Sila is a clinical psychologist who is interested in watching movies and TV series, and writing about them.
Not So Typical Comedies
Typical comedy movies are supposed to make us laugh. However, there are some not-so-typical comedies which will make you question the whole thing. Personally and recently, I started to enjoy those unusual comedies more than those cliché ones. If you're like me, you'll probably like the movies listed below in no particular order.
1. Perfetti Sconosciuti (Perfect Strangers)
"Each of us has three lives: a public, a private and a secret"
A group of friends gathers together for a dinner after a long time. They decide to play a game to stir things up. They immediately have to share all text messages and voicemails they receive with each other. Moreover, they also have to respond to incoming calls via speakers. Things take a different turn after secrets get uncovered.
Perfetti Sconosciuti is actually a dramedy. Although it's fun to watch, it's thought-provoking. It makes you think these questions: "How well do you really know your friends or your significant other?", "What if everyone you thought you knew is actually a stranger?" and "Do mobile phones bring us closer together or drive us further apart?" It's likely that you will think about this movie for a few days after watching it. I'm not exaggerating that.
It mostly takes place in a dining room. Usually, one would think that it'd be boring and feel claustrophobic because of its setting and atmosphere. On the contrary, it's quite engrossing thanks to excellent lighting and directing. The moments of suspense just draw you in. The tension builds as hidden juicy secrets emerge. It's beautifully and cleverly written. The actors are in complete sync. Thus, the acting is tremendous.
Perfect Strangers has 13 awards and 13 nominations. It won the best film award at 2016 David di Donatello Awards. Also, it won the Best Screenplay in the category of International Film Competition at 2016 Cairo International Film Festival.
It has four remakes listed below. Furthermore, it's rumored to be remade in American and Korean. If you can't get enough of the original movie or are interested in remakes, you should watch them. You'll have to wait for the French one since it's going to premiere in October 2018.
- Greek - Τέλειοι ξένοι (2016)
- Spanish - Perfectos desconocidos (2017)
- Turkish - Cebimdeki Yabancı (The Stranger in my Pocket) (2018)
- French - Le Jeu (2018)
2. Game Night
"This is not a game."
A group of friends, who regularly meet for game nights, meet for a mystery/crime game. They suddenly find themselves in an actual mystery scene after one of their friends gets kidnapped by a few criminals who were supposed to be a part of the game. All they have to do is to solve the game in order to get their friend back.
In the beginning, Game Night feels like one of those typical comedy movies. As minutes pass, it turns into something else. It feels more than just a comedy after mystery arises. It's definitely twisted and unexpected. I wouldn't call this movie black comedy, even though it has sort of that potential. Because it's too entertaining to be called that. Also, it's barely dramatic. It has action-packed scenes, funny dialogues and witty screenplay which are in accord with each other.
Most of the characters are likable, even though some of them might be arrogant, competitive and creepy. The actors deserve appreciation for their solid performances. So does Rachel McAdams' genuine smile.
"A new comedy of no manners."
Two pairs of parents try to resolve the conflict between their sons in a civilized manner. The more they try to work things out, the more immature they act.
Carnage, adapted from Yasmina Reza's Tony winner play "God of Carnage", is a claustrophobic black comedy shot in real-time. It's both amusing and unsettling to watch two pairs of parents turn into their children in terms of behavior as time progresses. Personally, I find the movie Freudian, since the characters display id, ego and superego which are three parts of Freud's personality theory. It just doesn't revolve around psychoanalysis and theories of personality, but it also revolves around individual differences and social psychology.
The acting is superb. The actors stay in character all the time and they really feel their characters. Howbeit, it doesn't feel natural. Everything is well orchestrated and staged. It's more like a theatre rather than a film.
Carnage has 7 awards and 20 nominations. Kate Winslet and Jodie Foster were nominated for Golden Globes for their roles in the movie. Their performances are outstanding.
4. The Square
"The Square is a sanctuary of trust and caring."
A prestigious art museum's chief curator, who is working on setting up a new exhibit called the Square, finds himself squared in both his personal and professional life.
The Square is a social satire and black comedy which aims to make the audience uncomfortable by daring them to question their humanity and morality. It's provocative. It's surrounded by surrealism and symbolism which makes the movie both abstract and absurd.
The cinematography is excellent and on point since it makes you feel like you're looking at a square. It has sharp dialogues and a strange sense of humor. So, if you aren't keen on either Scandinavian movies or black comedies, there is a possibility that it might feel off and weird for you. In other words, this movie might not just be for everyone. Also, it might feel kind of boring and exhausting since its running time is 151 minutes.
The Square has 31 awards and 38 nominations. Most of you might be familiar with it since it was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at 2018 Oscars and Golden Globes. Although The Square could win neither an Oscar nor a Golden Globe, it won Palme d'Or at 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Moreover, it won David di Donatello and European Film Awards for Best European Film.
5. En Man Som Heter Ove ( A Man Called Ove)
"Misery hates company."
A 59-year-old grumpy and angry man, Ove, lives alone at his house after his wife passes away. He spends his days visiting his wife's grave and planning his suicide. He likes to take care of the neighbourhood, even though he doesn't like to communicate with his neighbours. After a new family moves into the neighbourhood, Ove has no choice but to interact with them willy-nilly.
En Man Som Heter Ove, based on the same-titled bestselling book of the Swedish author Fredrik Backman, is a black comedy that will give you every feel. Sometimes you'll find it dramatic. Sometimes you'll find it tragic. Yet, sometimes you'll find it comedic.
Although the main character, Ove, is sometimes unsympathetic, he is often relatable. It's easy to make sense of his complex behaviors. There are flashbacks where we see younger Ove. Filip Berg plays young Ove, while Rolf Lassgård plays old Ove. Both of them are great at portraying the character and delivering his emotions.
A Man Called Ove has 14 awards and 23 nominations. It was nominated for 2017 Oscars' in the following categories: Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling. It's the winner of Best European Comedy at 2016 European Film Awards.
|FILM TITLE||IMDB RATINGS||GENRE||LANGUAGE/COUNTRY||DIRECTOR(S)|
Action, Comedy, Crime, Mystery
John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
English/France, Germany, Poland, Spain, USA
Swedish, Danish, English / Sweden, Germany, France, Denmark
A Man Called Ove
Comedy, Drama, Romance
Swedish, Persian / Sweden
© 2018 Sila Ozgoren
Sila Ozgoren (author) on December 22, 2019:
I haven't seen About Schmidt yet. I should check it out.
Pat Mills from East Chicago, Indiana on December 22, 2019:
The only one of these I've seen is Game Night, and I liked it. A film like A Man Called Ove that I really like is About Schmidt. Jack Nicholson stars as a recent retiree and widow who has a hard time adjusting to the changes. It's one of Alexander Payne's best thought-provoking comedies.