I can be a really embarrassing person to go see a comedy with. I clap, I literally slap my knee, and sometimes that’s not even enough and I find myself slapping the person I came with. I also don’t just laugh, I wheeze. If something gets me laughing, I mean seriously laughing, I sound like a tea kettle going off. So while there are an absolute ton of comedies out there probably far funnier than the ones I’m about to list, I judged mine based on two things: Their ability to make me wheeze and the fact that I loved them enough to purchase the DVD. That may not even make them my five favorite comedies per se, but they stand out. Starting with …
The Birdcage, 1996
One of my all-time favorite Robin Williams films even though he’s not even my favorite part. That honor would go to Nathan Lane whose perfectly quotable antics (“Oh God, I pierced the toast!”) and high-pitched squeals added the perfect dose of hysteria to a truly funny movie. Pretty much anything that comes out of Agador’s mouth makes me laugh and the dinner scene where they start to panic is always my wheeze moment.
Wedding Crashers, 2005
“Ma! The meatloaf!” I saw this with my high school boyfriend and we spent the entire two hours laughing until we cried. I’ve since seen it so many times since then that it’s completely lost its effect, but that doesn’t take away from the first experience I had watching Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn team up to see who could bed the most bridesmaids through a series of seriously misguided backstories and code phrases. Of course, the most fun came when they landed themselves in the beach house of a Stage 5 Clinger. While Vince barely even makes my list of favorite actors, his crazy speed-talking always cracks me up. Also starring Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams (LOVE her), and Bradley Cooper before he became a big deal, it’s a fun watch that I just had to add to my collection.
It was quite fitting that I was a college freshman when this movie came out. I went with my roommate and a couple new friends and it was the perfect introduction to the chapter we were about to start. Way before Jonah Hill was an Oscar nominee or Channing Tatum’s cop buddy, he was Sherman Schrader, the voice of reason in this story about Justin Long’s quest to find a college that would accept him, even if it meant creating his own. Full of hilarious moments crafted primarily by student stereotypes, it was still a fun way to kick off our ventures into higher education, even if the film had no basis in actual college reality.
This was my first introduction to both Jason Segel and Russell Brand and I’m so thankful that I watched it because I’ve since become such a huge Jason fan. With a handful of other funny-people cameos (Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Zack McBrayer, Jonah Hill), a couple of my favorite actors (Mila Kunis, Paul Rudd), and a picturesque Hawaiian setting, the movie about a Joe Schmo mourning the end of his five-year relationship with a TV starlet (Kristen Bell) instantly became one of my favorites—mainly because I laughed so hard while watching it by myself late one night that I woke up all three of my roommates.
Pitch Perfect, 2012
This movie about college a cappella is quickly becoming overrated (especially with the new sequel hitting theatres tomorrow) but that’s a shame because I truly loved it when I first saw it. Three of my girlfriends and I went together and spent the entire time laughing hysterically, to the point where we were just straight-up hitting each other, tears streaming down our faces. Instant classic. I can’t get enough of the witty one-liners, the super fun mash-ups, and, of course, my girl Anna Kendrick. Yeah, it spawned a seriously overplayed version of a song originally created with a cup, but it also gave us Fat Amy, Riff-Offs, and a bunch of new ways to listen to “Titanium.” I personally can’t wait to see what happens to the Barden Bellas next.