A batch of familiar faces returned to - hopefully - make audiences laugh in 2008. Seth Rogen's responsible for a couple of comedies, Will Ferrell was in his fair share, and even Jim Carrey was back in the land of laughter after a long departure into the world of dramatic roles. But which ones worked? Which actually tickled our funny bones? Here's my picks for the funniest movies of 2008.
had to bow out of Tropic Thunder
due to personal issues (let's not rehash Wilson's traumatic 2007), but it's not as though his exit left a gaping hole in the cast. This one's crammed with recognizable names... Even Tom Cruise
drops in for a cameo appearance in Tropic Thunder
© Universal Pictures
The Judd Apatow gang's back at it with this R-rated comedy starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and Russell Brand. While the film's all about the end of Segel and Bell's relationship (Bell plays Sarah Marshall), Brand totally steals the show.
© Columbia Pictures
Freaks and Geeks
fans will be happy to see Seth Rogen and James Franco back together again. After the huge success of Knocked Up
, Rogen's one of the hottest comedy actors around. And Pineapple Express
has done more for Franco's career than any other film he's been a part of, other than the Spider-Man
franchise. Franco stayed away from comedies after Freaks and Geeks
, instead opting for dramatic fare such as Tristan and Isolde
. Now Pineapple Express
has put Franco's comedy career back on track.
© Weinstein Company
Kevin Smith teams up with Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks
for Zack and Miri Make a Porno
, an R-rated comedy about a guy - Zack (Rogen) - and a girl - Miri (Banks) - who make...you guessed it...a porno. Rogen and Banks play roommates who can't figure out any other means of coming up with money for the rent and utilities other than shooting their own porn film. Parent groups and some theater owners didn't exactly embrace the title or the concept, but Smith's not aiming to please everyone. He knows his target audience will get the joke.
© Screen Gems
Nick and Norah are out on the town on separate adventures with friends in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
. Nick's just been dumped and is having trouble getting over it. Norah's a smart young woman with great taste in music and boyfriend who's just using her. Sparks fly when Nick and Norah wind up spending the night together in search of their favorite band.
© Universal Pictures
Two energy drink spokesmen get in trouble with the law and instead of serving time in jail, they're forced into volunteering in a youth mentor program. Paul Rudd
and Seann William Scott
play the guys who haven't a clue how to deal with the boys they're assigned in this R-rated comedy directed by The State
's David Wain.
© Columbia Pictures
When it comes to comedy teams, Will Ferrell and John C Reilly aren't in the same league as Martin and Lewis or Hope and Crosby yet, but they could be someday. The Talladega Nights
co-stars pair up again for another goofball comedy directed by Anchorman
and Talladega Nights
helmer Adam McKay.
A sidenote: McKay and Ferrell haven't just been busy on the big screen. The two started FunnyOrDie.com
and were recently joined by Judd Apatow in running the site which features funny shorts. Not literally. Someone might be wearing funny shorts in a video, however the site is all about short, humorous films and video clips.
© DreamWorks Animation
Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett-Smith, David Schwimmer and Chris Rock return to voice the four lead characters in this follow-up to the animated smash hit Madagascar
. Our animals heroes want to return to the Central Park Zoo but instead end up in Africa due to those crafty penguins. Sacha Baron Cohen is also back as the voice of King Julien (the lemur with an attitude). And for once, a sequel actually works better than the original.
© Focus Features
Steve Coogan plays a failed actor who teaches drama at a high school where he really only has two students who are serious about the subject. But that changes when unwilling students are forced into his class, followed shortly by the news that his program is shutting down. In order to keep the department afloat, he comes up with a sequel to Hamlet
. And I dare you to watch Hamlet 2
and not want to hum along to Rock Me Sexy Jesus
Sally Hawkins stars as a single teacher who's carefree and...wait for it...it's coming...happy go lucky. Directed by Mike Leigh, Happy Go Lucky
is full of life and laughter, and it's just plain fun to watch. Plus, Hawkins is adorably goofy in the lead role.