Top Five Movies That Made Me Laugh

The other day, I wrote about the top five movies that made me cry.

Since everyone could use a little levity right now, I thought I’d reverse that today and look at the top five movies that made me laugh.

1. My Cousin Vinny (1992)

Perhaps it was the context in which I saw this movie, but I NEARLY DIED LAUGHING.

We saw this film shortly after the birth of our second son. He was born in extraordinary circumstances while we were in Switzerland (we lived in Germany at the time).

My mother had just died, and one week later, the apartment had emptied of guests and visitors who had come for her funeral. It was just Chico, our Bug, my dad and me, and this tiny little newborn person.

We needed a good laugh. So one night, after putting our firstborn down to bed, my dad said, “Let’s watch My Cousin Vinny.”

Chico and I had never heard of this film, and my father was aghast. It turns out, it was the last film he and my mother watched together before she died, and they had both laughed so hard they had tears running down their cheeks.

So we watched it. And we laughed, and laughed, and laughed. I was dying. Marissa Tomei earned that Oscar in my books. (Her outfits! They killed me!) She was just delightful.

It’s a miracle our guffawing didn’t wake the sleeping toddler, much less the infant sleeping on my chest!

2. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

Jamie Lee Curtis. John Cleese. Kevin Kline. Michael Palin.

If those names don’t mean anything to you, you have not seen comedy.

This movie has me gasping with laughter every single time I see it. It is still just as funny now as when I first saw it.

When Kevin Kline’s character realizes the safe they’ve robbed is empty, leans back on his heels raises his hands and says, “DisaPPOINTED” that way? Tears are running down my face.

3. The Full Monty (1997)

When six Sheffield former steel workers are desperate to make ends meet, they turn to striptease dancing to earn some money.

But they’re not just stripping down to thongs. Oh, no. They’re going for the “full monty.”

They’re not pretty, they’re not built like Magic Mike, but man are they funny.

What’s wonderful about this film is that it stays consistently hilarious, all the while dealing with some heavy themes like depression, suicide and broken families.

(PSA for people whose native language isn’t English or who struggle with unfamiliar accents: you might need to put the closed captioned subtitles on for this one.)

4. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Great music. Great actors (John Tuturo anyone??). Eminently quotable.

This was the first movie I saw with George Clooney in a comic role, and I loved him.

This one could also use the closed captioning subtitles. It’s so quick that a lot of the hilarious lines can be lost in the pace. The Coen brothers are geniuses, and this is probably my favorite of their comedies.

5. Death At A Funeral (2007)

Frank Oz’s ridiculous slapstick comedy doesn’t pull the punches right from the get-go.

In the opening scene, the undertakers arrive at the family home with the coffin. They place it in the living room and open the lid. The mourning son (played by Matthew Macfadyen) steps forward and looks down at the corpse in the coffin. There’s a pause. Then, with a totally straight face, he says, “That’s not my father.”

It’s a strong start.

Things only get more ridiculous from there. This movie has it all: blackmail, psychedelic drugs, poop jokes, nudity, grumpy old people, Peter Dinklage. And through it all, Matthew Macfadyen is so wonderfully bumbling, inept and hilarious.

You can see why I could never take him seriously as Mr. Darcy.

Honorable Mentions

We recently watched Knives Out, and that had both Chico and me laughing. Daniel Craig is surprisingly hilarious, despite his terrible excuse for a southern accent. And Jamie Lee Curtis. I love her.

Airplane! gets me laughing every time, even though I know it is SO STUPID. I just can’t help myself. And the black knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail? You can’t tell me it doesn’t make you giggle.

Finally, any comedy movie list would be incomplete without at least mention of a Robin Williams film. The Birdcage never fails to slay me with its standout performances by Williams, the irrepressible Nathan Lane, Hank Azaria and Gene Hackman. I recently rewatched it on a flight and didn’t regret a moment of it.

Your Turn

What are the movies that set you giggling uncontrollably? Please share!

Jane

The Brain In Jane works mainly in the rain. It's always raining somewhere. Find me on Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

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