27 November 2020.
There are so many exceptional, intelligent comedies of old…though few good new ones, as they mainly go for vulgarity these days with juvenile below-the-belt crassness (in the vein of Judd Apatow films).
As we certainly need humor in these morose, uncertain times, here are some choice picks from way back to lighten your mood.
THE GENERAL (1926)
Buster Keaton’s hilarious spout of kinetic genius. How did they do all those crazy stunts before special effects??
A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935)
The energetic, tongue-in-cheek comedy of the Marx Brothers at its height. So smart, so zany, so naively elegant.
THE GREAT DICTATOR (1940)
Charlie Chaplin’s brilliant satire of malevolent power in the rise of Fascism. Actually a tragicomedy.
THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN (1976)
Funnier than the original from 1963, this continuing Blake Edwards franchise has poor Herbert Lom going completely bonkers because of Peter Sellars’ idiocies as Inspector Clouseau. Remember “Does yur dug bite?”…
DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
The serious film master Stanley Kubrick and comedy? Yes, plus a biting spoof and critique of power-gone-wild in the highest echelons of world leaders. Fits the Trump years to a T – but then greatness is timeless.
THE ODD COUPLE (1968)
An absolute classic of comedy with the inimitable Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau as two completely opposite flat mates who drive each other crazy.
LIFE OF BRIAN (1979)
This is laugh-a-minute hilarity spoofing the times of Jesus. Terribly irreverent, but too funny to miss. They don’t make them like the crazy Monty Pythons anymore.
This satire of flight-disaster movies is belly-achingly hilarious! The first time I saw it, I continued laughing for half an hour afterwards.
A FISH CALLED WANDA (1988)
A true favorite of so many – Kevin Klein, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cleese and Michael Palin are a hoot in this funny/cruel/sexy romp. Too riotous to describe – just see it!
DEATH AT A FUNERAL (2007)
Directed by Frank Oz, this is an uproarious yarn of a distinguished funeral gone awry when terribly embarrassing secrets come out, even from the coffin…
Or just take any comedies of Woody Allen (TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN; BANANAS), Wes Anderson (THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS; THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL) or the Coen Brothers (THE BIG LEBOWSKI; BURN AFTER READING)
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.