What’s your favourite funny movie? It’s a loaded question. Does the Coen’s dark comedy do it for you, or do you prefer the neurotic ramblings of Woody Allen? Perhaps you love the raunchy Judd Apatow or National Lampoon. Comedy means different things to different people and picking a favourite is not only difficult but also sort of pointless (like an Adam Sandler movie). But The Writers Guild of America certainly knows theirs. In a ceremony hosted by director Rob Reiner the members of the guild came up with their top 101 funniest screenplays.
Here’s the top ten:
2.Some Like it Hot
7.Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
9.Monty Python and the Holy Grail
10.National Lampoon’s Animal House
Woody Allen is always a safe bet, and deservedly so. He has more sceenwriting Oscar nominations than any other writer and 24 nominations in all. He has been featured on this very list another six times with Sleeper, Bananas, Take the Money and Run, Broadway Danny Rose, Love and Death and Manhattan.
Harold Ramis made the cut 4 times with Groundhog Day (3), Animal House (10), Ghostbusters (14) and Caddyshack (25).
Preston Sturgess also had four films on the list: The Lady Eve (32), Sullivan’s Travels (35), The Palm Beach Story (72), and The Miracle of Morgan Creek (92).
The oldest movie on the list is Chaplin’s The Gold Rush (1925) which is placed at number 94 while 2011’s hit comedy Bridesmaids came in at number 16 which makes it the most recent film to be included on the list.
Other recent additions include the modern classics There’s Something About Mary (18), Borat (29), The Hangover (30), The 40 Year Old Virgin (31), Rushmore (39), Shaun of the Dead (50), Anchorman (54), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (56), Wedding Crashers (59), Little Miss Sunshine (64), Superbad (68), Clueless (71), My Cousin Vinny (83), Mean Girls (84), Fargo (86), The Royal Tenenbaums (98), Mrs. Doubtfire (99) and for reasons we can only presume are an elaborate practical joke, Shakespeare in Love at 101.
While the list does a great job of including a diverse set of films (again, Shakespeare in Love), it does falter when it comes to including non-American movies. Where are the great British gems like In Bruges and Trainspotting? Sure, it’s great to see a bunch of Wes Anderson and Coen Brothers films but what about Amelie, Volver and Klown?
But let’s focus on the positives for a minute because that’s what exercises such as these are really for, right? This list, safe as it may be, will introduce a lot of people to some great movies, not just funny ones. Because of it many will become fans of Woody Allen and Charlie Chaplin.
It’s encouraging that the work of Sacha Baron Cohen and Judd Apatow has been recognised. And the sight of Clueless, The Hangover, Shaun of the Dead and Mean Girls among ‘classics’ like The Graduate and M*A*S*H is a joy.
And that should count for something. If all else fails, we’ll always have Shakespeare in Love.
You can check out the complete list here.