POSTED AT 04:22 PM 01-04-2017
Our handpicked guide to cracking up with movies on April Fool's Day
FrontPage lists their picks for the best fifteen comedies in their own category
Dr. Strangelove (1964) ; Columbia Pictures
We hope you had a pleasant April Fools’ Day so far. What better way to add some laughs to your day than by watching a comedy? Here’s a list of fifteen films we hope might interest you. Mind you, this is not a top fifteen list. They are chosen based on categories, and scroll down to see whether you might find one to suit your taste.
Disclaimer: Any material, including images and/or video footage, are property of their respective companies, unless stated otherwise. The author claims no ownership of this material.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden
Recognized as the ‘The greatest political satire of the century’ - Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove has no spine tingling jokes nor any slapstick humour. Its humour originates from the simple and absurd truths of human behaviour. A Cold War satire featuring a brilliantly over the top George C. Scott and a trio of Peter Sellers performances all complemented with the classic Kubrick juxtaposition and his trademark phallic symbolism. Besides, who could forget scenes where a redneck pilot ‘rides’ a Nuclear bomb to its target in Soviet Russia, or for that matter, characters named General Jack D. Ripper or Dimitri Kissoff? The film is a masterclass in acting and direction and there's no surprise behind its status as one of the greatest comedies ever made.
Ambassador de Sadesky: And I’d like some Cuban Cigars please
Adm. Randolph: Try one of these Jamaican cigars, Ambassador. They're pretty good.
Ambassador de Sadesky: Thank you, no. I do not support the work of imperialist stooges.
Adm. Randolph: Oh, only commie stooges, huh?
3 Idiots (2009)
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Starring: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi
Going over to Bollywood, our pick is 3 Idiots, of course! Most often Bollywood movies tend to be silly or too indulgent or too Western, but 3 Idiots has a delectable Indian flavour and sensibility throughout. It is filled to the brim with relatable characters; how can any viewer forget ‘Virus’ Sahastrabudhhe? Its feisty script knows exactly how to keep its audience on its toes for every new shenanigan and along for the ride till the inevitable happy ending. The film paints an Utopia like picture of the university experience, but soon starts showing the negative view of the Indian education system and the pressure young people are in. It is relatable in a Sri Lankan context too, with the ridiculous expectations and burdens on students to overachieve. But at the end ‘all iz well’.
Rancho: Pursue excellence, and success will follow, pants down.
The Great Dictator (1940)
Director: Charles Chaplin
Starring: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie
What list of greatest comedies would be complete without a Charlie Chaplin film? With so many to choose, we decided to go with Chaplin's first speaking film - the political satire/parody - The Great Dictator. Chaplin decided to tackle the rise of Nazism and its consequences on the Jewish population. If you’re one of those who think Chaplin’s style of comedy is a tad bit too old school for your liking, we recommend but one scene. Watch Chaplin as Adenoid Hynkel speaking to the followers of the ‘double cross’.
Parodying Hitler from the Nazi propaganda film - the Triumph of Will, Hynkel’s antics, persona and german gibberish are sure to keep you interested. Chaplin also plays a Jewish barber in the film who, at the end of the film, condemns the ideologies of National socialism in a heartfelt speech (A scene that’s interestingly doing a few rounds on Facebook these days) There are some accounts that claim Hitler did indeed see the parody.
Chaplin said, he’d give anything to know what Hitler thought about the film.
Commander Shutz: Strange, and I always thought of you as an Aryan.
The Jewish barber: I'm a vegetarian.
Sikuru Hathé (2009)
Director: Giriraj Kaushalya
Starring: Vijaya Nandasiri, Anarkali Akarsha, Rodney Warnakula
Local comedies are usually very light. But Sikuru Hathé has a strong performance of the late Vijaya Nandasiri at its centre, and the film has something interesting to say about the difference between traditions, proposals, and marriage in Sri Lanka, and the lifestyle of Colombo high society. A very timely topic indeed. The film balances its more ridiculous over-the-top scenes with the poignant story of Mangala Jaya, a matchmaker running out of business, played by Nandasiri. The film brings to the table the usual brand of humour and silly characters but with a veneer of intelligence, commentary on culture and a healthy dose of light fun and jokes.
My Sassy Girl (2001)
Director: Kwak Jae-yong
Starring: Tae-hyun Cha, Ji-hyun Jun, In-mun Kim
Everyone’s got that one guilty pleasure Rom Com that no one else knows about... but when it comes to us, we have no problem in recommending this uber-fun South Korean flick from 2001. Following a plot that revolves around love, loss and despair (Wow…haven't heard that one done before) this one’s is filled with witty dialogue and quite an interesting twist that really sets it above the rest. Add a sprinkling of Korean pop culture, some catchy K-pop tunes and two charming leads with hilarious chemistry and you’ve got one of the best selling Korean films of all time. Spawning a sequel and an American and Japanese remake that never matched up to the original, you might just have to watch this one to believe us.
Kyun-woo: The 10 Rules: 1. Don't ask her to be feminine 2. Don't let her drink over three glasses 3. Drink coffee instead of Coke/Juice 4. If she hits you, act like it hurts. If it hurts, act like it doesn't 5. On your 100th day together, give her a rose during her class 6. Make sure you learn fencing and squash 7. Be prepared to go to prison sometimes 8. If she says she'll kill you, don't take it lightly 9. If her feet hurt, exchange shoes with her 10. She likes to write. Encourage her
Director: Michael Lehmann
Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty.
Dark comedy isn’t for everyone, but to all the angsty teens out there, this is the film for you. Featuring Slater and Ryder (yes, she of the many faces) at the peak of this game, this cult hit explores the hellish experience of High School, but through a dark lens of wit and humour. This time around the mean girls are Heather, Heather and Heather. That’s right, they all share the same name, but are they the worst? Also there’s the trench-coat wearing, slushie chugging, gun wielding J.D. who wants to blow up the school. And there’s our heroin Veronica Sawyer, trying to figure out how to survive her teenage ups and downs. The film doesn’t shy away from the dark, but it’s razor sharp lines keeps things grounded. We end up asking ourselves “what’s your damage, Heather?”
Veronica Sawyer: I just killed my best friend.
J.D.: And your worst enemy.
Veronica Sawyer: Same difference.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman
The brilliance of this film is not just the way it parodies the Action/Buddy cop genre, but how it appreciates and pays homage to it. The second in the unofficial ‘Cornetto trilogy’ once again features the trio of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Quick edits, classy British quips and a soundtrack featuring the likes of David Bowie, the Dire Straits and the Kinks; Hot Fuzz shows us just why we love British humour. Whether you love the action genre or hate it, you’re sure to have a blast with this one. Its no wonder the film comes with a Quentin Tarantino stamp of approval.
Danny Butterman: Where's the trolley boy?
Nicholas Angel: In the freezer.
Danny Butterman: Did you say "cool off?"
Nicholas Angel: No I didn't say anything...
Danny Butterman: Shame.
Nicholas Angel: Well, there was the bit that you missed where I distracted him with the cuddly monkey then I said "play time's over" and I hit him in the head with a peace lily.
Into the Woods (2014)
Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Anna Kendrick, James Corden, Meryl Streep
Now musicals are known to be comedies, but why did we pick a musical with a change to a dark tone in the Act II? Well the tone is exactly why! Anything can pass in the world the story is set in, and this musical makes the most of it. This is one of Stephen Sondheim’s most beloved works, and tells the stories of well-known fairytale characters criss-crossing paths learning to respect the saying ‘careful what you wish for’!
Ultimately exploring the relationship between children and parents, this musical is packed with unforgettable iconic characters from fairy tales. Sondheim’s masterful lyrics drip wit. The upbeat songs will put a smile on your face, and the heavier songs fit into the tone and the story. The absurd yet touching story and humour makes this rise above your average Broadway melody.
Cinderella's Prince: Anything can happen in the woods. May I kiss you?
[Kisses the Baker's wife]
Baker's Wife: This is ridiculous, what am I doing here? I'm in the wrong story!
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
Director: Luis Buñuel
Starring: Fernando Rey, Paul Frankeur, Bulle Ogier
Ever see a Dali painting and find it unintentionally funny and then, on closer inspection you find something substantial? That, my friend is the wonder of surrealism (Or at least we think it is, I mean who among us is pretentious enough to understand Dali)? Luis Buñuel’s film follows six upper middle class French socialites as they attempt to have a meal. (No we aren’t messing around) The characters are almost always prevented from actually eating by some random event presented in typical surrealist fashion. As the film progresses, Buñuel makes us aware of the circle of hypocrisy around his protagonists, as they drown themselves in their upper class fancies and never get the opportunity to fulfill the most basic of their desires. The film begins like any other would, but as it progresses, its structure and comprehensibility wither away. Dreams, alternative realities and hunger all coexist in one universe. The film is not a comedy, but a gag; on the characters, their situation and eventually the viewer - As you try to come to terms with what’s being shown on screen.
Rafael Acosta: You're better suited for making love than for making war.
Some Like it Hot (1959)
Director: Billy Wilder
Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon
From the Golden Age of Hollywood we bring out Some Like it Hot, for those of you not scared away by black and white movies. This was revolutionary back in the day for having its male leads in drag. Two out of luck musicians join an all-girls band with a group of thugs on their trail. Hilarity ensues. What sells this movie is its ridiculousness, and how it stays ridiculous for the entire runtime. It is impossible to believe Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as women and that Chicago Gangsters could be so clueless. But it works because it’s so funny you just keep laughing along the wild goose chase in high heels.
Marilyn Monroe, the iconic fifties starlet, gives perhaps her best performance in her short but highly memorable careers. She is bubbly, she is drunk, and she forgets half her lines but she is a joy to watch. She oozes sensuality in a captivating musical number. And this film has one of the greatest ending scenes ever to be filmed.
Jerry: Osgood, I'm gonna level with you. We can't get married at all.
Osgood: Why not?
Jerry: But you don't understand, Osgood! Ohh...
[Jerry finally gives up and pulls off his wig]
Jerry: [normal voice] I'm a man!
Osgood: [shrugs] Well, nobody's perfect!
Sausage Party (2016)
Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill
Walking into a Seth Rogen film, everyone knows what to expect. Sausage Party is no different. Yet, coming out of it, we have nothing but high praise. The three act narrative structure, musical numbers and even a reference to a certain something called ‘Dixar’, there’s little doubt of what Rogen was aiming for - even down to the not so subtle theme of the film. There’s even the wonder of entering an otherworldly place, but not the sort of world that a certain other animation studio might want you to enter, no sir, this one has all the trademark Rogen stuff. As for innocence, well you best forget about that. We could have just placed Sausage Party here for its Saving Private Ryan spoof scene, but there’s something perversely appealing about having all your childhood’s cartoons being turned into a giant Seth Rogen joke. When they said Western animation has none of the maturity of Anime, we don’t think they expected this as a response.
Gum: I am sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol, mannitol, calcium, carbonate, soy lecithin, vegetable, triglyceride and talc. But, for expediency's sake. You can call me... Gum.
The Room (2003)
Director: Tommy Wiseau
Starring: Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero, Juliette Danielle
Oh dear, this film. Some films are good. Some films are bad. Some films are so bad they are good. While there are some notorious culprits of this description floating around, Room has to take the cake, icing and filling for this. The plot of the film, if this has one, is the rambling life of a a very confused man. And the audience will love every second of this.
This film groans with such incompetence, that you will end up rolling with laughter as it loses every trace of credibility. The script is deliciously awful. The direction is so poor that… in fact let’s get to know the man behind this fantastic atrocity - Tommy Wiseau – by watching this video. This film is ideal to watch with some likeminded friends who just want to have a good laugh.
Johnny: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART, LISA!
What We do in the Shadows (2014)
Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer
What we do in the Shadows is presented as a mockumentary delving into the struggles of four vampires who flat together in modern Wellington as they prepare for the ‘Unholy Masquerade’. The unique direction gives the viewer a peek into the hardships of being a vampire like struggling to dress yourself up when you don’t have a reflection or dealing with some hairy situations with the werewolf population of town. Also starring as a lead in the film, Waititi’s genius script is filled to the brim with hilariously vampire-esque situations. Waititi is also behind Thor: Ragnarok, which is set to come out later this year, so any Marvel fans wanting to get a taste of what you might be in for, this one is highly recommended.
Vladislav: Leave me to do my dark bidding on the internet!
Viago: What are you bidding on?
Vladislav: I am bidding on a table.
The First Wives Club (1996)
Director: Hugh Wilson
Starring: Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, Diane Keaton
While there are quite a few comedies where a gaggle of women squabble with each other and get into silly high jinks, rarely do they even rise above acceptable to modern sensibility. The First Wives Club gives us three realistic well rounded female characters, that try to make something of their lives after their husbands leave them for younger women. As cliché as the plot seems, this film works because it is riveting to see glamorous Hawn, loud mouthed Midler and neurotic Keaton work off each other.
Throw in Maggie Smith as a Queen of shade, Stockard Channing in a poignant role of a slighted wife, Sarah Jessica Parker as a whiny gold digger and Elizabeth Berkley (she of Showgirl’s infamy) and we get a parade of laughter with glimpses of sombre reality. Besides, it has one of the most satisfying, empowering and uplifting endings as the three ladies dance away singing ‘You Don’t Own Me’.
Ivana Trump: Ladies, you have to be strong and independent, and remember, don't get mad, get everything.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Director: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
Starring: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle
Very few can match upto what Monty Python achieved in the 70’s. Arguably being the greatest comedy troupe that’s ever existed, we were tempted to go with 1979’s Life of Brian where we follow a bumbling Brian as he gets mistaken for the Messiah. However, our pick is the Autherenian spoof; where killer rabbits, Holy Hand grenades of Antioch and a whole lot of medieval slapstick follow King Arthur and his knights as they try to locate the cup of Christ. The movie has embedded itself in modern pop culture for its status. Even Game of Thrones paid ‘homage’ to it in season 4. Rotten Tomatoes gives it the consensus: "a cult classic as gut-bustingly hilarious as it is blithely ridiculous."
Woman: Well how'd you become king then?
King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
Dennis: Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.