Whoopi goldberg comedies have always been my favorite. From the minute I saw Jumpin ‘Jack Flash As a child, I was addicted to Goldberg’s exuberant comedy style.
His singular talent for comedy proved a far cry from his grim 1985 breakthrough in that of Steven Spielberg The color purple, but has proven to have a distinct and engaging lineup that has helped her become one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses.
Whoopi Goldberg’s Best Comedy Movies
The success of Whoopi Goldberg’s best films is distinguished by a natural warmth that she is able to achieve in the characters she embodies. Even when the role leans towards the sketchy slapstick, she finds an authenticity that keeps things rooted.
And she cleverly uses comedy to highlight important issues. By lowering the guard of an unsuspecting audience through humor, Goldberg is able to delve into issues such as race, gender politics, and feminism and make them feel relevant without preaching.
That’s why we care. That’s why she manages to make us laugh. And that’s why his defining films are so endearing.
More recently, many have reportedly seen Goldberg’s work for television, on stage, or in his various appearances at political protests. But for those who remember his burst onto the screen, first with the dramatic role in The color purple, then with insanely funny tricks Burglar, Fatal Beauty, Sister Act, The Associate and the Oscar-winning performance in Phantom next to Patrick swayze, Goldberg’s comedy films (and roles) are the ones that are remembered.
1986 to 1996: the sweet spot of 10 years
When it comes to his funniest movies, it’s clear his career hit an underrated ten-year sweet spot between 1986 Jumpin ‘Jack Flash and 1996 The partner. As such, this top 10 focuses on that period of Goldberg’s career in which she gave us such gems as Made in America, Soap Dish and Corrina, Corrina.
Real. Wilson (1987)
A star vehicle if there is one, Burglar sees Warner Bros. in a hurry to try to cash in on Goldberg’s rising star after the release of The color purple (for which she was nominated for best actress). The comedy is spotty, the script is lazy, but Goldberg has a platform to express herself in many forms as she tries to prove her innocence after being wrongly accused of murder.
9. Fatal Beauty
Real. Holland (1987)
Whoopi Goldberg Plays A Lawyer Who Breaks The Rules In This Funny Detective Comedy From The Director Tom holland (who did Night of dread and Child’s play on either side of Fatal Beauty). Not considered a financial or critical success, the film faltered upon its release in 1987 being dismissed as a Beverly Hills cop counterfeit.
However, he has his moments with Goldberg able to show off his comedic energy as a cop who takes on various disguises – Arrow-like – to catch the bad guys. The film also sees her rise above the mockery and scolding of her male colleagues, featuring a tough female character who is able to take care of herself.
8. Made in America
Real. Benjamin (1993)
It was a huge box office success for Whoopi Goldberg. She plays Sarah Mathews, a woman who conceived thanks to an anonymous sperm donor who discovers that her now adult daughter has managed to find her real father.
What shocks Sarah is that the black donor she had explicitly requested turns out to be a selfish, loud white car salesman. Parenthood, identity and race are integrated perfectly in this sweet, likable and at times very funny cultural shock comedy.
Real. Zucker (1990)
Would like Phantom to work without Goldberg’s brilliant performance as a medium Oda Mae Brown? Okay, Demi Moore just lost her husband in a terrible knife crime case, but oh boy she is miserable. It is as if she is consumed by the authoritarian melancholy of the film.
Without Goldberg strutting around talking to the dead and Patrick swayze singing “I’m Henry the 8th I Am” we’d end up with Demi Moore – like a corpse – and that silly scene involving pottery making and sex. Phantom is uneven, but the fact that Whoopi Goldberg is the film’s most memorable thing speaks volumes about his talent.
6. Sister Act 2: Back to the habit
Real. Duke (1993)
I always loved this sequel to Goldberg’s hit Sister act. It’s a bit heavy, a bit sentimental, and extends your suspension of disbelief, but the songs are great and the ending feels great.
Of course, thanks to Goldberg’s most recognizable character, there is an instantaneous connection between the audience and the film thanks to the actor’s return to the role with such natural ease.
Inspired by films like to sir, with love but with song and dance numbers added, Goldberg’s wonderful vocal range brings music to the classroom to help a group of unruly teenagers get back on their feet through music.
5. The partner
Real. Petrie (1996)
The partner was unfairly dismissed as a weaker re-imagination of comedy greats crossdressing as Tootsie and Mrs. Doubtfire. It certainly shares some similarities, but it also has some marked differences, perhaps best defined by the fact that it’s not just a woman pretending to be a man, but a black woman posing as a white man.
The film not only discusses the role of women in corporate circles dominated by power-hungry men, but also race, and how gender and skin color can dictate career progression. The fact that it still manages to be a “feel-good” comedy is due to Goldberg’s natural comedic touch.
4. Soap dish
Real. Hoffmann (1991)
A brilliant cast can’t keep Goldberg lurking in the background in this funny, clever story about life in the soap opera world. Sally’s Field – as always – is awesome, as it is Kevin kline and a host of other actors, including Robert Downey Jr., Teri Hatcher, Cathy Moriarty, Elisabeth Shue and Carrie Fisher.
3. Corrina, Corrina
Real. Nelson (1994)
Located in 1950s Los Angeles, Corrina, Corrina focuses on the unexpected friendship between a white widower and his black housekeeper. With the racial tensions of America’s civil rights era as a backdrop, the film’s strength lies in its poignant depiction of parenthood and family amid cultural and political upheaval.
Here Goldberg is endearing, fragile and naturally reserved. And despite the stereotypes and discrimination that make her character think, she still finds the ability to make us laugh in the face of adversity.
2. Sister Act
Real. Ardolino (1992)
This story of a Reno salon singer who shuns gangsters by disguising herself as a nun is the perfect setup for Goldberg’s unique talent for squeezing a lot of comedic value out of the fish out of the water premise. This musical features a lot of hilarious moments and equally good music with the tongue pressed firmly against the cheek.
1. Jumpin ‘Jack Flash
Real. Marshal (1986)
Jumpin ‘Jack Flash is Whoopi Goldberg’s scene for strutting. Coming 12 months after Oscar nominated role in Spielberg The color purple, the actress was still a relatively unknown quantity to the general public. But in 1986 that was about to change. The film allows him to express his fiery personality and brash, often sardonic humor, which will become recognizable traits of the Goldberg âbrandâ in the future.
A hugely underrated film that sees eccentric but bored office worker Terry Dolittle immersed in the world of spies and international espionage, Goldberg finds himself in a role that, as Sister act later in his career, fits him like a glove. It is A hard worker meets James bond. Director Penny marshall pull it all together with a focus on Goldberg’s fish out of the water adventure and an assortment of fun supporting characters.