It is fair to say that the world can be a scary place at times and when things get a little dark, it is often time to turn to the lighter side of life. One of the best ways to do this – and to switch off from any negativity – is to sit down and spend a couple of hours, laughin’ your ass off.
And if you are after a laugh right now, you might need pointing in the right direction. Which is why I am providing a list of 43 comedies to put a smile on your face.
The movies listed below will either give you deep belly laughs, or will make you smile. And who doesn’t want to smile?
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
First up, slapstick humour, loads of quotable lines, and Leslie Nielsen at his very best – it can only be The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!. David Zucker’s police comedy is a laugh-riot, guaranteed to tickle every rib and wiggle every funny bone. And if you love The Naked Gun, then don’t forget to check out the sequels too!
Sister Act (1992)
Whoopi Goldberg takes centre stage in this feel good comedy, loaded with laughs and thigh-slapping tunes. Goldberg plays a Las Vegas lounge singer who witnesses a murder and has to be hidden in the one place the bad guys won’t ever think of looking – amongst a group of nuns!
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Love him or loath him, Jim Carrey is on fine form in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective – a smile-inducing crime caper about a missing dolphin. Carrey gurns his way through the running time, with the laughs coming thick and fast and various one-liners guaranteed to stay in your brain for days.
21 Jump Street (2012)
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill headline this action comedy, as two detectives sent back to high school to pull off an undercover drug bust. The movie is based on the ‘80s television series of the same name, with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on directing duties.
The Lego Movie (2014)
Sticking with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller for an animated offering written based around the popular toy line. The Lego Movie features the vocal talents of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell and Elizabeth Banks and is awesome. In fact, everything is awesome about this picture (it’s sequel is worth a watch too).
Easy A (2010)
Emma Stone is the lead in this teen comedy partially inspired by the novel, The Scarlett Letter. The film tells the story of a 17-year old girl who lies about losing her virginity, then has to deal with the consequences that follow.
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Mike Myers plays two roles in this action spy comedy, which spoofs Bond movies and throws out countless jokes at every opportunity. Rude, crude, and filled with plenty of sight gags, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery is a stand-out comedy which deserves to be revisited time-and-time again.
And if you want to take the fun further, don’t forget there are a number of Austin Powers movies in the series.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
Steve Martin and Michael Caine play two con men who do their best to outsmart Glenne Headly in this clever comedy from director Frank Oz. The film is a remake of the 1964 comedy, Bedtime Story and is a hidden gem which is often overlooked – so check it out.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Loosely based on Jane Austen’s novel, Emma, Clueless is a coming-of-age teen comedy from writer/director Amy Heckerling. Alicia Silverstone leads the cast as Cher Horowitz, a high school student finding her way through adolescence – ‘90s-style!
Ryan Reynolds plays Wade Wilson, the Merc with a Mouth in this X-Men spin-off movie based on the fan-favourite comic book character, Deadpool. You have probably watched this film ten times already, but there is always time to watch it again.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Steve Martin and John Candy lead the way as two strangers, seemingly forced together during a nightmarish trip across country. John Hughes wrote, produced and directed Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which is in my opinion one of the greatest and most heart-warming comedies of the 1980s.
Due Date (2010)
And if you like Planes, Trains and Automobiles then you will also like Due Date – another road movie which follows a similar premise. Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis are the mismatched leads in this hilarious comedy from Joker (2019) director, Todd Phillips.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Robin Williams steals the show as Daniel Hillard – a recently divorced husband who masquerades as a female housekeeper in order to spend time with his children. Chris Columbus directs; Sally Field and Pierce Brosnan co-star.
Pitch Perfect (2012)
Chuckles and songs a-plenty in this musical comedy from director Jason Moore. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow and Anna Camp, and is delightful from start to finish.
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
More musical fun, this time from the cast of South Park in a consistently humorous comedy. Loaded with offensive jokes and near-the-knuckle gags, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is puerile in the best way possible.
Six strangers get invited to a dinner party at a secluded mansion for this feature-length murder mystery based on the board game Clue/Cluedo. Tim Curry leads a fantastic cast, in a brilliant romp designed to keep you guessing – even through the movie’s three endings!
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Conceived as a parody of classic horror movies, Young Frankenstein is a humorous comedy from director Mel Brooks. Gene Wilder plays the role of Dr. Victor Frankenstein, while Peter Boyle portrays the monster and Marty Feldman steals every scene as Frankenstein’s assistant, Igor.
If you have not watched Bridesmaids for a while, then you have probably forgotten just how good it is. If have never watched Bridesmaids, then pop it on now!
Paul Feig directs an all-star cast which looks at the chaos and comedy of getting married – as well as the friendships that can be lost along the way.
Fast-paced comedy and surreal humour combine for Airplane! – a rip-roaring chortle-fest which spoofs disaster movies. Leslie Nielsen appears amongst the cast, in this laugh-a-minute cruise through the airways.
The Heat (2013)
Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock team-up for a buddy cop movie which is high on laughs, as well as action. Bullock plays an FBI Special Agent, while McCarthy plays a Boston Detective, and together they bring great chemistry to the screen in this likeable caper.
Wheeled out at Halloween, but lots of fun throughout the year, Ghostbusters is a spooktacular comedy that is as good now as it was back in 1984. The film boasts imaginative special effects, very memorable scenes, and some deadpan humour from Bill Murray.
Groundhog Day (1993)
And speaking of Bill Murray, the actor stars in Groundhog Day – a fabulous time-loop comedy that should be watched repeatedly. And speaking of Bill Murray, the actor stars in Groundhog Day – a fabulous time-loop comedy that should be watched repeatedly.
Mean Girls (2004)
In this hilarious teen comedy, a 16-year-old must acclimatise herself with life in a public high school, after spending a 12-years on a research trip in Africa. Mean Girls is partially based on Rosalind Wiseman’s self-help book, Queen Bees and Wannabes, with a screenplay from Tina Fey.
The Nutty Professor (1996)
Eddie Murphy takes on multiple roles for this sci-fi comedy packed with some seriously laugh-out-loud moments, and some good visual effects. The Nutty Professor is a reworking of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, with Murphy playing the part of Sherman Klump and Buddy Love (amongst others).
If you have never seen Blockers then you are missing out. The movie – pitched as a teen sex comedy – offers a refreshing look at the tried-and-tested subgenre, with a likeable cast headed up by Leslie Mann, John Cena and Ike Barinholtz.
Get Smart (2008)
This one often slips under the radar and it is a shame, because Get Smart is a very funny action comedy, which is based on the popular television series of the same name. Steve Carell takes the lead role, with support from Dwayne Johnson, Anne Hathaway and Alan Arkin.
This is Spinal Tap (1984)
Crank things up to eleven and dive into This is Spinal Tap – a fabulous mockumentary about a fictional band. Rob Reiner directs, while the cast includes Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
In this action comedy from director Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play two police officers who find themselves investigating a series of grisly murders in a seemingly quiet village. As the body count rises so do the gags, resulting in a superb picture locked and loaded with laughs.
Two high school students who are about to graduate, want to lose their virginity in this teen comedy from director Greg Mottola. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera take the lead roles as Seth and Evan respectively, while Christopher Mintz-Plasse appears as everyone’s favourite character, McLovin.
American Pie (1999)
Another teen sex comedy, this time from the late 1990s. American Pie is a very funny, very crude picture about a group of friends, a pie, and… er… an incident at band camp.
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Jim Carrey had some of his biggest hits in the 1990s and here is another – Dumb and Dumber, a screwball comedy about two friends who travel across America to return a briefcase to its owner. Jeff Daniels co-stars in what is a daft, but incredibly likeable tale about friendship.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Jack Black and Kevin Hart lead the charge in this action-adventure comedy about a group of teenagers who are sucked into a video game. The film is a sequel to 1995’s Jumanji, but with more jokes and even more action.
Uncle Buck (1989)
We could debate John Candy’s greatest role for days, but for my money Candy’s best part is that of Buck Russell, the lead character in John Hughes’ Uncle Buck. Candy plays an estranged, dysfunctional uncle who is tasked with babysitting his nieces and nephew while their parents are out of town.
Uncle Buck appears on television a lot, so from time-to-time you probably catch a bit here and there – but why not sit down and watch it from start to finish. It really is a grin-tastic treat.
Connie and Carla (2004)
A hidden gem that few have seen, but everyone will love – Connie and Carla stars Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette as two singers who go on the run after witnessing a murder. To maintain their cover, the pair dress up as drag queens, while jokes and show tunes are thrown at the screen with careless abandon.
“Crocodile” Dundee (1986)
Paul Hogan stars as Mick “Crocodile” Dundee in this fish-out-of-water comedy about a bushman from the Australian outback, navigating his way through the tough streets of New York. The film was a huge hit upon release and has retained a certain charm ever since.
Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
Rachel Leigh Cook, Tara Reid and Rosario Dawson front this cult comedy, based on the comic book (and cartoon series) of the same name. Josie and the Pussycats pokes lots of fun at the music industry and features the funniest boy band ever committed to the screen.
Miss Congeniality (2000)
Sandra Bullock is at her very best as Gracie Hart – a tough FBI Agent who sets out to foil a terrorist plot. Throughout the course of the movie, Hart has to go undercover at a beauty pageant, resulting in an enjoyable comedy that is simply delightful.
The Hangover (2009)
Sober up, there are still more films on this list, including The Hangover – Todd Phillips’ gut-bustin’ comedy about four guys and their disastrous bachelor party in Las Vegas. The film was huge when it was released and even spawned two sequels – but the original is by far the one to watch.
Home Alone (1990)
Often pigeon-holed as a Christmas movie, Home Alone is also a very funny film, filled with slapstick humour and a lot of heart. Don’t overlook this one – it can provide a lot of laughs outside of the festive season and is the ultimate comfort comedy.
Weird Science (1985)
Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith play two teenagers who set out to create the ultimate woman… using their home computer. They achieve their goal, but they also bring chaos to their household in yet another brilliant movie from director John Hughes.
What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi direct a mockumentary about a group of vampires who share a flat. Packed with heaps of jokes, the film is a laugh-riot with enough gags to raise the dead.
Wayne’s World (1992)
And finally, Mike Myers and Dana Carvey take on the lead roles for Wayne’s World – a delightfully funny film about two rock fans who front a public access TV show. Wayne’s World is one of the best comedies of the 1990s and serves up gag, after gag, after gag. And the sequel is bloody good too!
I hope this list of 43 comedies has given you something to think about. Hopefully a few of these films will tickle your pickle when you really need uplifting.
To save you some time from scrolling back through this post to make some notes, here is the list in full.
- The Naked Fun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)
- Sister Act (1992)
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
- 21 Jump Street (2012)
- The Lego Movie (2014)
- Easy A (2010)
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
- Clueless (1995)
- Deadpool (2016)
- Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
- Due Date (2010)
- Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
- Pitch Perfect (2012)
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
- Clue (1985)
- Young Frankenstein (1974)
- Bridesmaids (2011)
- Airplane! (1980)
- The Heat (2013)
- Ghostbusters (1984)
- Groundhog Day (1993)
- Mean Girls (2004)
- The Nutty Professor (1996)
- Blockers (2018)
- Get Smart (2008)
- This is Spinal Tap (1984)
- Hot Fuzz (2007)
- Superbad (2007)
- American Pie (1999)
- Dumb and Dumber (1994)
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
- Uncle Buck (1989)
- Connie and Carla (2004)
- “Crocodile” Dundee (1986)
- Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
- Miss Congeniality (2000)
- The Hangover (2009)
- Home Alone (1990)
- Weird Science (1985)
- What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
- Wayne’s World (1992)
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