I’ll be posting my Top Ten Films of 2010 list on Monday, so for the next couple days I’m doing “nomination” lists by genre: Action and Documentary went up yesterday, today is Comedy followed by Thrillers tomorrow and and Drama Sunday. Then Monday I’ll lay my Top Ten on ya.
My Favorite Comedies of 2010
No, it’s not a cheap riff on Step Brothers II, with John C. Reilly trying to date Marisa Tomei while engaging in psychological warfare with her adult son Cyrus (Jonah Hill). This indie is so much more than that — thanks to its three leads, Cyrus is charming and sweet and yet also deeply, uncomfortably funny.
I like this sassy, risqué teen movie quite a bit — overall it may sometimes sacrifice plot and message for the sake of super-snarky wit, but boy is that wit ever hilarious. Especially when delivered to sarcastic perfection by Emma Stone.
A British satire about hapless would-be Islamic terrorists whose stupidity greatly outweighs their horrific agenda. Needless to say the humor is very dark and very edgy–as someone who loves extreme comedy, there were moments when even I went, “Whoa, I’m not sure how I feel about that or if I should be laughing at it.” The fact that Four Lions challenged my taste boundaries makes me like it even more.
Triplets of Bellville director Sylvain Chomet’s adaptation of an unproduced Jacques Tati screenplay about an aging magician and his young ward on the road in Scotland in the ’50s is a low-key delight. If you’re familiar with the late Tati’s classic M. Hulot films, you’ll recognize the graceful, gentle, dialog-free humor. Of all the films I’ve seen this year, animated or not, this is the one I keep finding myself thinking back to fondly, yearningly.
Watch director Casey Affleck’s “documentary” thinking Joaquin Phoenix’s attempt to leave acting and become a hirsute rapper is a portrait of an artist spiraling downward, and it plays as a tragic and unsettling. But once you know (as most of us kinda did all along) that it’s an elaborate hoax, satirizing “movie-star” delusion and self-absorption, then it becomes a total riot.
“Hurry up. It’s not recreational. It’s not meant to be a hobby.”
As you read in my theatrical and DVD reviews, this one didn’t floor me at first, but on a second viewing I got it. I can’t repeat most of the Prius jokes here, but I have a soft spot for “We found your car — it was voting for Ralph Nader.”
If you measure a film’s success by whether it achieves its creative goals, then Alexandre Aja’s Piranha is one of the year’s best. It masterfully does exactly what it sets out to do: chew up tons of spring breakers with silly, gory glee. And yup, it’s a full-blown comedy of horrors. Just ask what’s left of Jerry O’Connell.
“Scott, if your life had a face, I would punch it.”
“We are Sex Bob-Omb! And we’re here to watch Scott Pilgrim kick your teeth in! Onetwothreefour!!”
“Oh! That’s just a dinosaur toy down the street, that’s nothing, let me just take care of that… It’s just a dinosaur!”
Which (if any) of these will make the Final Top Ten of 2010? Find out Monday, and watch for Thriller and Drama lists coming up!