Perhaps no film genre is more open to personal interpretation than the comedy. Comedies are determined to be funny or not depending on your own sense of humour, which varies vastly.
So it is that everyone has a movie that makes them laugh, while someone else won’t find it funny and vice versa.
With that in mind, Reel Reviews will now attempt to provide you a short list of our favourite funniest movies of all time.
TAYLOR: Many of my “best of” come from the same source: the Zucker Brothers. Starting with the very early, raunchy indie, The Kentucky Fried Movie, the Zuckers set the tone for silliness. The list of their films should be considered classics: Airplane! (and its sequels), Top Secret, The Naked Gun (and its sequels) and Hot Shots (Parts One and Deux.)
HOWE: Surely, you must be joking.
TAYLOR: I’ve never been more serious, and don’t call me Shirley.
HOWE: When it comes to comedy, the influential Peter Sellers always springs to mind. The Pink Panther movies are classics, and I’m not talking about the remake with Steve Martin. Insp. Clouseau is maybe Sellers’ best known role, but his funniest has to be Hrundi V. Bakshi in the 1968 movie, The Party. (It’s on Netflix.)
TAYLOR: I’m a big fan of satire, so I tend to gravitate towards comedies like Rob Reiner’s Spinal Tap, a “rockumentary” about an ‘80s heavy metal band. Or the other improvised comedies made by the stars of that film, Christopher Guest, Harry Shears and Michael McKean, such as Best in Show, For Your Consideration and A Mighty Wind. Speaking of Reiner, The Princess Bride is a kid-friendly comedy.
HOWE: I love the British comedy/drama genre. A couple jump to mind. First up is Four Weddings and a Funeral. This really made Hugh Grant a household name (well, it did in Britain), and I still believe this is his funniest role to date. The second is Pirate Radio. Based loosely on fact, it follows the story of the British government banning pop/rock music from the airwaves in the ‘60s, so the radio stations took to the seas. Great story, fantastic sound track.
TAYLOR: The funniest movies of the last five years: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Tropic Thunder. Both of these movies were hated by many, I think because they both pushed the envelope. Tropic Thunder also contains my favourite Tom Cruise performance of all time.
HOWE: If you missed 21 Jump Street earlier this year, it’s now playing on pay- per-view. I found it the funniest movie of the last couple of years. So many good comedies. Perhaps you loved Police Academy, The Hangover, Zoolander or Borat? We have mentioned the ones that stick in our minds; the kind we’re likely to watch more than once.
TAYLOR: The Wrong Guy, Nothing to Lose, The Big Lebowski, UHF, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spaceballs…. We could go on and on.
–– Brian Taylor and Peter Howe both live in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears in The Morning Star every Friday and Sunday.