These are my personal picks for the funniest movies of 2011. Please feel free to disagree.
Steve Carell has free time on his hands now that he's left Dunder Miflin boss Michael Scott and The Office behind for good. And if Crazy, Stupid, Love is any indication, Carell seems to be finding prime projects to fill up his schedule.
Ryan Gosling plays his good-looking wingman with sculpted abs and killer pick-up lines for any occasion. Julianne Moore co-stars as Carell's cheating ex-wife, and Emma Stone's the one woman who could make Gosling forsake all others. On paper, the four actors don't exactly read like interconnecting pieces of a puzzle, but together they have some of the best on screen chemistry of the year. And, as a bonus, Crazy, Stupid, Love is the perfect date night film as it plays equally well to both sexes.
Alan Tudyk (a scene-stealer who was the best thing about Transformers: Dark of the Moon) and Tyler Labine (an actor with incredible comic timing) team up to take on out-of-control preppy college students in the funniest horror/comedy of 2011. Tucker and Dale wowed audiences at SXSW and Sundance and is bound to become a cult classic. Never has watching snotty college kids get killed off in extremely gory deaths been this much fun.
Before Bridesmaids was released it was being touted as the female version of The Hangover. Wrong. They're both rated R, but that's where the similarities end. What Bridesmaids is is a prime example of why awards should be handed out to casts rather than individuals. Take any one player out of the pack, and Bridesmaids wouldn't work.
A female-driven comedy that doesn't alienate men and doesn't make all women look like idiots who can't do anything for themselves, Bridesmaids lets women be wild, raunchy, and have fun.
4. 'Win Win'
Had Win Win been released in November or December rather than March, it would surely find its way onto more Top 10 lists ... and don't call me Shirley. Win Win is smart, the acting is top-notch (it's Alex Shaffer's first film and he's terrific and not intimidated by his co-stars), and it's not pushing the truth to say it's one of the best films ever made about wrestling. Writer/director Tom McCarthy should have pushed Fox Searchlight for an end-of-the-year launch, but for those who were lucky enough to catch this one in theaters in March, the majority of the rest of the year's comedies must have come as a big letdown. Catch it on DVD - even if you despise wrestling.
I can't explain why Horrible Bosses works any better than I do in my review of the film: "Jennifer Aniston makes a white lab coat look sexier than anything out of a Victoria's Secret catalog, Colin Farrell's comb-over is a work of art, and Kevin Spacey channels one of the best characters in his lengthy filmography in Horrible Bosses, an R-rated comedy from director Seth Gordon. And while the bosses in the film are truly despicably horrible, the film itself is anything but."
A tough South London gang from the wrong side of the tracks comes up against an enemy they can't intimidate in the hilarious Attack the Block, a horror comedy featuring a cast of up-and-comers and Nick Frost (best known for partnering up with Simon Pegg in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). The monsters and effects look old-school - on purpose - and writer/director Joe Cornish doesn't skimp on the guts and gore. I can't wait to see what Cornish comes up with as his follow-up project.
Playing the title character, Paul Rudd's never been more charming than he is in Our Idiot Brother. And what I really found enjoyable about this R-rated comedy is that it's super sweet, has a message, and doesn't resort to potty humor to get a cheap laugh. The entire ensemble excels in this little-seen comedy that deserves a second chance at finding an audience on DVD.
Inspired by screenwriter Will Reiser's battle with cancer, 50/50 accomplishes the near impossible. Reiser and director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) do a fine job of taking a serious subject matter and making a film which is both extremely funny and incredibly moving. 50/50 is the best buddy comedy of 2011, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen bringing to life a smart and genuinely sweet R-rated film.
10. 'Killing Bono'
In real life, Irish wannabe rocker Neil McCormick didn't try to kill Bono. As with most films, liberties were taken with the truth in order to make the story more cinematic. However, as Ben Barnes said in our exclusive interview, the real McCormick is quite a character. "He was utterly infuriating and I wanted to make the character slightly ridiculous," explained Barnes. And making him both infuriating and slightly ridiculous is what he did. But Barnes also made him a guy that you like, despite all his flaws.
11. The Top Comedies at the Box Office in 2011The best performing live-action comedies at the box office for 2011 were:
1) The Hangover 2, 2) Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, 3) Bridesmaids, 4) The Smurfs, 5) Horrible Bosses, 6) Just Go With It, 7) Bad Teacher, 8) Crazy Stupid Love, 9) Zookeeper, and 10) Tower Heist