Putting together my Comedy Movie Preview at the beginning of the year I predicted that by the time December rolled around I'd have a difficult time finding 10 films worthy of making my Top 10 Comedy Movies of 2013 list. I was sort of right as I did come up with 10 comedies that worked, but it's definitely a good thing this isn't a Top 11 list or I would have been out of luck.
As far as ranking this year's best comedies, the top four movies - This Is The End, Warm Bodies, The World's End, and American Hustle - each could have nabbed the #1 spot, and in fact I moved them around a bit before ultimately settling on this order. Five through 10 were much easier to rank.
Buddies Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg co-wrote and co-directed This Is The End, an apocalyptic comedy featuring their Hollywood friends playing themselves on the night the world ends. Absolutely nothing and no one is off-limits in this R-rated comedy featuring Rogen and Goldberg's famous friends including James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and Jay Baruchel. The jokes are wicked, flowing fast and furiously, and there's even a surprise twist at the end of This Is The End. A must-see, especially for those into making fun of spoiled actors.
As a huge fan of Isaac Marion's book, I was worried about how faithful writer/director Jonathan Levine would be to the source material. Fortunately, Levine's film perfectly captures the tone and twisted humor of Marion's Warm Bodies, a story which made a member of the walking dead into a sweet and sexy love interest. With Nicholas Hoult as 'R' - a zombie who ultimately leads a revolution - and Teresa Palmer as Julie - the girl who falls in love with him - this unique take on Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet is one of the top zom-rom-coms of all time.
The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy comes to an end with a pub crawl for the ages. A 40-year-old man who doesn't want to grow up leads his former high school buddies on a quest to complete the pub crawl they started but never completed 20 years prior (12 pubs, 1 pint each = The Golden Mile). Revisiting their old stomping grounds, the men laugh, fight, and ultimately end up facing killer robots. Who would have thought that the hilarity that began with the zombie apocalypse in Shaun of the Dead, continued with an homage to Hollywood's action movies in Hot Fuzz, would end in an epic battle to save humanity from body-snatching robots?
David O. Russell's American Hustle has a definite Scorsese vibe to it and could easily fit in as part of a Goodfellas and Casino box set. American Hustle combines Russell's Silver Linings Playbook stars with his The Fighter cast (minus Mark Wahlberg) and throws in Jeremy Renner for good measure, creating a superb blend of talent who each embrace the material - and the horrible '70s hairstyles and clothing.
Jason Sudeikis is forced to recruit a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a homeless teenager (Emma Roberts) and his geeky teenage neighbor (Will Poulter) in order to create a cover for transporting drugs from Mexico in We're the Millers. Will you want to go out and buy an RV after seeing this R-rated comedy? No, but it's a fun road trip while it lasts.
6. 'About Time'
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty's a real passion project for Ben Stiller who directed, produced and stars in this sweet and life-affirming fantasy tale based on the James Thurber short story. Stiller stars as Walter, a man who loves his job and has a supportive mom and sister, but who is allowing life to pass him by. Kristen Wiig co-stars as a co-worker he has a crush on, while Sean Penn puts in a cameo as a world-famous photographer who forces Walter Mitty to stop getting lost in his daydreams and actually get involved in his own life.
Walter Mitty also features some of the most spectacular scenery of any 2013 release.
The Oscar-winning screenwriting team of Jim Rash and Nat Faxon (The Descendants) make their feature film directorial debuts with The Way Way Back, a touching and often hilarious coming of age story. Sam Rockwell delivers a stand-out supporting performance while Toni Collette and Steve Carell provide dramatic support. Also pulling out all the stops is Allison Janney as a boozy next door neighbor who has absolutely no filter.
9. 'Don Jon'
10. 'The Croods'