Movies are some of the best therapy humans can give themselves. Whether you want to laugh out your sorrows, indulge your mental health needs with a great rom-com, or delight in scaring your best friend with a killer horror flick, movies are a medium that unequivocally caters to everyone without bias. If you’re looking for the laugh of your life, that belly-busting guffaw that sticks with you forever, we’ve got some great movies up for grabs. So, pick one for your next movie night and work your ab muscles with laughter!
1. Tommy Boy (1995)
Chris Farley and David Spade star in this non-stop comedy piece. Given to partying more than studying, Tommy Callahan is all about a good time. Richard Hayden is the no-nonsense babysitter who goes on the road with Tommy to try and save the family business. If you’re a fan of David Spade, you’ll love this laugh-filled offering that features the late Chris Farley in one of the most iconic roles of his unfortunately short life. Tommy Boy is a fantastic watch for anyone looking for non-stop laughs.
2. Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (1987)
If you like to laugh, you can’t do much better than Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I’ve seen this movie at least four times, and the laughter comes so quickly every single time. Featuring the legendary Steve Martin and the late John Candy, this movie is a feel-good flick perfect for holiday cheer or any time of the year laughs as Martin plays businessman Larry Page. Page is trying to make it home for Thanksgiving when he crosses paths with Del Griffith, a shower ring salesman with a heart of gold and a penchant for getting Page into mishap after mishap. You’ll laugh until your sides hurt and tears roll out of your eyes.
3. Corky Romano (2001)
One of the funniest movies of Chris Kattan’s career, Corky Romano hits all the right notes as Kattan plays a loveable veterinary technician who gets recruited by his mobster family to scrub evidence from the FBI concerning his father and family crime lord, “Pops.” This movie will have you laughing from start to finish as Kattan plays his ever-loveable, if a bit dim, repeatable character. In 2001, Touchstone Pictures delivered one of the year’s funniest, most underrated movies. I agree entirely with one movie lover: “They don’t make movies even remotely close to this anymore.”
4. Night at the Roxbury (1998)
Based on a sketch from the ever-popular Saturday Night Live called “The Roxbury Guys,” Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan play oddball brothers Steve and Doug Butabi. By day, these two work for their father, delivering orders of artificial flowers to clients. By night, they frequent nightclubs to practice picking up women, which they fail miserably. Their dreams are to gain entry into Roxbury, a trendy downtown nightclub they are never allowed to enter, and to open up a lounge to rival the Roxbury. I can understand one movie buff’s love for this comedy: “I was so obsessed with this movie as a teenager that my poor mother had to sit through it THREE times in the theater with me. Thanks, Mom.”
5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
Easily one of the best and most well-known comedies ever made; I agree with one who loves the Monty Python movies. Monty Python is “absolutely the single greatest trailer for this motion picture using this script, clips, and voice actors in the history of motion picture trailers.” On a severely low budget of around $410,000, which was crowdsourced before crowdfunding was a thing, with two novice directors, Monty Python and The Holy Grail has risen to the height of the second-best comedy in British history, a fitting place for a film such as this.
6. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Guy Ritchie directed this British black comedy about four friends who stink at being criminals and the series of “bad guys” they run into. When friends, Eddie, Tom, Soap, and Bacon put together more than $125,000 to enter a high-stakes card game, they’re assured a win because Eddie is a master card shark. Unfortunately for him and his friends, however, their opponent, Harry “Hatchett” Longdale rigs his games so that he always comes out on top. As Eddie and his friends try to regain their financial loss, Eddie tasks Tom with disposing of a set of antique shotguns that came to them during their attempt to regain their loss and the only evidence left to tie them to the case of stolen money and drugs. One commenter couldn’t have been more apt when they said, “A film that was great the first time you watched it, and the second, but when you haven’t watched it for a few years and then watch it again, you realize the casting was spot on. Each actor fitted their part to a T. The story was good, most of the acting was spot on, and the soundtrack was spot on too.” This was also Jason Statham’s debut role.
7. Fanboys (2009)
If there was ever a movie about Star Wars that you had to see, even though it wasn’t an original Star Wars film, this is it. Fanboys is an epic comedy about four superfans who are running out of time. One of them is dying, quite literally, to see the screening of Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace. With a ton of cameo appearances from stars you’ll know, including William Shatner and Carrie Fisher, Fanboys remains a classic comedy, especially if you’re also a fanboy. Another movie fan noted, “The hyperdrive not working right away is the most Millennium Falcon thing that could have happened.”
8. What About Bob? (1991)
Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfus were a comedy match made in Heaven when they teamed up for What About Bob? Bob Wiley is an anxious individual who relies on his therapist, Dr. Leo Marvin, to reassure him constantly. When Dr. Marvin decides to go on vacation, Bob follows him, interjecting himself into Leo’s down time. His laughable hijinks are too much for Leo to handle, especially as his family begins to accept Bob’s presence. Hilarity ensues as Leo becomes more and more aggravated by Bob’s constant neediness, mainly because his family finds Bob endearing. Despite some off-set rudeness on Murray’s part, both Drefus and Murray pulled off one of the best comedies of the early nineties.
9. Naked Gun 33 1/3 (1994)
When it comes to comedy, there is nothing quite like a Leslie Nielsen comedy. Add in OJ Simpson, the late Anna Nicole Smith, and even Weird Al Yankovich, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster that will keep you laughing until your sides hurt. Nielsen, who starred in 100 movies and 1500 television episodes, including the Naked Gun series, was legally deaf and wore hearing aids most of his life. Even so, he was able to make a healthy success of his comedic acting career. One Nielsen fan nailed why watching Nielsen on screen was always so fun: “When films like Naked Gun and Airplane! are firing on all cylinders, you barely have time to catch your breath from laughter. There’s lots of great modern comedy, but I’ve never seen a film that managed to pack as many gags into every single scene as these.”
10. Raising Arizona (1987)
Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter star in this hilarious film about a subject that isn’t quite so funny. Infertility is no laughing matter, but Ethan and Joel Cohen turned the issue into comedic gold with Raising Arizona. When Edwina and H.I. McDunnough can’t have a baby, they decide that watching over one of Nathan Arizona’s five babies will do them just fine and create the family they’ve always wanted. Nathan Arizona Jr. is one of Arizona’s quintuplets. As the most famous furniture magnate in their small town, his family is well-known, and Ed figures they don’t need so many children anyway. However, once the little boy is in their care, the pair will run into several off-the-wall situations as they try to keep “Junior” safe. When Nathan Sr. offers a reward for his son’s safe return, everyone will be hunting Ed and H.I. to try and get their hands on the boy. John Goodman, William Forsythe, and Sam McMurray starred in this over-the-top, heartwarming, hilarity-inducing film. I couldn’t agree more with one user who talked about the first time they watched this comedy. “The first time I saw this movie, I laughed till I cried, and every time I see it again, I can still laugh! This movie has to be an all-time classic!”
11. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
“Thank you. Come again!” When friends Harold and Kumar decide they’re hungry and take a trip to White Castle Burgers, they’ll encounter situations they never imagined. Side-splitting humor and, for some, a sense of deja vu will keep you entertained and laughing from start to finish. As these two friends try to survive a trip that is anything but the easy answer to their extreme case of the munchies, they’ll overcome a set of the most extreme obstacles to score burgers from White Castle. One White Castle fan even noted that the burger chain has a now-famous combo meal that made it into the movie. “White Castle has a combo with 30 sliders, five fries, and four cokes called the Epic Road Trip Meal.”
12. 40 Year-old Virgin (2005)
Steve Carrell, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and Romany Malco star with Catherine Keener in this stupid-funny film about a shy guy who is so introverted that he’s a virgin at 40. Thanks to his colleagues, who are dead set on ending his celibacy, “Andy” gets all sorts of advice on how to go about wooing a woman. Fortunately for him, he could be better at taking direction. However, when he meets Trish, all bets are off, and the laughs keep coming. A huge Steve Carrell aficionado loses it over the waxing scene in this movie, and honestly, who wouldn’t? “This has got to be hands down the funniest scene in movie history. I cannot watch it without laughing so hard that I send myself into an extreme coughing fit and lose my breath. I’ve tried many times.”
13. Super Troopers (2001)
Buckle up for a laugh-out-loud patrol party. When four Vermont state troopers vie for the prestige of prominence with the local police department and enjoy razzing citizens who use their stretch of the highway, you’re only guaranteed non-stop laughs. While the humor here is purposefully mind-numbingly stupid, this is not a family movie night option if you have young children. Seventeen and up for this one, and if you’re in the mood to keep the comedy rolling, there is a sequel, Super Troopers 2.
14. Liar Liar (1997)
One of Jim Carey’s finest films is the 1997 comedy gem Liar Liar. When Fletcher Reede disappoints his son on his birthday, the little boy makes a bold and catastrophic wish, at least for his lawyer dad. Unable to tell a lie for 24 hours, Fletcher finds himself impossibly hindered by a big case he’s supposed to handle that afternoon. As his life starts to spiral out of control because he has to be brutally honest, the laughs that only Jim Carey can pull off ensue over and over again. In fine Carey fashion, you’ll want to watch this one on repeat. One contributor who was fresh off a first-time watch said, “I have no words. It’s more than just outstanding.”
15. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
Before anyone knew Jim Belushi, they knew his older brother John. Larger than life and gone far too soon, this actor had a way with slapstick comedy that was as natural as breathing. National Lampoon’s Animal House was just one example of John Belushi’s easy, laugh-inducing antics that made him a household name. His stints on Saturday Night Live didn’t hurt; many of his friends also became well-known comedic actors. To name a few, Robin Williams, Dan Aykroyd, and Steve Martin had work that would likely have gone to Belushi had he not died so early in life.
16. The Money Pit (1986)
While Tom Hanks went on to star in numerous roles, from serious drama to raucous comedy, The Money Pit is one movie that endeared him to fans before he got his star on the Walk of Fame. One of the moments that made this movie so special is Hanks’ characteristic laughter when their tub falls through the floor. As one person so eloquently said, this movie is “For all those who chose to buy a house that ‘needed some work.'” The Money Pit truly couldn’t be any more apt for those who’ve gone through the painful and sometimes costly expense of renovating a home, and yet seeing “Anna” and “Walter” go from happy homebuyers to miserable cohabitants is undoubtedly, as one respondent says, “one of the most underrated films of the 1980s.”
17. Let’s Go to Prison (2006)
In the fashion of someone you’d expect to be in prison, John Lyshitsky knows precisely how to prey on someone as naive as Nelson Biederman IV, and despite the topic of prison unpleasantries, this movie is one gut-busting laugh after another. Directors perfectly paired Dax Shepard and Will Arnett to make comedy gold from a film about prison. With a fantastic supporting cast, they effortlessly delivered one of the funniest movies of 2006. For several comedy buffs, Will Arnett’s presence in this Bob Odenkirk movie sold them on watching it. “I love this movie because of Will Arnett,” one explains.
18. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
Comedy is sure to ensue when you put Steve Martin, Michael Caine, and Glenne Headly together. Freddie Benson (Martin) is stepping on the toes of another con artist, (Caine), but for all their worldly knowledge, they don’t know everything, particularly about women. Still, the way they go about conning a young woman working together, even as they try to one-up one another, is all they need to keep you laughing until the very end. Remade from Bedtime Story (1964), which starred Marlon Brando, David Niven, and Shirley Jones, this version does justice to the story for the Gen X crowd and is one they can pleasantly show their older children for a night of fun and easy laughter.
19. Billy Madison (1995)
As Adam Sandler’s first significant movie role, Billy Madison solidified his comedic ability, leaving Sandler open to more films like Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer. While some would argue that Sandler is the same “dim-witted” character in every role, The Cobbler showed depth and his ability to take on more serious roles. Four years later, Sandler starred in Uncut Gems, showing a maturing acting repertoire that has come with age. While Sandler’s acting can be an acquired taste, many people feel the same way as this commenter: “This movie is hilarious.”
20. White Chicks (2004)
Marlon and Shawn Wayans go savagely undercover to save their careers and the lives of two hotel heiresses, Brittany and Tiffany Wilson. Their antics are iconic comedy and brilliantly scripted after disguising themselves as the two young women. The idea that no one would see through their disguises is a bit of a stretch and only adds to the comedic value of this film. If you want to laugh aloud, you could do much worse than a trip with two White Chicks.
21. Singing in the Rain (1952)
1952 was a fantastic year for cinema. Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynold starred in a beautiful, uplifting musical romantic comedy known as Singing in the Rain. Kelly portrays Don Lockwood, a silent film star, transitioning alongside his co-star Lina Lamont to “talkies.” Don, who has been trying to dissuade Lina from pursuing him, finds himself obsessed with Kathy Selden, a woman he met when he took refuge in her car while escaping a slew of fans. Many people felt that Gene Kelly’s performance was one-of-a-kind. “Is there any better display of euphoria? In this number, Gene Kelly still warms my heart and makes me smile. He’s simply perfect here for every movement, step, and expression. Joy, joy that I can watch it whenever.”
22. Black Sheep (1996)
Comedic duo David Spade and Chris Farley are back in the usual fashion for Black Sheep, where Spade plays political aid Steve Dodds to gubernatorial candidate Al Donnelly. As an aid, Spade takes on the adventurous task of keeping tabs on Mike, Al’s younger and certainly dopier brother. Mike, who has a heart of gold, can’t seem to figure out how to do anything without screwing it up on a grand scale, and Steve’s only job is to keep Mike as far away from Al’s campaign as possible until after the election. While Farley wasn’t particularly fond of how Black Sheep turned out, he didn’t let him slow down his ambition. Unfortunately, Farley died before he could complete the voice lines for Shrek (2001). His last two films, Dirty Work and Almost Heroes, were released posthumously in 1998.
23. Airplane! (1980)
Leslie Neilsen is at it again in Airplane! When a jetliner crew takes ill, Ted Striker, a capable pilot except for his fear of flying and subsequent drinking problem, is asked to step in and land the giant plane. Thanks to Dr. Rumack (Neilsen), Ted knows the crew and several passengers received rotten fish that caused them to have food poisoning. While Ted tries to land the plane, slapstick gags and ever-quotable lines will bring you back again and again for the type of laughter that makes your sides hurt. Several individuals can attest to the comedic value of this all-too-funny film. “I remember seeing this at the cinema. I never stopped laughing. All these years later, it still gets me.”
24. Pineapple Express (2008)
Seth Rogen, James Franco, and Danny McBride star in this comedy about a recreational drug enthusiast on the run after witnessing a murder. True to their sort of comedy, Rogen, Franco, and McBride bring the laughs as they try to escape from the murderers. Franco and Rogen don’t collaborate on wits anymore, so it’s unlikely this one will get a sequel. However, anyone who’s seen the movie likely enjoyed it just as much as one contributor who said, “The best movie I’ve ever seen. 10/10.”
25. The Happytime Murders (2018)
This one comes with a warning: It is not a child-friendly movie. In case the R rating wasn’t warning enough. Melissa McCarthy stars in this puppeteering masterpiece of raunchy, over-the-top cop crime comedy that will leave you laughing until the end credits roll. It also stars Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks, Joel McHale, and Leslie David Baxter. Because of the puppet factor in the film, visual effects artist Sam Nicholson said, “It’s some of the most complex work that we’ve ever done because, in one shot, you could have a combination of principal photography done at 8K and then puppets on greenscreen being puppeteered by four puppeteers for each puppet.” For most people who grew up on The Muppets, the following sentiment from one fan is entirely understandable: “My childhood is ruined… AND THIS LOOKS AMAZING AND FUNNY!!!”
Laughter Is Good
I have no idea who said, “Laughter is good for the soul,” but whoever it was sure knew what they were talking about. Real, genuine, gut-wrenching laughter is some of the best medicine going. If you need a great laugh and some good memories, pick one of the movies above, make buttery homemade popcorn, and veg out for a few hours. You’ll feel so much better afterward.
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