Funny “Ha Ha”

I saw “Tammy,” the newish Melissa McCarthy vehicle, last night. Shut up — I was accompanying teenagers who wanted to see it! It sucked, but it did use this awesome funk classic in the soundtrack:

I’m not above low-brow comedy, not at all. I thoroughly enjoyed “Bridesmaids.” I’ve been subject to friends’ derision for finding movies like “Pet Detective,” “So I Married an Ax Murderer” and “Dumb and Dumber” screamingly funny. I didn’t dislike “Tammy” because of my refined comedic tastes.

“Tammy” didn’t just leave me cold; it pissed me off! What a criminal waste of comedic talent! Even if you hate Melissa McCarthy (and I don’t; I find her funny in the right role, and she even had her moments in “Tammy”), the cast included Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Dan Ackroyd and Sandra Oh. But for want of a decent script, it was all for naught. Don’t bother, even when it comes out for free on Netflix.

Seen any GOOD comedies lately, at the movies or on TV? I haven’t, unless you count re-watching “Moonstruck,” which is one of my favorite movies ever. If you haven’t seen that since its release 25-some years ago, go watch it. I’m not finding life very amusing these days (sad anniversaries bringing me down), so I could use a good laugh. Recommendations appreciated!






122 replies
  1. 1
    bemused says:

    “This is 40” on HBO last winter. Low brow hilarious. Melissa McCarthy had a role that worked for her. The Making of This is 40 was fun to watch too.

  2. 2
    Yatsuno says:

    I’m like you. I’ve seen a bunch I DON’T like. But I’ve also realised my sense of humour is kinda subtle.

  3. 3
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    For me the gold standard of relatively recent low-brow comedy is Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. No bad patches and never gets old.

  4. 4
    Bob In Portland says:

    I know what you mean, Betty. My girlfriend doesn’t do low-brow. About once a month I get something from Netflix which she insists I take out of the DVD player so she can watch the BBC show about the midwives.

  5. 5
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    Awesome song. Just awesome.

  6. 6
    gogol's wife says:

    The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. There’s no point in talking about anything else.

    Yes, I’m being hyperbolic, no need to point that out.

    Today I’m seething about A. O. Scott’s highly unprofessional review of Woody Allen’s latest movie. From what I hear about the online comments, I’m not alone.

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    I love Moonstruck. It is pretty much a perfect comedy. Perfectly tight screenplay by John Patrick Shanley. Vincent Gardenia’s performance is one of many, many gems.

    “Do you love him, Loretta?……”

    Have not seen many good comedies lately, but I want to recommend an absolutely brilliant and underrated film from the 70s (which some of you will know) called “The Friends of Eddie Coyle.” If you have never seen it, or haven’t seen it in years, give it another watch. It is remarkable for many reasons, not the least of which is the serpentine but non-climactic plot (like a Jean-Pierre Melville film, it just starts with action and goes on and then ends when it damn well pleases) and the stellar cast (you will recognize most of them but not be able to put your finger on where you saw them). I could go on, but there is so much to admire about the storytelling I can barely stand it.

    And no, it’s not a comedy. And it’s only a noir if you have no working knowledge of the working and criminal classes.

  8. 8
    Trollhattan says:

    “We’re the Millers” has been in rotation on HBO and while I had zero expectations it has some screamingly funny moments. As a road movie we’ve seen a thousand times it’s so-so but the performances definitely make it click at times. “Boner Garage”–best stripper name ever.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    Wasn’t Melissa McCarthy in Identity Theif? I didn’t like that movie.

  10. 10
    cthulhu says:

    Tammy was written by McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone, who directed and is in the movie as well. I’ve read they had been trying to get the project made for some years now and were finally able to capitalize on McCarthy’s more recent popularity.

    Anyway, your assessment is inline with most people: it has 23%/40% Rotten Tomatoes scores at present.

    Goes to show that comedic actors are not always comedic writers.

  11. 11
    Kyle says:

    Two movies that were far better than they needed to be: 21 Jump Street (and I hear 22 Jump Street is just as good) and This is the End.

  12. 12
    gussie says:

    Have you seen Rat Race? It’s oldish, but as a fellow ‘So I Married an Ax Murderer’ superfan, I can guarantee you’ll like it.

  13. 13

    I liked Melissa McCarthy back when she was Sooki in the Gilmore Girls. Did not really like Bridesmaids all that much.

  14. 14
    BGinCHI says:

    @Kyle: Neither anywhere near as funny as Superbad. Though 21 Jump was much better than I would have imagined it could be. This Is the End is like a series of outtakes stitched into a film rather than a story in any coherent sense of the word. Boys will be boys gets old after a while.

  15. 15
    Trollhattan says:

    @Baud: @cthulhu:
    Based on the trailer she seems to be repeating her “Identity Thief” role here note for note, so why see the same movie twice? BTDT and all.

  16. 16
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Isn’t it? I’m grateful to that rotten movie for bringing it to my attention again. I hadn’t heard it in ages.

  17. 17
    BGinCHI says:

    @gussie: “She makes me horny, on Saturday morney, I’d like be Betty’s Bar-ney…”

  18. 18

    I finally watched this last week’s John Oliver, if you’re looking for a good comedy I cannot urge you to stay the fuck away from that episode strongly enough. It’s horrifying.

    All of Cinematic Titanic (nee MST3K) is available on Hulu Plus, though.

  19. 19
    grampus says:

    Agreed about Moonstruck – that’s one of my favorites. My other favorites are While You Were Sleeping, and Sliding Doors.

    And this was surprisingly entertaining: The Big Wedding – it’s fluff, but I found it very funny-

  20. 20
    Nicole says:

    I’m told Hot Tub Time Machine is hilarious. (Haven’t seen it yet, but the sequel is getting good buzz)

    I think the last comedy I really, really laughed until I wept watching was Being John Malkovich. I was taking a French class at the time and the teacher would start each class by asking us what we had done that week, and if we had seen a movie, to tell the plot to the class (in French, of course) and he would jump in and help out as we stumbled with limited vocabulary. When I was told to relate the plot of BJM, he tried to help me out (as, being French, he had of course seen every movie ever made), but within minutes both of us were hysterical with laughter just in attempting to relate the plot. I think we may have scared off the rest of the class from seeing the movie.

  21. 21
    libarbarian says:

    Shake N Bake!!!!

  22. 22
    Betty Cracker says:

    @gussie: No, I haven’t. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!

    @gogol’s wife: What was so bad about the review? Haven’t read it. Just curious.

  23. 23
    gogol's wife says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It is not a review of the film, but a rehash of the unproven allegations about Allen’s supposed pedophilia, which the Times has pushed in numerous unethical ways, starting with having a personal friend of Mia Farrow’s (Nicholas Kristof) devote his column to them (coincidentally at just the time Mia Farrow’s son Ronan was launching his talk show, which has since tanked). If you take a look at the comments on the review you will find much more cogent descriptions than I am able to muster at the moment. I do not recall that Roman Polanski’s conviction was mentioned in the review of his latest film.

  24. 24
    Kyle says:

    @BGinCHI: A great deal of my like of the movies of course is based on very low expectations going in. They are by no means art, but still a lot better than I was expecting them to be.

  25. 25
    Trollhattan says:

    One could do worse than chasing down “Napoleon Dynamite” for a re-viewing. Permanent spot on my guilty pleasure A-list. And dont forget to Vote for Pedro. “Election” also springs to mind.

  26. 26

    @Nicole: I first heard of Hot Tub Time Machine in the 30 Rock episode where Liz goes to the theater to see it alone. I thought it was a joke. I was like “Classic 30 Rock! That’s totally the title of a movie Liz would see alone in the afternoon!” It was a week before I realized it was actually a movie.

    Pretty good one, at that :)

  27. 27
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Trollhattan: Napoleon Dynamite just didn’t appeal to me. At all.

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): It’s because you are an urban sophisticate to the core.

  29. 29

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I never really got it either. It felt like watered-down something else, but I can’t really say what.

  30. 30
    lamh36 says:

    @Nicole: Hot Tub Time Machine was def much funnier than the concept allowed. I think that was due to the actors just going for it.

    The idea that there would actually be a sequel just boggles my mind.

    Will it star John Cusack and all the other original actors?

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @BGinCHI: Well, I did like Metropolitan.

  32. 32
    Mary G says:

    It’s not necessarily a comedy, but I saw “The Way, Way Back” last summer expecting to hate it, but it was charming and sweet.

  33. 33
    gogol's wife says:

    @Betty Cracker: @gogol’s wife:

    Actually, I looked, and I’m wrong — A. O. Scott also called Roman Polanski a “sex offender” in his highly positive review of Venus in Fur. That was also unprofessional.

  34. 34
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    I saw five minutes of it once. That seemed to be about enough.

  35. 35
    piratedan says:

    would have to agree that cranking out just about any old MST3K episode is simply worth doing, I’ve slowly been converting my kids a week at a time to the cinematic pleasure/pain phenomenon

  36. 36
    Nicole says:

    @Trollhattan: You’re not the only one who loves Napoleon Dynamite. Especially the epilogue, which I think I read they shot much later.

  37. 37
    lamh36 says:

    One of the recent movies I saw that was pretty funny was Peeples. It starred Kerry Washington, Craig Robinson (Hot Tube Time Machine and soon Get On Up), S Epatha Markeson and David Alan Grier, it’s directed by Tyler Perry, but is NOT one of his “Madea” movies.

    It is an all Black cast, and it did pretty well with “urban” audiences. I thought it was pretty good, but I can imagine that many of you probably never heard of it or saw it.

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    I just realised I haven’t seen a memorable low-brow comedy in quite a while myself.But to go back a long long way, I remember Caveman!, with Ringo Starr and Dennis Quaid, and a pre-Cheers Shelley Long. That one was good.

  39. 39
    Mr. Longform says:

    Ancient great comedy gold:
    Eddie Murphy in “Trading Places”
    Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton, and Shelley Long in “Night Shift”
    And, for true low comedy perfection, “Blazing Saddles”

  40. 40
    tesslibrarian says:

    One of my guiltiest comedy pleasure is Anchorman, the first one. I’m entirely not interested in the second one, not even to see how 2013 Atlanta equals 1980 NYC. Previews just made it sound like they were trying too hard, but the first one was nearly perfectly silly.

    Also silly, and currently streaming on Netflix:Short Poppies, a mockumentary series by Rhys Darby who was the band’s manager on Flight of the Conchords. He’s incredibly funny, much more range than it seemed when he was playing Murray the part-time manager.

    For classics, I love His Girl Friday with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. I’m pretty excited that’s showing this weekend at our arthouse theatre.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Betty Cracker: Here is a version from Soul Train.

  42. 42
    beth says:

    @Nicole: I think the characters are pretty unlikeable the first time you watch it. It’s the kind of movie that gets better on repeated viewings, I think. You grow to like those goofs.

    I recently saw the 1946 French version of Beauty and the Beast on one of those film channels and it has stayed with me like a dream. What a great piece of art it was!

  43. 43
    lamh36 says:

    Ok, since we are speaking on movies, I just came across this Buzzfeed article and realized I totally forgot about James Spader in Secretary. Forget about 50 Shades of Grey….James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal …yes!

    Here’s Why You Should See “Secretary” Before “Fifty Shades Of Grey”
    E. Edward Grey > Christian Grey. Spoiler alert for both movies!

  44. 44
    gratuitous says:

    I just watched “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” while recuperating from my latest crash. Not laugh out loud funny, but plenty of wry chuckles.

    An overlooked little gem of a movie is “Nobody’s Fool” with Paul Newman. In the same genre is one of Tom Hanks’ first semi-serious roles in “Nothing in Common” opposite Jackie Gleason. I believe Mr. Briggs would agree that y’all should check it out.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @beth: The Cocteau version with Josette Day and Jean Marais? Great film.

  46. 46
    Trollhattan says:

    @gratuitous:
    Our kid might have been 9 when we saw “Mr. Fox” and it proved an idea movie for parents and child to share–enough in it for everyone to enjoy.

  47. 47
    beth says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Yes, I couldn’t believe I’d never seen it before. It really was a masterpiece.

  48. 48
    Trollhattan says:

    @Nicole: @beth:
    Oh yes, it’s utterly off-putting at first, then just drags one in the more attention you pay to the array of quirky characters (and they’re all quirky).

  49. 49
    Mnemosyne says:

    I’m not ashamed to admit I liked Ted. (Okay, I’m a little ashamed to admit it). But it wasn’t what I expected from Seth MacFarlane, especially in the way of plot (spoiler alert: the girlfriend isn’t a horrible bitch trying to split the buddies apart — the film shows in detail that she has very good reasons for being pissed off and the film is on her side). It’s about as low-brow as you can get, but it avoids the most obvious cliches.

  50. 50
    Lolis says:

    @Trollhattan:

    I agree. It was good. A few off moments, but overall a very solid comedy.

  51. 51

    @piratedan: I met Joel this spring on their “farewell” tour! Made my year.

  52. 52
    Jim says:

    Best recent comedy: Obvious Child, starring Jenny Slate. This was the first comedy in many years that I wanted to watch again immediately.

  53. 53
    gogol's wife says:

    @gratuitous:

    Nobody’s Fool is the only movie in which I’ve seen Bruce Willis actually act. And it has the great line, when Jessica Tandy asks Paul Newman if he wants a cup of tea and he says, “Not now, not ever.”

  54. 54
    Trollhattan says:

    Woody Allen mentioned up-thread and I’m not getting into any of that mess, but in case anybody has not managed to see “Take the Money and Run”, fix that as soon as you can. It’s his first full-length film (“What’s Up Tiger Lilly” doesn’t really count).

    Bank Teller #1: Does this look like “gub” or “gun”?

    Bank Teller #2: Gun. See? But what does “abt” mean?

    Virgil: It’s “act”. A-C-T. Act natural. Please put fifty thousand dollars into this bag and act natural.

    Bank Teller #1: Oh, I see. This is a holdup?

  55. 55
    Original Lee says:

    Some Like It Hot. Arsenic and Old Lace. A Fish Called Wanda.

    More recent (and I haven’t seen it yet): Nebraska.

  56. 56
    askew says:

    @Trollhattan:

    “We’re the Millers” has been in rotation on HBO and while I had zero expectations it has some screamingly funny moments. As a road movie we’ve seen a thousand times it’s so-so but the performances definitely make it click at times. “Boner Garage”–best stripper name ever.

    I loved this movie. It was surprisingly funny.

    As for Tammy, I could tell from the previews that it was going to suck. There’s this weird trend in female-driven comedies that they have to have this depressing undertone. In Identity Thief, it was that no one liked Melissa’s character and she was just lonely. In Bridesmaids, it was Kristen’s characters pathetic life, etc. They don’t do this in male-driven comedies even the black comedies. I find it annoying.

    I almost went to the theater to see it anyway though, because male reporters were chortling that this movie bombing would end Melissa’s career. Why are women only allowed one box office bomb? And considering it is likely to cross $80mm at the U.S. box office, how is it a bomb again?

    Recent Comedy suggestions:
    The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy was hysterical.
    The Other Woman was pretty funny.
    Anchorman 2 was horrendous.
    Last Vegas was better than I expected.
    The Internship was the best Vince Vaughn movie since Wedding Crashers.

    The Way, Way Back is the best movie I’ve seen in the last 2 years. It is a comedy but not slapstick comedy. More along the lines of Little Miss Sunshine.

  57. 57
    Trollhattan says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I keep recording it and it keeps magically getting erased before I can watch, but I’m trying! I believe somebody in my family is trying to tell me something,…

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @askew:

    In Bridesmaids, it was Kristen’s characters pathetic life, etc.

    I’ll give this defense of Bridesmaids, though — the character arc for Annie was that she was afraid to take any new chances after failing with her bakery, and she needed to be willing put herself out there again instead of settling for the status quo of crappy job and crappy boyfriend. Honestly, I could see a comedy about a male character having a similar character arc for the lead, so it didn’t bother me at all.

    Though one of the ways that you could tell the film was made by women is that the only actor who could compete boyfriend-wise with Jon Hamm was a guy with an (inexplicable within the film) Irish accent. That was pretty much the only upgrade possible in that situation.

    ETA: Also, there’s a hell of a lot of underlying sadness in the Hangover movies, especially the first one.

  59. 59
    burnspbesq says:

    Apparently “Lucy” has many moments of unintentional hilarity.

    I may still go see it, because Scarlett Johansson in a plain white t-shirt. With guns.

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I may still go see it, because Scarlett Johansson in a plain white t-shirt. With guns.

    I am persuaded.

  61. 61
    lamh36 says:

    @askew: I loved the Heat. It was Melissa McCarthy at her best so far.

    I don’t know why, but I love Vince Vaughn comedies. I may not see them in theatres but I will see them on DVD/Blu Ray. I saw the Internship and yeah, it was surprisingly really funny.

    I also saw The Other Woman and I agree it was def way funnier than I ever imagined it would be. I think I loved it even more because Cameron Diaz was actually playing her age, the same as as Leslie Mann’s wife character and NOT the hot young thing.

    Have not seen Anchorman2, but don’t want to. I do plan to watch Last Vegas as soon as it’s ON DEMAND.

  62. 62
    StringOnAStick says:

    Outrageous Fortune with Bette Midler and Shelley Long is quite fun, and it has Peter Coyote to drool over. Another fun one from around that time (late ’70’s) is Going’ South with Jack Nicholson, Mary Steenbergen, Christopher Lloyd and John Belushi; it adds new meaning to the term ‘canning apricots’. For some reason those two came to mind today.

  63. 63
    askew says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    ETA: Also, there’s a hell of a lot of underlying sadness in the Hangover movies, especially the first one.

    How was the Hangover movie sad unless you felt bad for the tiger?

    I still hate this trend in women’s comedy movies. Tina Fey’s had two movies like that as well – Admission and Baby Mama. That’s why I liked The Heat so much. It was just genuinely funny. They didn’t spend 1/2 the movie depressing us.

  64. 64
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    I recommend Hot Fuzz. It started out pretty slow, and I was wondering why that movie was so enthusiastically endorsed by friends of mine. By the end of the film, I was laughing so hard it hurt.

  65. 65
    lamh36 says:

    @burnspbesq: I’ll be going to see Lucy tomorrow. The trailers intrigued me from the first look. And I surprisingly like ScarJo as action heroine. She pretty good at it.

    On Sunday, I’ll be seeing Hercules, because where Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson goes, I follow…lol

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @askew:

    How was the Hangover movie sad unless you felt bad for the tiger?

    Really? You didn’t find those guys sad and pathetic, desperately trying to hang onto the last vestiges of their youth and single lives?

    Maybe it was just me.

  67. 67
    askew says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    Outrageous Fortune with Bette Midler and Shelley Long is quite fun, and it has Peter Coyote to drool over. Another fun one from around that time (late ’70′s) is Going’ South with Jack Nicholson, Mary Steenbergen, Christopher Lloyd and John Belushi; it adds new meaning to the term ‘canning apricots’. For some reason those two came to mind today.

    I just bought that movie and Foul Play on DVD. Two of my favorite cheesy comedies. They made so many great comedies starring women back in the late 70s-1980s – Private Benjamin, Ruthless People, 9 to 5, Big Business, Working Girl, Adventures in Babysitting, Protocol, Romancing the Stone, etc.

  68. 68
    Suffern ACE says:

    I enjoyed “This is the End” and “The World’s End.” But I haven’t seen a lot of good comedies in a long time.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:

    Second Hot Fuzz. It’s especially funny if you’ve seen any of the old “Avengers” TV show with Patrick McNee and Diana Rigg or Honor Blackman, because the whole “small town with a secret” is a play on that show.

    It is a bit on the gruesome side, if you’re at all sensitive to that, though. I don’t usually expect to see bloody decapitated corpses in my wacky comedies.

  70. 70
    Betty Cracker says:

    @lamh36: I saw a trailer “Lucy” too and am now interested. Ditto “Get on Up” — love James Brown.

  71. 71
    askew says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Really? You didn’t find those guys sad and pathetic, desperately trying to hang onto the last vestiges of their youth and single lives?

    Maybe it was just me.

    I didn’t think they were trying to hold on to their youth or single lives at all. They wanted to have a fun bachelor party before going back to their regular lives and then got drugged and then hilarity happened.

    I also saw The Other Woman and I agree it was def way funnier than I ever imagined it would be. I think I loved it even more because Cameron Diaz was actually playing her age, the same as as Leslie Mann’s wife character and NOT the hot young thing.

    Cameron was great in this movie. She hasn’t been this entertaining in ages.

  72. 72
    askew says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    @lamh36: I saw a trailer “Lucy” too and am now interested. Ditto “Get on Up” — love James Brown.

    Wonder if the movie will touch on his woman beating history or if it will be just the rose-colored glasses version of James Brown.

  73. 73
    beth says:

    @askew: I liked The Other Woman too. I think nobody knew what to do with Cameron Diaz once she passed the age of being the cutesy ingenue. I remember liking her in Feeling Minnesota, another quirky movie that I thought she was pretty good in.

  74. 74
    Betty Cracker says:

    @askew: I hope they keep it real. Bio pics are better when they portray the subject warts and all, IMO.

  75. 75
    gelfling545 says:

    Tammy? Wasn’t that Debbie Reynolds? Yeah, I’m old.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @askew:

    I didn’t think they were trying to hold on to their youth or single lives at all. They wanted to have a fun bachelor party before going back to their regular lives and then got drugged and then hilarity happened.

    I think we have a very different view of guys in their 30s who still try to party as hard as they did in college, so I think we’ll have to chalk it up to YMMV.

  77. 77
    cckids says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    And it has the great line, when Jessica Tandy asks Paul Newman if he wants a cup of tea and he says, “Not now, not ever.”

    I love Nobody’s Fool. My favorite quote is from the sheriff; “Ollie, you know my feelings about arming morons: you arm one, you’ve got to arm them all, otherwise it wouldn’t be good sport.”

    Seems more apt than ever today.

  78. 78
    CaseyL says:

    No mention of “Ruthless People”? Maybe it hasn’t aged well, but I laughed myself silly at that one.

    “Shakespeare in Love.”

    Oldie but goodie: “The Wrong Box,” old Brit dark comedy about the last surviving members of a boy’s school – all ancient – each determined to be the very last survivor in order to inherit an investment account set up when they were boys.

  79. 79
    Trollhattan says:

    @lamh36:
    Internship the one about Google? It’s kind of ringing a bell, but have not seen. (Lurved the first season of “Silicon Valley.”) My favorite Vaughn movie remains “Swingers.” At this point it must be nostalgia-squared or something, but there’s some funny, funny stuff.

  80. 80
    StringOnAStick says:

    @askew: Outrageous Fortune and some other stuff I saw made me go get Peter Coyote’s biography and read it – seriously interesting. If you want the real in the trenches 1960’s radical lifestyle stuff, he lived it and writes really well. I think it was called “Sleeping Where I Fall”. I love autobiographies and biographies, and his rates very high on my list for compelling reading.

    I have to say that I’m not coming up with too many movie picks that are more current; I’m not sure if that’s due to there being slim pickings or my husband’s official boycott of theatres after a bad experience with a popcorn-throwing jackass, plus we are no longer connected to cable so we don’t see many trailers.

  81. 81
    lamh36 says:

    @askew: I’m not sure about that. I don’t know, but I don’t suspect it will be the focal point though.

    Either way, I will still be seeing the movie, first because I hope it’s good and I like Chadwick Boseman and second because James Brown’s influence can be seen all over R&B and in the performances of many of Pop music and R&B’s icons, including Michael Jackson, Prince and Mick Jagger (who’s one of the producers of the film).

    I’d like to hope it gives the viewer who may only know James Brown based on the parody of him and his “wife-beating” and the police chase and crazy mugshot and craziness of his family after his death and at the very least shows how impactful his musical ability and showmanship was to popular music.

    Here’s a write-up of it: His Own Godfather: James Brown Is Celebrated in ‘Get On Up’

    Hopefully no “rose-colored” glasses, but at least hope for not much glossing over of that part of his life. But the film is obviously meant as a send up of the man and his music, from what I’ve seen

  82. 82
    maurinsky says:

    I was reminded yesterday of a dark mockumentary called Drop Dead Gorgeous, which I bought when it came out on DVD many years ago but is now quite difficult to come by. Teenage beauty pageant in Mount Rose, Minnesota – stars Kirsten Dunst, Allison Janney, Ellen Barkin, Kirstie Allie, also has Brittany Murphy and Amy Adams as contestants. It’s hilarious if a leetle bit dark.

    Galaxy Quest is a perpetual favorite.

    I also love Psycho Beach Party, but that may be an acquired taste.

  83. 83
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    This one is getting up there in age, but another hilarious comedy is Waking Ned Devine.

  84. 84
    Mike in NC says:

    “Identity Thief” was so terrible it made me want to avoid Melissa McCarthy forever. “The Heat” was borderline awful. “Tammy” was actually partly filmed near here but I refuse to pay to see it. We’ll rent it for a dollar someday.

  85. 85
    askew says:

    @maurinsky:

    Drop Dead Gorgeous is excellent. Ellen Barkin is the best part of that movie. I also loved that they filmed a scene in the parking lot of my shitting hometown mall and said they were at the Mall of America.

  86. 86
    maurinsky says:

    @askew – leading to the line “You’d think they’d have the parking lot of America”

    Oh, another great and highly underrated comedy is Quick Change, directed by Bill Murray, starring Murray, Geena Davis, Randy Quaid and the late great Jason Robards. So funny, terrible title.

  87. 87
    lamh36 says:

    @Betty Cracker: I agree that biopics should be as true to the subject but I also think that in an 90 min movie I can see the logic behind NOT making more than 1/2 of that time focusing on the bad , unless of course 75% of the life depicted is just BAD behaviour and bad choices anyway

  88. 88
    Ripley says:

    TV comedy: Broad City (Comedy Central, rent-able from iTunes or Vudu) and Inside Amy Schumer (also Comedy Central, streams on Hulu Plus, rent-able on iTunes or Vudu). They’re of a piece: raunchy but smart, and really funny.

    Best movie out right now (and for a long, long time): Jonathon Glazer’s Under the Skin, a mind-bending, highly affecting science fiction with a knockout performance by, yes, Scarlett Johansson. Decidedly not a comedy (some of it is truly hard to watch) but the most intense and humanistic film I’ve seen in a while.

  89. 89
    Trollhattan says:

    @Mike in NC:

    “Identity Thief” was 100x better when it was titled “Something Wild.”

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @maurinsky:

    We just bought Galaxy Quest on Blu-Ray (partly because it was cheap) and had to immediately re-watch it, because why not?

    By far the best performance Tim Allen has ever given, and Sigourney Weaver really enjoys getting to play the sexpot.

  91. 91
    Original Lee says:

    @Mnemosyne: Love Galaxy Quest, too. Because Alan Rickman AND Sigourney Weaver.

    Oh, one other excellent comedy I just remembered: Soapdish. Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Whoopi Goldberg, Carrie Fisher, Robert Downey, Jr., Garry Marshall, John Tesh.

  92. 92
    Barry Rosenman says:

    Netflix just added Fawlty Towers. Just binge.

    And for an older movie, My cousin Vinny with Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei.

  93. 93
    Roxy says:

    The Great Race – Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood, Peter Falk. Pretty funny
    Kind Hearts and Coronets – Alec Guinness gets to play 8 different parts.
    Overboard – Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
    Philadelphia Story – James Stewart, Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant
    The Lady Eve – Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda
    Ball of Fire – Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Dana Andrews
    Some Like It Hot – Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe

  94. 94
    Roxy says:

    @Original Lee:

    Loved Galaxy Quest also especially Alan Rickman’s part

  95. 95
    thruppence says:

    If they’re available, revisit some of the Coen brothers’ comedies. Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, and O Brother Where Art Thou with an extra helping of great music.

  96. 96
    kbuttle says:

    “I’ve been subject to friends’ derision for finding movies like “Pet Detective,” “So I Married an Ax Murderer” and “Dumb and Dumber” screamingly funny.”

    You seem mistakenly to have listed three amazing movies in the course of making your point . . .

  97. 97
    YellowJournalism says:

    @Original Lee: I love Soapdish!!! I think the chemistry among the cast is so underrated, even if the overall story is a little silly.

    I’m going to go a little old and recommend The Major and the Minor, starring Ginger Rogers. I admit this one would probably not work if done today or risk coming off really creepy, but if adore Rogers’ comedies.

    I know we’re talking movies, but House of Lies with Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell is so good. My husband binged on it while I was out of town and then got me hooked when I got back.

  98. 98
    Roxy says:

    @Barry Rosenman:

    Fred Gwynne stole the movie. He should have won an academy award for his part.

  99. 99
    Origuy says:

    Mentioning Geena Davis reminded me of Earth Girls are Easy. Little Shop of Horrors would be worth seeing again, too. The last recent comedy I’ve seen was The Grand Hotel Budapest. I’ve been watching some of the BBC panel shows with comedians recently, QI and Mock the News, on YouTube. If you don’t mind missing some of the topical British humour, they can be very funny. QI is not as topical as some of them.

  100. 100
    shelley says:

    Seen any GOOD comedies lately, at the movies or on TV? I

    Rented ‘Up’ the other night. A movie that introduced ‘The Cone of Shame’ into the general language.
    **************

    Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, and O Brother Where Art Thou

    Can’t fault any any of those. Add ‘My Favorite Year’ to the list.
    *********
    And if you haven’t caught it yet, try ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’

  101. 101
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @gelfling545:

    Do you hear the cottonwoods whisperin’ above?

  102. 102
    Joel says:

    The Way Way Back was pretty funny. Not outrageously funny, but pretty good. Sam Rockwell was perfectly cast.

  103. 103
    Joel says:

    Foot Fist Way is pretty great. Perhaps even better than Eastbound and Down. Too bad McBride has flopped in just about every other context.

  104. 104
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The Party. Peter Sellers.
    Deathtrap. Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve.
    Sleuth. Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine.
    The Captain’s Paradise. Alec Guinness, Yvonne de Carlo, Celia Johnson.

  105. 105
    Mike in NC says:

    “Pain and Gain” with Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, and Tony Shalhoub was pretty good.

  106. 106
    satby says:

    Can’t believe no one mentioned Harold and Maude . Old now, but a really funny one.

  107. 107
    WaterGirl says:

    Harold and Maude was my favorite movie for over a decade. I wonder if it holds up. I saw Sliding Doors last year and I didn’t love it like I did the first time around. I think I could watch Overboard a hundred times, it’s just fun.

    Is it really possible that not a single person has mentioned Airplane???

    edit: I will nominate Something to Talk About.

  108. 108
    Susan says:

    Moon over Parador with Raul Julia.
    The Addams Family movies with Raul Julia.

    You get my drift…

  109. 109
    Marshstars says:

    Surprised I didn’t see someone mention A Million Ways to Die in the West, the Seth MacFarlane comedy western from earlier this summer. Definitely low brow, often very crude (it’s Seth MacFarlane) but I laughed (often) & folks in the theatre were laughing. The 20-something kids I know liked it too. Most, if not all, of it is ludicrous–Sarah Silverman plays a prostitute wanting to stay a virgin for her virgin-fiancé on their wedding night….

  110. 110
    FlipYrWhig says:

    The same guy wrote Identity Thief and Hangover 2 and 3. And that’s also the same guy who was Ted Cruz’s freshman roommate.

  111. 111
    richard crews says:

    @shelley: we went to “budapest Hotel” on my suggestion, and about 45 very boring/nothing minutes, I leaned to my friend and said, “there WILL be a reason for this movie.” Then, after a long haul, the movie ended. Pointles. There was a murder, but I don’t remember OR CARE if they even solved it. Needless to say, I don’t know who did it. I don’t care. That movie was so unsatisfying. I wish I had not gone. A waste of time and money and Wes/ Utterly pointless, meandering, uncaptivating, and just a silly stage set.

  112. 112
    Tehanu says:

    I applaud many of the mentions above, but I seem to be the only one who loves Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Frances McDormand, Ciaran Hinds, Amy Adams, Mark Strong — what’s not to like?

    Also love Nobody’s Fool, The Wrong Box, Soapdish, Moon Over Parador

  113. 113
    angelfoot says:

    “A Hard Days Night” and “Repo Man” are worth revisiting if you haven’t watched them for a while. They’re both still pretty funny and brought out my inner teenager albeit in different ways.

  114. 114
    askew says:

    @Tehanu:

    I just watched Miss Pettigrew on Netflix streaming. Great movie.

    And Soapdish is a must. Netflix sucks for current movies but they have a lot of classic comedy movies available streams.

  115. 115
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @angelfoot: Both are great movies. I love Paul’s grandfather.

  116. 116

    The Lego Movie was funnier and much better than I ever could have expected — pretty close to good, actually.
    I know, I couldn’t believe it either.
    Our son (30 years old, so not a child) was the person who convinced us to watch it and we were glad we did!

  117. 117
    JGabriel says:

    gogol’s wife @ 6:

    The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. There’s no point in talking about anything else.

    Yeah? I’ll raise you a with a Cary Grant triplet, His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell, plus The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby, both with Katharine Hepburn.

  118. 118
    J R in WV says:

    @gogol’s wife:

    I don’t know what review you’re talking about. The one I just read at:

    http://www.movies.nytimes.com/.....wanted=all

    Doesn’t have the word “Farrow” in it at all, and has no mention of that controversy at all.

    In fact, it is quite complementary and positive, like “One of the most delightful things about “To Rome With Love” is how casually it blends the plausible and the surreal, and how unabashedly it revels in pure silliness.” and “His adventures are a blithe, surreal fable…”

    So I think either there are two articles, one with serious misgivings about Woody Allen and one with lots of approval about the film itself, or you are just mistaken about the review in the NY Times.

    Two articles with seperate topics – one quite serious and the other a review of a film – seems quite professional to me. Shame you seem to have only caught one of them and mistook it for a film review.

  119. 119
    Steeplejack says:

    @J R in WV:

    Shame you seem to have only caught one of them and mistook it for a film review.

    Shame you seem to be about two years out of date. The review in question is for Allen’s new movie, Magic in the Moonlight, and appeared in the Times yesterday.

  120. 120
    maurinsky says:

    Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is quite charming.

  121. 121
    Karla Furr says:

    @bemused: “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”

  122. 122
    Digital Amish says:

    Low brow comedies and nobody’s mentioned “Talladega Nights”? Will Ferrell and NASCAR – how much more low brow can you get?

    When do we get to stop doing this, Grandma?

    Well, I don’t know, honey. When are you boys going to stop tossing me the radio in the bathtub?

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