The funniest Comedies You’ve Never Seen
In the mood for a good laugh? Well, you could always check out some big-budget comedy everybody’s seen a million times, or you could dig a bit deeper and find something funny that’s been swept under the cinematic rug.
Sadly, for every high-profile film like Anchorman or Airplane (both excellent), there’s another hilarious movie out there that never got the widespread attention it deserved. So if you want to try something a bit more obscure than classics like Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, keep on reading to discover some of the funniest comedies you’ve never seen.
After Hours (1985)
When most people think about Martin Scorsese, they associate him with gritty thrillers about gangsters, boxers, and taxi-driving assassins. But every so often, Scorsese likes to shake things up with something a little different, like a kid’s movie (Hugo), a romance (The Age of Innocence), or a rock doc (The Last Waltz). In 1985, Scorsese created one of the weirdest comedies to ever come from a mainstream filmmaker, an oddball movie called After Hours.
Set almost entirely at night, After Hours focuses on a word processor named Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne, the zombie from An American Werewolf in London) as he navigates his way through the maniacal world of Manhattan. After a date gone horribly wrong, Hackett finds himself lost in a twisted Wizard of Oz universe where he’s desperately trying to get a ride home but unable to escape the punks, crooks, and vigilantes wandering around the Big Apple at night. Along the way, he encounters a host of off-kilter characters, played by familiar faces like Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Terri Garr, and Catherine O’Hara. But these people can’t help Hackett get away from the New York City nightmare because they’ve all gone absolutely bonkers. Instead, they try to seduce him, shave him, or imprison him inside papier-mâché. It all plays out like an eerily funny fever dream or some long lost Lewis Carroll novel where there are no rules and you should avoid everyone you meet because they’re all stark, raving mad.
Withnail and I (1987)
Comedy isn’t always just about the laughs—often, the sarcastic quips and snarky jokes are a great way to mask a lot of suffering. For proof, look no further than Withnail and I, a dark British comedy that reeks of weed, wine, and desperation.
Written and directed by Bruce Robinson, this semi-autobiographical film follows two struggling actors—Withnail (Richard E. Grant) and the titular “I” (Paul McGann)—as they slam shot after shot of sherry, whisky, and even lighter fluid. McGann’s character decides they need a vacation in the country to set their minds right, but that means cutting a deal with Withnail’s Uncle Monty (Richard Griffiths of Harry Potter fame), something that might come back to haunt them a little later down the line.
Withnail and I has fantastic performances from its three leading men, not to mention Ralph Brown as the most strung out drug dealer on the planet. It’s also one of the most quotable movies to ever come out of England, right up with there with Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In fact, when Time Out London put together their list of the 100 best comedies, Withnail came in at number seven, beating out the Pythons’ medieval epic.
But despite Richard E. Grant’s over-the-top antics and Richard Griffiths’ smarmy charm, Withnail and I is a movie about struggling with addiction and finding yourself trapped in life with nowhere to go but down. Really, it’s one of the saddest comedies ever put to celluloid, one that’ll have you laughing as our heroes debate the best way to kill a chicken and then hit you in the face with existential despair when Withnail recites Shakespeare to a zoo full of wolves.
The Brothers Bloom (2008)
When people talk about Rian Johnson movies, they never seem to mention The Brothers Bloom, probably because this 2008 comedy is overshadowed by the rest of his filmography (Brick, Looper, and The Last Jedi). And that’s too bad because The Brothers Bloom is a delightful romp full of confidence schemes, double crosses, and a lot of nitroglycerin.
Set in a world where Wes Anderson would feel right at home, The Brothers Bloom follows two brothers—Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody)—who’ve been fleecing people out of their money since childhood. Stephen is the mastermind, the man who writes and directs the con, and Bloom is his leading man, the actor who sells the story. With the help of Bang Bang (Rinko Kikuchi), their pistol-packing, nearly mute assistant, the brothers have become the greatest flimflam artists alive, but now, they’re looking to cash out with one last job.
Their mark is Penelope Stamp (Rachel Weisz), an eccentric heiress who spends her time “collecting hobbies.” She’s lonely and shy—although she’s pretty good at playing the banjo, throwing karate kicks, and juggling chainsaws—and she quickly falls for the uptight Bloom. Unfortunately, he’s starting to feel the same way about her, which makes the job a lot more complicated. Worse still, the brothers are being followed by a figure from their past, and soon, Bloom starts to suspect that maybe Stephen is running a scam behind his back.
Narrated by the great Ricky Jay, The Brothers Bloom might be a bit too quirky for some, but if you don’t mind the fantastical style, then Ruffalo, Brody, and Weisz are incredibly fun to watch. Plus, like any good con movie, it does a great job of constantly making you wonder if you’re in on the game or if you’re actually being played.
(Excerpt) Read More at: Looper.com