Arthur is an avid television and movie fan with horror being his favored genre. If you can name it, he has probably seen it. Twice.
There are hundreds of movies released each year and we can't watch them all. Many of these movies deserve to go unseen, but unfortunately, a few really good ones slip through the cracks and go unnoticed. As a self-proclaimed movie connoisseur and lover of comedy from Wes Anderson's dry dialogue to Jim Carey's stupid slapstick I know a thing or two about comedy. This list highlights some of the best comedies that you have probably never seen but will want to own once you see them.
When it comes to underrated films Fired Up has to be at the top of the list. First of all, it stars Eric Christian Olsen, who may be the most underrated comedic actor of all time. Olsen heads up a cast of familiar faces including Nicholas D'Agosto, Danneel Ackles, AnnaLynne McCord, and John Michael Higgins who have all found a modicum of fame on the small and big screens. The movie itself has a clichéd comedy plot, yet still manages to work on so many levels.
Two star football players decide that the best way to continue their womanizing ways is to ditch football camp in order to attend a national cheerleading competition. Of course, they fall in love and see the error of their ways. The movie is highly-quotable and offers laughs at even the most unexpected moments. Make sure you watch through the credits otherwise you will be cheated of even more laughs.
I was surprised to learn that this movie is based on a book of the same name. The movie did so bad at the box office that it helped end a production company. I would contest that the title alone turned off a lot of people and probably killed the movie. Those who gave this movie a chance would know that it is a "coming-of-age comedy" that is both sincere and obnoxious. It would not be as funny without the surrounding cast. It stars a few up-and-comers including the hilarious Clark Duke and has surprising appearances by both Seth Green and Fall Out Boy. Though everything about this movie screams stupid I bet you money that you will laugh out loud while watching it. The first time I watched this movie I watched the unrated cut which, if you have seen it, has its own brand of strange humor.
I can't even begin to explain how funny Accepted really is. It stars Justin Long when he was an up-and-coming Hollywood it boy along with a very young and unassuming Jonah Hill. Long is great at delivering deadpan comedy, but Hill steals this movie with snarky one-liners and a scream that should be in the comedy hall of fame.
The premise for the movie sounds stupid, because it is. A group of kids eager to not disappoint their parents start their own college after they fail to get accepted anywhere else. Unfortunately, the website they made to fool their parents is fully functional and they end up with a full student body of misfits and rejects. At first, things are going great, but their semester-long party has to end sometime. It is a pretty standard film plot with build up, conflict, and resolution. The real strengths of this criminally underrated comedy are great comedic acting and dialogue.
Waiting is a surprisingly funny movie, especially when you work or have worked in the service industry. It is a perfect description of what those of us who have worked in the service industry go through on a day to day basis. They do, of course, take a few comedic liberties including back-of-the-house shenanigans and food handling.
I recently re-watched this film and it stands up to the test of time. It stars a young cast of comedic actors including Justin Long, Anna Farris, Dane Cook, and Ryan Reynolds along with many long-time character actors. I think this movie was probably overlooked because it really isn't as funny if you have never worked in a restaurant. For those of you who have, I dare you to watch it and not laugh your butt off.
P.S. They made a sequel to this movie, but it just does not have the same magic that Waiting does.
Death Becomes Her
This movie has fallen by the wayside due to time and critical panning at the time of its release. The fact is that this movie is funny, funnier than a movie about death should be. It stars Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn, and Meryl Streep, so, you know, a bunch of no-name actors. It is dark, yet sublimely absurd the same time.
The movie revolves around a love triangle between Willis, Streep, and Hawn that goes on for years. When the women feel their youth fading away they go to a fortune teller who gives them a potion for eternal life. Little do they know that eternal life means eternal and they live through some body-changing trauma caused by one another. It is goofy in the face of a serious subject and brings light to a dark place. This movie never really got the attention it deserved and it would be great to see it streaming somewhere so it could reach a new audience.
Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil
This movie is underrated mostly because it appealed to such a niche audience. It is a horror comedy which seems like something of an oxymoron. It stars a cast of unrecognizable faces, but that doesn't stop the acting from being acceptable for a movie like this.
The reason this movie is so great is just the simple premise of it. Tucker and Dale are just two simple rednecks trying to live their lives when a bunch of drunk teenagers wanders onto their property. As the teenagers begin to die in freak accidents the survivors start blaming Tucker and Dale for their problems. I dare anyone to watch this movie and not get a few chuckles out of it.
Hot Tub Time Machine
Nobody gave this movie the respect it deserved because the premise was so stupid. It follows a group of 40 somethings along with a young counterpart as they travel back in time to a single weekend that determined all four of their futures. Not even a cast that includes John Cusack. Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Chevy Chase, Crispin Glover, and Clarke Duke could save this movie from box office disaster.
The problem is that this movie is ridiculously hilarious. Sure, there are a lot of dumb jokes and low-brow humor, but Hot Tube Time Machine transcends its surface humor to drive deeper and funnier jokes home. They did gain enough steam to make a sequel which did not surpass the original but was still pretty good.
Friends With Benefits
This movie had the unfortunate luck of following a movie with a similar premise which bombed at the box office. Rom-Com lovers saw the obvious similarities between this movie and No Strings Attached and chose to skip this one. The problem is that it was the better of the two.
First of all, Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis are a much better duo that Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. Secondly, the writing is just better. Friends with Benefits is slightly edgier and feels more real than No Strings Attached. It is a great movie to watch on a first date or a 50th wedding anniversary.
Good Kids is by far the newest entry on this list, but it is already a forgotten classic. The movie was just recently released on Netflix and only came out in 2016. It follows a group of four kids who realize that their academic pursuits may have robbed them of some of life's experiences. Determined to rectify the situation, they make a pact to do what they thought they had been missing including sex, drugs, and relationships.
This movie is the perfect coming-of-age comedy which is just slightly on the raunchy side. It does have its fair share of adult content, but I would not let that sway you from this movie which is just as genuine as it is dirty. I have a feeling that this movie will be making lists about underrated comedies for years to come.
Friends With Kids
Friends with Kids is a criminally underrated movie with a cast that I would watch do anything for two hours. Names like Adam Scott, Kristen Wiig, John Hamm, Maya Rudolph, and Chris O'Dowd top the list. When you have that many hilarious people in one place it is next to impossible to make something unfunny. I think the reason that this one flew under the radar was simply bad marketing. It was just not advertised to the right audience and was quickly swept under the rug.
If you have kids, know someone who has kids, or just generally like comedy I would recommend this movie to you. As with most great comedies, there is a fair amount of drama in this film too which makes it great for mixed company. Just be aware that there are many adult situations in this movie.
Staten Island Summer
This is another movie that got flown over due to lack of advertising. It is another coming-of-age movie with an ok script that gets pushed well beyond its words by a cast full of SNL alum. This movie is over the top in so many ways but still manages to teeter on the edge of believable. Though there are many memorable characters thanks to the SNL cast, I would have to say that Fred Armisen's Victor steals the show in the few scenes that he is in.
Let's Kill Ward's Wife
If you are a fan of dark comedies you have to see this movie. Other than being a little tongue-in-cheek about a serious subject I have no idea why this movie wasn't bigger than what it was. It stars a cast full of recognizable faces including Donald Faison, Scott Foley, Greg Grunberg, and Patrick Wilson.
Everybody hates Ward's wife, and for good reason. She is a terrible human being who treats Ward in an awful fashion. The group jokes about killing her, but it is just a joke; right? After a particularly frustrating moment, Ward's friend Tom sees an opportunity and puts Ward's wife out of everyone's misery. From there,even more hilarity ensues as they figure out how to get rid of the body while reconciling with what has just happened. The funniest part about this movie is how nonchalant everyone is about the fact that someone was just murdered and there is a dead body in the house.
There are so many great comedies out there that I know I have missed a few. Let me know in the comments which movies should be added to this list.
Hcaines002@gmail.com on August 02, 2019:
Add search party. One of the funniest movies I've serum in a while.
firstname.lastname@example.org on August 23, 2018:
Boondocks saints is a under rated action comedy hardly anyone has heard of it and has some good actors
T. Ferguson on May 03, 2018:
The Goods was one I felt got ignored
Pat Mills from East Chicago, Indiana on April 22, 2018:
I like the ones on the list I've seen. Ones I think are underrated from this time include Soul Men and Semi-Pro. Both are top notch comedies that amused me from beginning to end.
brady on February 21, 2018:
bemjamin on February 21, 2018:
it was really good to know diffrent movies
wendy on November 13, 2017:
Ty! Great choices
Greg on August 25, 2017:
Thanks so much for this list. I was really battling to find comedies I like, and I have been gradually working through your recommendations, and am really enjoying these comedies.
Chichi on February 23, 2017:
Sex Drive shows that movie makers including writers should carefully choose their titles. That was a nice work.