Tag: Comedy

2008, Movies

Synecdoche, New York (2008, Charlie Kaufman)

I’ve finally gotten around to watching the film that temporarily killed Charlie Kaufman’s career as a director. If you don’t know Charlie kaufman was one of the most acclaimed American screenwriters of his era, and then he made this film. Though it is now regarded by some of one of the best movies of that …

2018, Movies

A Simple Favor (2018, Paul Feig)

This is a noirish murdery mystery/thriller with a heavy dose of comedy that feels relatively unique for these types of films. I was mostly with it until the very end and I do wonder how much of the fault for the ridiculous climax is on the novel versus on the screenplay. SPOILERS

2019, Movies

The Dead Don’t Die (2019,Jim Jarmusch)

This is a deliberately-paced, usually mildly amusing but occasionally laugh-out-loud funny zombie movie tribute film. To call it something other than a tribute film feels weird to me, because it feels like Jarmusch is more concerned with layering references – and possibly making some vague statement about consumption and climate change – than he is …

2021, Movies

Red Notice (2021, Rawson Marshall Thurber)

This is a fairly entertaining movie that would be actually pretty fun if it wasn’t so stupid. It’s a frustrating experience to watch a movie where a bunch of the jokes land really well but the script is bad and the plot is ridiculous. The filmmakers don’t appear to trust their audience and the film …

1988, Movies

Mac and Me (1988, Stewart Raffill)

This movie is infamous for being a transparent E.T. rip off that, for some reason, came out six years after its inspiration. But it’s a lot more than that. Because, I’d like to think that, even if this wasn’t so clearly a rip-off of one of the most famous movies of the 1980s, we’d still …

2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, TV

Parks and Recreation (2009)

This is a good-hearted but often hysterical situation comedy that it took me entirely too long to watch. I’m not sure exactly why but I guess I was at least slightly aware that it was a little bit wholesome and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t into wholesome in, like, 2011. Anyway…

2021, Movies

Free Guy (2021, Shawn Levy)

This is an intermittently amusing and clever film about an NPC that becomes sentient. I have to say, I had no idea what it was about from the title, though the trailer clarified that for me. On the whole, given the cast and the conceit, it’s a film that should work more often than it …

2012, Movies

Magic Mike (2012, Steven Soderbergh)

This is an entertaining and engaging comedy drama about male strippers during the financial crisis. It’s sort of an oblique comment on the consequences of the financial crisis and it’s fascinating that Channing Tatum wanting to star in a movie about his life as a stripper before he got famous turned into this film.

2019, Movies

Booksmart (2019, Olivia Wilde)

The “high school graduation party” movie has been done more than a few times. So has the “trying to find the big high school party” movie. And they’ve been combined, as they are in this film. But this movie has a new twist to the format: it’s girls, instead of guys, and they’re smart, and …

2006, Movies

Private Fears in Public Places aka Coeurs (2006, Alain Renais)

This is an incredibly stagey French adaptation of a British play. I’m not familiar with the playwright but I can’t imagine getting excited about seeing one of his plays, if this is faithful.

1989, Movies

Steel Magnolias (1989, directed by Herbert Ross)

This is one of those “women’s movies” that I avoided like the plague when I was younger. (Not entirely true – when I was in my teens I would catch 10 minutes of one on TV and rate it without watching it, inevitably giving it a ridiculously low rating.) One of the many things I …

1989, Movies

Heathers (1989, Michael Lehmann)

At some point when I was younger, I told myself I had watched Heathers though I either confused it with some other ’80s movie featuring Christian Slater and/or Wynona Ryder or I saw five minutes of it and decided that counted. Anyway, I had definitely not seen Heathers.

2000, Movies

American Women aka The Closer You Get (2000, Aileen Ritchie)

This is a mostly endearing little comedy about how, with some modifications, happiness is often looking you right in the face when you don’t even know it. the message of being happy with what you’ve got is a good one, though I’m not sure I want to live in the town depicted in the film.

2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, TV

BoJack Horseman (2014)

There’s something about animation that gives TV shows (and some movies) a freedom of tone which is not accessible to live action movies and TV. Something about animated characters lets us humans be more accepting of tonal shifts and sight gags. At least I think so. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered another show more …

2019, Movies

The Laundromat (2019, Steven Soderbergh)

This is a bizarre, episodic and extremely stagey attempt to make the Panama Papers scandal more accessible and therefore of greater concern to the average American. It is a giant mess and only sporadic laughs and an excellent cast keep – and the film’s noble intentions – keep me from panning it. SPOILERS

2017, Movies

Logan Lucky (2017, Steven Soderbergh)

This is a very enjoyable heist comedy full of quirky performances and fun cameos. It’s a pretty silly film – some have called it a “hill billy” or “red neck” Ocean’s Eleven and the film itself calls it “Ocean’s 7-11” – but it’s pretty funny and manages to also be enjoyable as a heist movie, …