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Author Topic: Happy, funny movie list
SenojRetep
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Let's say I need to find a movie to lighten my mood. I don't want something that insults my intelligence, but I also don't want something whose humor is overly cerebral, dark, or satiric. Romance is acceptable, as long as it isn't the central aspect of the movie (generic or formulaic RomComs need not apply). I just want something that I'll laugh at, and will afterwards feel better about life in general.

Some examples:
Appropriate: Some Like It Hot, The Princess Bride, The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, A Christmas Story

Inappropriate: Dr. Strangelove, La Vita bella, Life of Brian, The Graduate, Heathers

Really Inappropriate: anything that is "so bad it's good"

What do you recommend, Dr. Hatrack?

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Zeugma
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Amelie!

Also, Monster's Inc, The Incredibles, Zoolander (silly, but really well-done silly).... I think you might really like Amelie, though. [Smile]

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Artemisia Tridentata
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Jungle Book. Just watch it for the Music!
NOTE: look for the use of litemotief's just like a Wagner opera.

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ludosti
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The Court Jester
How to Steal a Million
any Wallace and Gromit films
any of the Mr. Bean tv shows
Kiki's Delivery Service
Spirited Away
Amelie
Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Arsenic and Old Lace
Being There
The Hudsucker Proxy
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
So I Married an Axe Murderer
Three Amigos
Murder by Death

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Enigmatic
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Brain Donors! (A modern version of Marx Brothers style comedy, with John Turturro playing the Groucho role.)
The PowerPuff Girls Movie!
Everything that Zeugma listed!

--Enigmatic

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James Tiberius Kirk
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Meet the Parents? It revolves around a wedding and a proposal, so I suppose it could be a RomCom, though.

--j_k

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SenojRetep
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Excellent, excellent, I'm feeling better already. A little feed back:
>Kiki's Delivery Service
>Spirited Away
Are these really comedies? I haven't seen Kiki's, but Spirited Away struck me more as absurdist adventure.

>Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
>Meet the Parents
These are a little too mean to fit my model of the perfect funny, happy movie. Although I like both movies and think they are very funny, I'm looking for something involving less mockery.

>The PowerPuff Girls movie
umm...I don't see how the universe could align to make me consider watching this.

Favorite suggestions so far that I haven't seen:
Amelie
Zoolander
How to Steal a Million
Brain Donors (pending further investigation)

Good suggestions that I have already seen:
The Court Jester, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Hudsucker Proxy

Suggestions that I have already seen, but don't quite fit what I'm looking for:
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
So I Married an Axe Murderer
Three Amigos
(aforementioned) Meet the Parents
(aforementioned) Dirty Rotten Scoundrals

*feedback is intended to better clarify the type of movie I'm interested in and should in no way discourage those who have made excellent and very helpful suggestions

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Mrs.M
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Mystery, Alaska
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Zeugma
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O Brother, Where Art Thou?
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erosomniac
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I'm not sure how you can consider the Hudsucker Proxy not cerebral, but...sure.

If you haven't seen Amelie yet, I vote for it being #1 on your list of movies-to-watch.

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mr_porteiro_head
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Father Goose.
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SC Carver
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Second Hand Lions, a truely great uplifting movie with lots of funny parts.
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Lyrhawn
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Cheaper by the Dozen, and Cheaper by the Dozen II.

Yours, Mine and Ours, the original.
Undercover Blues

Any episode of Boy Meets World.

White Christmas/Holiday Inn.

I should have a much longer list, but I'm blanking.

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Dan_raven
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Singing In The Rain
Blazing Saddles
A Night At The Opera
Space Balls
Young Einstein with Yahoo Serious

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ludosti
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Young Frankenstein
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Kristen
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Office Space (but is that too satiric?)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Both movies never cease to make me laugh. Feel better!

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Wendybird
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I second the suggestion of How to Steal a Million. That movie started my love of Audrey Hepburn movies.

Secondhand Lions is a great feel good, laugh out loud movie.

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SenojRetep
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Checking back in: great suggestions, one and all.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is exactly what I'm looking for. If only I hadn't already seen it. And the Young Einstein suggestion brightened my day through its very existence.

I was just reading Roger Ebert's (negative) review of "The Break-Up" and I realized the key characteristic (besides humor) that I'm searching for is warmth. The humor is not at anyone's expense and no one is made to look the fool. Family comedies seem to do this particularly well, because of the nature of families, I suppose. Anyway, just to give some insight into my process of determination.

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MandyM
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I call your O Brother, Where Art Thou? and My Big Fat Greek Wedding and raise you Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore and The Waterboy.

I also loved 50 First Dates, Fever Pitch, and Never Been Kissed but those can be classified as romantic comedies.

Older movies like Big, 9 to 5, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Mrs. Doubtfire, and Mr. Mom all make me laugh.

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erosomniac
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quote:
The humor is not at anyone's expense
Not to nit-pick, but isn't this a paradox?
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Nathan2006
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'Rat Race' ends nicely... warm and fuzzily.

Pretty much any Pixar movie.

I actually rather enjoyed 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 days'. But is that too dark?

A retro western would be 'Support your Local Sheriff'

'Hoodwinked' was hilarious... A little slow starting, but quite rewarding if you stick past those first ten minutes. It's one of those movies that gets funnier the more you watch it...

Oh, and the all time funniest movie of all times.

'What's up Doc' with Barbera Streisand and Ryan O' Neal. Madeline 'What's her face' was in that too. Is it Carr? Madeline Carr? I dunno. Anyway, I laughed the entire time through the movie.

Musicals like 'Hello Dolly' are extremely overdone, but funny. Watch 'My Fair Lady', or something.

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Nathan2006
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The Wedding singer was good too.
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MandyM
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Eros, I don't think it is. There are movies that start out intending to make fun on one character or a group of people. One character is beaten down the whole movie so we, the audience, feels sorry for him and then he wins in the end. I hate those kind of movies. Meet the Parents is like that for me, and it is the same with many of Ben Stiller's movies. I just don't think they are funny.
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erosomniac
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I just can't think of anything funny (by anyone's standards, not just mine) that doesn't have a victim.
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Nathan2006
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Yeah, I really don't get Ben Stiller. Sometimes it's a little painful, like the American Idol auditions... Only I don't like the movies. <Grin>
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vonk
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Rocketman!

One of the funniest movies I've ever seen in my entire life. My whole family has sat around laughing at it at least half a dozen times. Good for old and young alike. It's got Harland Williams as a star, so it has to be a riot. Definitely, definitely see this movie. If not now, then sometime soon. It's a feel good movie with a happy ending and the humor isn't at the expense of anyone.

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CaySedai
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"What's Up Doc"
Madeline Kahn

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Sterling
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Hmm...

L.A. Story
The Emperor's New Groove
Ten Things I Hate About You (might be too much of a romance, though)
Sinbad - Legend of the Seven Seas
Hitch (though I hate the ending)

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SC Carver
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Bravo just did a top 100 funniest movies of all time.

1. Animal House
2. Caddyshack
3. Shrek
4. There's Something About Mary
5. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
6. Airplane
7. The Wedding Singer
8. Blazing Saddles
9. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
10. Arthur
11. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
12. The Producers
13. Naked Gun Series
14. Napoleon Dynamite
15. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
16. Old School
17. M*A*S*H
18. Stripes
19. Wedding Crashers
20. The Jerk


Funny is so subjective that no one is ever going to agree completely. I thought they may have put a little too much empasis on newer movies,

A couple that stood out as being way too high on the list were:
"the Wedding Singer". It seems no better to me than any other romatic comedy. I've seen it once and can't remember anything about it. Can someone please tell me what makes this movie so great.

Pee Wee's movie??? Didn't get it when it came out, still don't

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erosomniac
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Wait, what the hell did they base it on? There are a lot of really, really funny movies that didn't make it on there. Like Shark Attack III. And NORTH SHORE!
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MyrddinFyre
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Woah, I've seen every movie on that list and only enjoyed five of them. edit: Erm, the Bravo list.
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ludosti
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I think those Bravo people have a different definition of "funny" than I do....
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Kristen
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I've seen most of them and while yes, they are funny, it's a specific kind of funny. I'm really bad at describing humor but it's like those movies aren't very highbrow, satiric, or subtle about their funniness.
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katharina
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At first I was horrified by the presence of The Producers on the list; then I realized that it was the original movie that was intended, and not the unholy execrable conflagration that was last year's release.
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Amilia
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Since you are obviously OK with old movies:

I Married a Male War Bride
Bringing Up Baby
Desk Set
It Happened One Night
How to Marry a Millionaire
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Princess and the Pirate
The Inspector General

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Uprooted
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-Waking Ned Devine!!!
-Groundhog Day
-Foul Play (humor probably too much at expense of others, but I still think it's hysterical)
-It Happened One Night (edit: I see Amilia beat me to this one)

(you already mentioned two of my all-time favorites in that category: Philadelphia Story and Princess Bride)

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OSTY
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The Original "Yours, Mine and Ours" always puts a smile on my face.

M*A*S*H is always a good comedy

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andi330
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Clue.
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pH
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Hoodwinked!

-pH

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TomDavidson
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A lot of the ones that are being mentioned now -- like Groundhog Day and Bringing Up Baby -- probably fit the "romantic comedy" criteria he wanted to avoid.
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Euripides
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I liked After the Sunset.
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Amilia
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quote:
A lot of the ones that are being mentioned now -- like Groundhog Day and Bringing Up Baby -- probably fit the "romantic comedy" criteria he wanted to avoid.
Now, see, I would classify those as screwball comedies rather than romantic comedies. And he did meniton several screwball comedies as examples of what he wanted.
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Uprooted
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Yeah, it's a fine line, but in his original post all of the "appropriate" movies w/ the exception of A Christmas Story have romance story lines, so I felt pretty safe w/ Groundhog Day and It Happened One Night; I left out others like You've Got Mail because I thought that romance was the major element.
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Shanna
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I second "Clue" and "Singin in the Rain."

I'm sure everyone and their mother has seen "Father of the Bride" but its certainly one of my favorite feel-good comedies.

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Elmer's Glue
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Take the Money and Run.
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Elmer's Glue
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I thought Hoodwinked had a budget cut, because the animation was REALLY bad. It was funny and all, but I couldn't get over the animation.
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Alcon
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Periscope Down - One of my favorites of all time.
Any Firefly Episode, or Serenity
Titan AE

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Nathan2006
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The Animation was different. They were going for a cartoony look. (And twitchy was supposed to look like that)
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Celaeno
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Amelie is my favorite movie.

I thought Lost in Translation was funny, but I know a lot of people who thought it was boring. About a Boy was cute. When Harry Met Sally is probably my favorite romantic comedy ever. Kiki's Delivery Service was by far the worst Miyazaki film I've seen. If you're going for a funny animated flick, I'd vote for The Incredibles or Finding Nemo.

And anyone who likes The Philadelphia Story is automatically okay in my book.

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SenojRetep
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Thanks again, everyone. Just watching this list get made really brightened my day. Ironically, after all this I ended up watching Tomb Raider last night, since 1) that was what was on TV and 2) I wasn't able to go rent anything.

Just a couple more observations:
1) Part of the benefit of making this list was to see what the commonalities of the movie genre I was looking for were. Here's what I came up with
- Ensemble cast. In almost all cases where I said, "Yeah, like that" they were movies not with a strong central character, but a group of strong characters. Good examples of this (that I've seen): My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Waking Ned Devine, Clue
- Lovable characters. This is what I meant when I said "warm." As a counter-example, I didn't love any of the characters in Meet the Parents. The movie was funny, but I came out of the show thinking "man, I'd never want to meet/know/be forced into contact with any of those people."
- Kind Humor. In most cases, the humor arises from characters quirky idiosynchracies. While I agree with erso that all humor is at someone's expense, in this case even though we cringe it just makes us love the characters more, because that's who they are. If that makes sense.
- What's the opposite of urbane? Rurale? M*A*S*H, while hilarious, is very urbane, just like all of Altman's movies. Jaded. I don't want that. I want something...idealistic, maybe? Innocent?

2) In my initial post, I did say that movies with romantic themes were fine as long as it wasn't the central theme of the movie. The only true RomComs that I think were mentioned were mentioned (and caveated) by MandyM. I would say the central theme of Groundhog Day is Bill Murray's redemption, and the central theme of Brining up Baby is Cary Grant's loosening up.

3) That Bravo list is a great example of funny movies that are exactly *not* what I'm looking for. Which makes sense to me, because Bravo as a channel caters to the more urbane viewers (IMO). The only one from that list (of the 15 or so that I've seen) that fits in the sub-genre I'm considering is Napoleon Dynamite. And maybe Shrek.

So, culling from the many wonderful suggestions, and considering some that I've thought of on my own offline, here's my funny, happy movie list (these are all movies I've seen, rather than the movies I'm now looking forward to seeing due to the great recommendations of all y'all):
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
"Moonstruck"
"Napoleon Dynamite"
"Northern Exposure" (if only it were a movie)
"Waking Ned Devine"
"About a Boy"
Any Cary Grant comedy ("Topper" was one I thought of that hasn't been mentioned, but all the ones mentioned are good)

Honorable mention:
"Clue"
"Singin' in the Rain" (I once helped a Blockbuster employee who was unable to find this for a patron, because they kept typing Singing rather than Singin')
"Office Space"
"LA Story"
The Pixar movies

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