The era of the rom-com is over. For a long time, those dominated cinemas but as tastes changed, they died a quick death. Now, comedies struggle to find the same level of success those did (at least on a commercial level) and it’s rare we get one which is truly original.
However, there are those which do stand out as being something special and that’s what we’re taking a look at today. These comedies managed to do what often appears to be impossible nowadays; they delivered story and laughs which actually felt 100% original.
Even if they borrowed from other genres, they had a concept which was new and that alone is impressive. So, to take a look at the full list, simply click through the gallery below.
8. Brigsby Bear
Brigsby Bear revolves around the fan of a children’s TV show called Brigsby Bear’s Adventures. However, when it reaches an abrupt end, his life is changed forever as he sets out to finish the story himself, all while facing a new world that he knows nothing about.
As comedies go, this one definitely delivered in terms of both laughs and originality. We gave it the full five stars in our review from Sundance.
Delving into the impact of pop culture, this tale is in equal parts odd and endearing but there’s no denying that the movie has a lot to say and that’s not something a lot of them in this genre can say these days. Like others on this list, a cult following is a near certainty.
7. The Interview
The Interview deserves points for being perhaps the most controversial movie of all-time and an entire feature could no doubt be devoted to its fallout and the shocking Sony Hack.
However, putting all that aside, it’s important to note that a comedy touching on such a relevant and topical subject matter – while not unheard of – was rare, while the leads setting out to assassinate a real-life political figure was definitely something very new.
This isn’t necessarily a classic but it did bring a lot of original ideas to the table. It’s a shame then that it never got a proper release and if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth checking out both for James Franco’s over the top facial expressions and that batsh*t crazy ending.
6. Shaun Of The Dead
The first instalment of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy this movie found the perfect balance between horror and comedy, while also managing to show off an awful lot of heart in the process (and we’re not just talking about the ones inside the zombies getting torn apart).
There were those who knew of Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost before Shaun of the Dead was released thanks to Spaced, but for those that didn’t, they were introduced to three comedy Kings in this hilarious British flick unlike any other. Well, for a while at least…
If Hot Fuzz opened the door for the worlds of comedy and zombies to be combined, Zombieland kicked it down While 28 Days Later had freshened up the undead by similarly putting them in a very different setting, this movie arrived around a time when the many “…of the Dead” movies had pretty much finished zombies off for good in the states.
Hilarious from start to finish and featuring arguably the best Bill Murray cameo of all-time, it’s a shame we haven’t seen more from Zombieland in the years which followed, especially as it put the spotlight on the then lesser-known Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone.
4. Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy
Anchorman was a delightfully weird movie which helped put a lot of actors on the map, including Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and Steve Carell. Sure, they’d done other – and arguably better – things up to this point but their massively quotable characters turned them into comedy icons frequently referenced by film fans everywhere and instantly recognisable.
A weird movie overall, Anchorman also happens to be extremely funny and the madcap and often nonsensical situations Ron and company found themselves in struck a chord with moviegoers. That’s a feat not many comedies are capable of, especially when this unique.
Seth MacFarlane’s directorial debut could have gone disastrously wrong despite his track record with American Dad and Family Guy (thank goodness he released Ted before A Million Ways to Die in the West). However, by taking the cheeky adult humour in those animated series’ and injecting an R-Rated dose of it into the foul-mouthed Ted, he struck gold.
The concept is a simple but clever one, and it’s to the writer and director’s credit that he found a way to make it work. With top-notch special effects, a great human cast, and a lot of big laughs thanks mostly to Ted, this was a real gem. The sequel, however, was not.
2. Hot Fuzz
The second instalment of the Cornetto Trilogy (the third was good but ultimately disappointing), Hot Fuzz did the impossible and delivered an exciting whodunnit revolving around village bobbies full of intense action scenes, great performances, and lots of laughs.
There have been other comedies revolving around the police but none which managed to connect with a British audience the way this one did. Even more impressive is the fact that while this may have been a very British film, it managed to find an even larger audience (even if they were probably baffled by half of what was happening in this quirky hamlet).
Borat was a mixture of scripted story and real interactions with the American public, and what they said was ultimately more offensive than anything that came from the mouth of the comical lead. This was a genius movie which pushed the boundaries in a lot of ways.
Not many movies in this genre are capable of that which was evident from how his bigoted opinions were so cleverly used to draw out the offensive beliefs of the film’s targets. It’s a shame both Sasha Baron Cohen and Borat are now so recognisable because a sequel would have been epic and the likes of Borat and The Dictator really didn’t even come close to this.