Sometimes you’re in the mood for a “normal” comedy, but sometimes you just need something straight-up silly. As in, absurd. Goofy. Ridiculous.
If silliness is what you seek, I have 5 movies that fit the bill delightfully.
The Favourite – If you watched the Oscars, then you saw Olivia Colman win Best Actress for her role as the very odd Queen Anne in this new-to-the-Box black comedy based on true events. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz — who were both nominated for their supporting roles — play devilish cousins vying for the queen’s attention and affection. They escalate their rivalry to hilarious slapstick extremes that can most definitely be described as “silly.” It’s not often (or ever) that you get a comedy nominated for ten Oscars that can actually teach you a bit of history, too!
Napoleon Dynamite – There’s a reason why this 2004 indie so quickly developed a cult following, and why you still see “Vote for Pedro” t-shirts around every once in a while. It’s about a socially awkward high schooler in Idaho, Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder), who’s just trying to deal with his crazy family while also fitting in at school. He befriends two fellow outcasts — the transfer student Pedro (Efren Ramirez) and the shy Deb (Tina Majorino) — and helps Pedro run for class president as a way to become more popular. But honestly, any plot summary is not going to do justice to this wonderfully weird movie. Give it a chance … and get ready to dance! (You’ll see what I mean.)
Anchorman – I just realized that 2004 was a big year for silly comedies, since both Napoleon Dynamite and Anchorman came out that year. Anchorman is my personal favorite movie on this list, and I still quote it to this day. You can’t beat the cast of this goofy take on “action news” that’s set in the groovy ‘70s: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Christina Applegate and David Koechner, among a ton of A-list cameos. “You stay classy, San Diego!”
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery – No one had any idea what to expect from this Bond spoof when it came out in 1997. It stars Mike Myers as both the title character—a cryogenically-preserved-and-revived spy from the ‘60s — and the main villain (Dr. Evil). Powers finds a reluctant ally in agent Vanessa Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley), who helps him get up to speed on ‘90s norms while concocting a plan to defeat Dr. Evil. It’s shagadelic, baby! So much so that it spawned a successful trilogy.
Super Troopers – Unlike all of the other films on this list, Super Troopers was not a hit with critics. But those who love it, LOVE IT. And they love it enough to convince Hollywood that a sequel was worth the money … 17 years after the original came out! Here’s a hint about the brand of silliness you can expect: it’s about five prankster Vermont State Troopers near the Canadian border who are so threatened by budget cuts and local cops, they see solving a recent murder as THE way to save their jobs and justify their existence. Pranksters solving a murder? What could go wrong?
When you think of “silly movie,” what comes to mind?