The Truman Show is the sort of movie that comes along very rarely; the one that leaves you blown away as you leave the theatre. It’s the story of Truman Burbank, an ordinary guy, living an ordinary life, in a fairly boring job. But what Truman doesn’t realize is that he’s the unwitting star of a world famous TV show and everyone he’s ever met and everything he’s ever done is part of script. Although not played as an straight-up comedy, with Jim Carrey starring, there’s plenty of laughs, but this marked a different Carrey than had come before, proving that he can do drama just as well as slapstick. He should have won an Oscar for this performance, as it’s his very best work.
Director: Peter Weir
Set in 1960’s London, we meet two ‘resting’ actors living in a squalid Camden Flat – and living off a diet of booze and pills – who decide to take a trip to a country house (belonging to Withnail’s uncle) to ‘rejuvenate’ and get away from the mad drug dealers, psychotic Irishmen and their household chores. Faced with bad weather, altercations with the locals, and the unexpected arrival (and advances) of Uncle Monty, the pair’s wits and friendship are tested. A british masterpiece of comedy and drama, with career best performance’s from Paul McGann and Richard E. Grant.
Director: Bruce Robinson
Midnight Run is a mixture of comedy, action with a crime caper thrown in for good measure and the result is one of the smartest, funniest, and exciting buddy pictures ever made. Bounty hunter Jack Walsh (De Niro) is sent to find and return bail jumper and former Mafia accountant, Jonathan “The Duke” Mardukas. The FBI and the Mafia also want the Duke, which makes Jack’s job of getting him from New York to LA all the harder. One of the best movies from the 80’s.
Director: Martin Brest
I’ve already said how great Tom Hanks comedic skills were during the 80’s and his role as Walter Fielding is one of his funniest and most physical. The plot tells the story of two newly weds who find a great looking house for a knocked down price, after the purchase they find out it needs some fixing up. There are so many great scenes in this movie, but the staircase collapsing or Hanks getting dumped in cement will always get a laugh.
Director: Richard Benjamin
Jim Carrey went back to basics with Bruce Almighty and showed that he was still the best comedy actor around. Carrey plays Bruce Nolan, a television reporter in Buffalo, N.Y., who’s discontented with almost everything in life despite his popularity and the love of his girlfriend Grace. At the end of the worst day of his life, Bruce blames God for his bad luck and so God responds. God appears in human form and, bestowing upon Bruce divine powers, challenges Bruce to take on the big job to see if he can do it any better. This was Jim at his funniest and we hope that one day he recaptures this form.
Director: Tom Shadyac
34. Wedding Crashers (2005)
Vince Vaughn’s best movie since his debut in Swingers see’s the unassuming story of John (Wilson) and his buddy Jeremy (Vaughn) who are committed womanizers who know how to use a woman’s hopes and dreams for their own carnal gain. And their modus operandi? Crashing weddings. Normally, they meet guests who want to toast the romantic day with a random hook-up. But when John meets Claire, he discovers what true love — and heartache — feels like. This has so many big laughs and with a scenery chewing turn from Chris Walken as Clair’s father, it’s a must watch.
Director: David Dobkin
Another Vince Vaughn movie, with the added bonus of Will Ferrell as Frank The Tank. Beanie (Vaughn) tries to help his friend Mitch (Luke Wilson) overcome some heartbreak (Mitch comes home to find his sex-mad girlfriend in the middle of a gangbang) by opening up their own frat house. Any movie with as many quotable lines as Old School must have done something right.
Director: Todd Phillips
Another 80’s classic with a homeless Eddie Murphy swapping places with a snobby, well-off Dan Aykroyd as part of a bet (or social experiment) between the wealthy owners of a brokerage house. Furnished with standout performances from stars Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy, Trading Places unquestionably lives up to its status as one of the most impressive comedies to emerge out of the 1980s
Director: John Landis
Marking Robert Downey Jr.’s return from the wilderness comes this wickedly scripted action/comedy from Shane Black. Borrowing inspiration from old pulp detective novels, Black crafts an intriguing murder mystery with Downey Jr. playing a thief who has to masquerade as an actor after escaping from the police. Val Kilmer nails his role as the private detective, Gay Perry, who has to train him for a part in a movie. Kilmer provides the perfect foil for the RDJ’s character, providing some of the funniest moments and best lines of dialogue.
Director: Shane Black
Despite mixed reviews from critics upon release, this low budget comedy has gained cult status through its ever-growing fanbase. The story follows four bored, occasionally high and always ineffective Vermont state troopers who must prove their worth to the state governor or lose their jobs. After stumbling on a drug ring, they plan to make a bust, but a rival police force is out to steal the glory.
Director: Jay Chandrasekhar