his or her best moments in the house.
The fact that the movie was originally to be entitled Anhedonia, that is, the clinical inability to experience happiness, has become part of its legend, especially because the film has given everyone so much happiness. It was, in fact, the movie which introduced us most fully to Allen's very serious obsession with death: how fleeting life is, how dependent on chance, and how overshadowed it is by the thought of its approaching end. Life is negligible and horrible, like the food in a restaurant in the Catskills-type joke Alvy tells at the very beginning: terrible, and such small portions. But in Annie Hall the mortality that weighs most heavily is the mortality of his love affair. There are no wedding bells or happy endings, and that is what gives the movie its sting. Allen also captured something in Keaton which can't be described except in cliches: kookiness, wackiness, ditsiness. They have a sexual relationship, and yet Keaton is not portrayed in a very sexualised way: she looks beautiful, but shambolically real.
The question at the heart of the film is: what went wrong? How did the romance die? Alvy introduces his story as an autopsy, a re-examination of his life and behaviour, and a doomed attempt to find out why his relationship with Annie failed. There is no answer: just a deeply touching, funny, brilliantly told story.
When I first saw the film, I remember being stunned with Allen's sheer audacity in the scene where he remembers his old schoolroom, sitting alongside kids who harangue him in adult language about his sexual precocity: "For God's sake, Alvy, even Freud speaks of a latency period!" One extraordinary girl in glasses addresses the camera and says: "I'm into leather." I've never been able to watch Annie Hall without pondering the fact that this child is now an adult. Where is she now?
Alvy Singer, like Woody Allen, tries writing scenes based on his own life: to make sense of them, to lessen the pain, to understand what happened, and still the truth eludes him. This wonderfully funny, unbearably sad film is a miracle of comic writing and inspired film-making. Peter Bradshaw
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I do not consider it is true