Tag Archives: comedies

The Kid

Considered one of Charlie Chaplin’s best films, The Kid also made a star of little Jackie Coogan, who plays a boy cared for by The Tramp when he’s abandoned by his mother, Edna (Edna Purviance). Later, Edna has a change of heart and aches to be reunited with her son. When she finds him and wrests him from The Tramp, it makes for what turns out be one of the most heart-wrenching scenes ever included in a comedy. Chaplin also directs.

Rating: 10 out of 10

This charming and endearing film made our list of Greatest Movies Ever Made, and for very good reason.

This is nothing short of a masterpiece, and while some argue it’s not Chaplin’s best film, it’s still a brilliant piece of film making. And this isn’t a film snob talking. I think anyone would appreciate this motion picture, even after it first showed in theaters more than 90 years  ago.

Chaplin wove a charming story of The Tramp and a small boy for whom he cares. They’re little grifters who steal and cheat to get by in a very impoverished world. The two obviously care a great deal for one another, and though no words are ever spoken out loud, the performances are phenomenal.

Chaplin was a once-in-a-generation talent, and “The Kid” is a wonderful example of his gift for storytelling and acting.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

When Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) discovers that his wife (Julianne Moore) wants to end their marriage, he reluctantly faces the unwelcome prospect of single life with the counsel of the younger and smoother super-bachelor Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Meanwhile, Cal’s adolescent son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), has formed an unquenchable crush on his 17-year-old babysitter (Analeigh Tipton) — but is she more interested in Robbie’s recently unwed father?

Rating: 8 out of 10

It was nice to see a romantic comedy with a new voice. This isn’t quite like the trailers depict, a cheery-the-time flick with lots of laughs and likeable characters.

The truth is, these characters are very flawed, which makes them feel more real. They’re more relatable and approachable, and because of this, we relate. There are some genuinely funny moments, but there are also some truly dramatic moments, too. Like any romantic comedy, the reality in the movie is a stretch, but in this case it works. The womanizer, played well by Gosling, is so over the top with his gigolo ways. But it works because of his great performance — comedy is something he doens’t do much. Steve Carell and Julianne Moore are also both excellent. The cast really makes this movie work.

I really enjoyed this far beyond what I thought I would. It doesn’t pull punches with a sense of drama that is based in reality, but knows when to stretch with its comedy. This is a very good date movie.


Indie favorites Jay and Mark Duplass co-direct this wry look at modern love and family dysfunction. John C. Reilly plays a divorced man who thinks he’s found just the right woman (Marisa Tomei) to help him recover and move on. Unfortunately, the woman’s son, played by Jonah Hill, has no interest in allowing another man into their lives — a stance he proceeds to demonstrate in a variety of obnoxious ways.

Rating: 7 out of 10

This is a movie that works because of the excellent cast, directing, and a smart script that is patient and respectful of its audience.

“Cyrus” has the potential to be a silly movie about the adult son of a single mother who torments his mother’s new boyfriend with ridiculous stunts that make you uncomfortable to watch. Certainly, there are uncomfortable moments, but it’s because they feel like you could know insane people like this. The film’s characters react with emotion, and there is some drama that gives it a backbone  that set a foundation of reality.

This film may not be what many hope it is, and I think that’s a virtue.

Buffalo 66

Writer-director Vincent Gallo stars as Billy Brown, who — fresh from a five-year stint in stir — heads home to Buffalo, N.Y., to visit his kin. Eager to impress his insouciant parents (Ben Gazzara and Anjelica Huston), Billy kidnaps buxom Layla (Christina Ricci) and makes her pose as his wife. As the day wears on, Layla falls for Billy, even as he lays plans to knock off the place-kicker whose botched field goal sent him to the slammer.

Rating: 8 out of 10

This is one of my favorites. I’m not a huge fan of Vincent Gallo. Based on what I’ve read about him, he’s kind of full of himself and is very difficult to work with. I believe Ricci said she’d never work with him again; I think he was really hard on her. “The Brown Bunny” was not good at all, as we discussed briefly in one of our podcasts.

At any rate, “Buffalo 66” is a really good film. We can’t help but sympathize with Gallo’s character, while laughing and hating him at the same time. He had a hard upbringing and has made a few mistakes. At the surface, he’s offensive, aggressive and wants to impress his parents for some sort of approval he knows he’ll never get. Deep down, though, he’s broken and just wants to be loved. He’s misunderstood and alone.

I don’t really care why Ricci’s character is attracted to Billy but she is and puts up with his nonsense. Isn’t that what happens to most of us? Meet someone you like a lot or love and put up with their weaknesses and bullshit? Maybe not as fast as her but I think so. The scene where they are just laying with each other is envious. Yeah, sure most of us want sex or just be in a relationship but there many times where you just want to lay with someone and feel comforted; that scene and one or two others captured it fully. Though this came out in 1998, I loved how vintage this film made Buffalo look.

Okay, so maybe my rating is a bit subjective but I don’t really care. To me, this is the perfect film to watch with someone. I don’t want to call this a date movie but a good one to watch with someone very close. A film to watch with someone whose worthy of “spanning time” with.

The Odd Couple

Tossed out of the house by his wife and close to packing it in, Felix Unger (Jack Lemmon) decides the best thing to do is move in with his best pal: barely housebroken, deliberately devolved caveman Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau). Within a few days, slovenly sportswriter Oscar and compulsive neatnik Felix are driving one another bonkers. The question is, can these two men live together without killing each other?

Rating: 9 out of 10

I love films that explore  polar opposite characters. Often they are engaging, insightful and revelant. Other times, for lack of all seriousness, they can be very funny. That is the case with Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple,” directed by Gene Saks based on Simon’s play, released in theaters in 1968. Simon creates a vivid, funny and nostalgic comedic universe. The two actors are the funny bone of this timeless screwball comedy. Jack Lemmon plays Felix Ungar, an obsessive-compulsive neat freak who tries desperately to kill himself as a result of the impending end of his marriage.
Suffice it to say that he doesn’t successfully committ suicide, but ends up hurting his back in the process. Here in lies the root of the comedy. Felix is a typical overbearing hypochondriac. When his friend Oscar Madison, played with perfection by Walter Matthau, asks him to stay with him, the hilarity ensues. Oscar, a sports writer, is a lazy, slovenly, messy, cigar smoker. Put these two together and we get Neil Simon at his comedic best. Felix and Oscar clash. Big time.
What ensues is amazing to watch. Perfect pitch timing from both Matthau and Lemmon. Felix overly polishes and cleans and Oscar relishes being the slob. Oscar as well is put off by Felix’s constant depression and health troubles. For example-when Felix tries to unclog his ears he makes a loud, deep and startling noise that sends Oscar through the roof. This is team comedy at it’s best and the rest of the ensemble that consists of divorced, slovenly gamblers are great to watch as they interact with Matthau and Lemmon. Neal Hefti provides a great score which won an oscar. 


Recasting the 1981 comedy classic starring Dudley Moore, this romantic chuckler chronicles the dilemma faced by philanderer Arthur Bach (Russell Brand) — whether to give up a respectable life and an inheritance of millions for the sake of romance. Jennifer Garner co-stars as Susan Johnson, the gorgeous socialite that Arthur’s family has chosen for him. Greta Gerwig plays Naomi, the girl who steals Arthur’s heart in the meantime.

Rating: 7 out of 10

I can’t imagine a world where if I was a poor woman scraping money together to pay for a one bedroom apartment in Queens where I lived with my sick father, and a billionaire offered me a million dollars as a “sorry I lied to you,” and I wouldn’t take it. I know we’re all supposed to pretend we are above money and that integrity is more important, but come on.

This wasn’t the only false part of the Russell Brand reboot of “Arthur,” but I have to admit, I didn’t hate it like I thought I was going to. It is too sad to really be a comedy and too silly to really be a drama, but I found Brand and his nanny, played by Helen Mirren, to be a great team and enjoyed his antics and seeing some beautiful New York scenery.

I saw the original Dudley Moore version but I was a kid and don’t really remember it — actually maybe I only saw part two. Either way, I did think a few times that Brand was trying to imitate Moore, but then I found out that they are from the same area of England. So maybe they just sound the same when they are pretending to be drunk.

Cedar Rapids

Terrified of leaving his tiny town for the first time, sheltered insurance salesman Tim (Ed Helms) nervously sets out for the bright lights of bustling Cedar Rapids, where he attends a chaotic insurance convention and learns how to survive in the real world. Miguel Arteta directs this delightful fish-out-of-water comedy that also features Sigourney Weaver, Rob Corddry, John C. Reilly and Anne Heche.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Ed Helms should never stop singing. I love all his nerdy songs. And in “Cedar Rapids” he belted out the perfect Christmas tune about insurance.

There were other really funny moments in this movie about a sheltered insurance salesman who goes to a conference in the big city – Cedar Rapids. He makes new friends, including the bad boy of insurance, John C. Reilly, and a hooker.

Even though I did really like this movie, I laughed a lot, cared about the characters, and was interested the whole way through, I kind of expected more. It got such good reviews and won film fest awards. So I thought I was in for more than a solid comedy.