The Essentials, Part 4: Comedy

Humor isn’t objective. All of these lists, these essentials lists, are just guides that are totally opinion-based. This is your road map to my favorite films of all time, and my reason for writing it is just so I can share my thoughts with you in the hopes that you’ll do the same. I want to hear what films move you, and what films have shaped you as a person. Also, I am mostly trying to fill these lists with films you don’t ordinarily come into contact with. So, of course, I also love Ghostbusters, Airplane!, Zoolander, etc.

[tps_header]Here are some comedies that have shaped me. For better or for worse.[/tps_header]

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  • No need to apologize for Galaxy Quest. Fantastic cast, including Tim Allan with a good script (the best, if rarest, kind of Tim Allan) and a premise that holds up remarkably well over a decade on.

    I've seen all of the Hulot films, and I'd rank the restaurant segment from Playtime (roughly a third of the film) to be one of the greatest works of comedy ever committed to film. M. Hulot's Holiday is wonderful on the whole, just a thoroughly pleasant and relaxing experience (like a good vacation, appropriately enough). However, I'd have to consider my favorite of the bunch to be Trafic, Tati's final Hulot film. Really, of all the Hulot features, this one has the most going against it, what with its pervasive, almost oppressively dreary atmosphere. That the movie manages to mine scores of richly humorous and surprisingly warm-hearted scenes from this drabness makes it a surprisingly hope-inspiring film (though also a tough one to find, given that it's out of print).