Comedy films

Top 50 Underrated Comedies Of The Last 30 Years


Serial mom Presents her as Beverly R Sutphin, a mother and husband who believe things are done right. Beverly is on the defensive of her family – to put it mildly – and it doesn’t take long before the film’s body count escalates.

Waters – with a cast that also includes Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, and Matthew Lillard – merges that with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, the climax arguably Beverly beating someone to death with a leg of lamb, while that the music of Annie plays in the background. Each stroke of the meat is perfectly synchronized. It’s all part of a wonderfully dark comedy, which gives Turner one of his very, best onscreen roles.

4. Office space

Appreciating that Office space is a film with a lot of affection in geek circles, it is still far from any type of mainstream appreciation. And that is the loss of the general public. In truth, we could have picked one out of a bunch of Mike Judge comedies here (Idiocracy and Extract both have a lot of highlights), but Office space is something special.

It’s a utterly tellable story that helps, about office workers who hate their jobs and hate their boss. There’s also a crisp cast at work here, but it’s a film nonetheless dominated by one of the best comedy stage flight performances ever on celluloid. Hell Boss Gary Cole’s Bill Lumbergh is an incredibly brilliant creation. Surprisingly well presented, it goes to show why Cole is one of the best comedy actors of his generation (and then we come to another of his films). Combined with Judge’s biting script and the plethora of landmark moments and quotable lines, Office space finally gets some of the attention it demands. Not yet enough though. Here is Cole at work …

3. A very Brady sequel

Sequels, the cliché says, are never as good as the original. Corn A very Brady suite is wonderful Brady Bunch’s movie What Aliens is of Extraterrestrial. It takes the original ideas and develops them, develops characters and comes up with a film that works brilliantly on its own, but also fits well into the first.

It’s a bold and brilliant sequel, one that just juggles dark themes, with Gary Cole and Shelley Winter furiously selling any innuendo they are allowed to approach. It’s also very funny and gave the late David Graf one of his last roles (he’s best known for Tackleberry in the Police Academy movies). You also get Tim Matheson, before he was named Martin Sheen’s vice president, in one of the best trip scenes in the movies.

With incest on one side and Gary Cole’s stunning Yoda-style performance on the other, A Very Brady Sequel is an exquisite comedy, which hasn’t even been released to theaters in the UK (thanks to a controversy over nunchuks, which saw it actually banned at one point). Avoid the third film in the series at all costs… See also: Cinematic Yodas

2. Top secret

Never mind an underrated comedy, Top secret is an underrated movie. This is the oft-forgotten film by the Zucker / Abrahams / Zucker team that is best known for Airplane! and The naked gun. But Top Secret? It’s as good as anything they’ve made. This is not a lightly written statement.

Top secret stars a young Val Kilmer as Nick Rivers, an American singer who performs in East Germany his hits such as Skeet Surfin ‘and How Silly Can You Get. Happily taking the rise of ’50s spy flicks and Elvis Presley films, Rivers gets involved in the resistance movement, and frankly, the laughs never stop.

Strong points? “He’s a little horse” out of context doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a big blow to the house. Likewise the Potato Farm, the reversal of stereotypes of war films (the man jumps on the grenade, everyone around him explodes and he survives), musical numbers, ballet, Omar Sharif …

Top secret is, in short, a superb comedy. And, in the tradition of Airplane!, one viewing is simply never enough …

1. Waiting for Guffman

We had to limit ourselves to just one Christopher Guest movie, otherwise you got Best of Show yapping in the top ten and A mighty wind a little further down the list. But few comedies have struck me as much as the glorious Waiting For Guffman, and yet it amazes me that so few people have heard of it.

The setup is pretty straightforward. An amateur theater group put on some music to celebrate their small town’s birthday, then suddenly went overboard when they heard legendary Broadway critic Mort Guffman was coming to see it. It’s not just one of the members of the entire series who sees this as their path to fame and / or out of small town life.

Guest movies operate with a tight cast of regular players, and they’ve never combined so well as they do here. Guest himself threatens to walk away with the film as director Corky St Clair, but then there’s the wonderful Fred Willard and Catherine O’Hara together. The highlight, for me, is Eugene Levy, whose performance here consistently reduced me to tears of laughter. The kind of laughter in a movie where you wonder where your next breath is coming from, it’s so funny. Of course, comedy is subjective, but Waiting for Guffman book every time for me.

Examine the insecurities, appreciation for a little talent, and the frictions of a small production at best, Waiting for Guffman was heavily improvised by Guest and his cast, and together they created one of the best comedies of the past 30 years. Anyone who cares about comedy in the movies should be looking for a Christopher Guest box set. And – Spine tap next to – Waiting for Guffman should be the first of his movies in the DVD player.