1. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004).
Poignant, sad, thoughtful and, yes, a bit funny, Eternal Sunshine is the perfect example of a great genre masher. The story of a woman who decides to erase her memory of her ex-boyfriend, as he decides to get the same procedure, is the farthest thing away from a comedy. But screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has a way of making the most serious and depressing situations into something a little more enjoyable and quirky. Jim Carrey gives the performance of his life as the shy and awkward Joel Barish who finds love with his total opposite, Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet). It’s a mix of drama, comedy, romance, and a little bit of science fiction that has a resonance you will not soon forget.
There is no movie more intimate, no movie more revealing, and no movie more honest than the masterpiece that is The Breakfast Club. The social barriers of high school are broken by a couple of students who are spending a Saturday in detention. More specifically, we have the athlete, the brain, the criminal, the princess, and the basket case, and there’s nothing more emotionally striking and hilarious than this film. It tells five honest stories of teen angst and growing up and each of them is tragic, funny, quirky, and utterly beautiful.
Not a lot of movies can tackle a topic like cancer with the finesse that 50/50 does. 50/50 is what some people call “the cancer comedy” but not at all what you may expect. It does not make fun of cancer or people with it, but it goes down another direction by showing a very real and accurate portrayal of a man who is struggling and trying to make the best of his terrible situation. It transcends cliché, and manoeuvres between jokes and seriousness with unimaginable grace and dignity. It’s a movie that can make a topic as dark and somber as cancer into something joyful and, yes, a bit beautiful.
The shy and repressed protagonist, Barry Egan, tries to escape the endless harassment from his seven sisters and four thugs as he falls for one of his sister’s co-workers, Lena, and decides to run away with her. It is the role that Adam Sandler is born to play. He brings quiet dignity to the role with the awkwardness that only he can accomplish. It is a perfect mix of drama and comedy coming from the great Paul Thomas Anderson. With its whimsical soundtrack, strange but interesting script, phenomenal directing, and a performance that could have brought Sandler to the top, Punch-Drunk Love is a classic and a perfect example of dramedy at its finest.
Being my favourite movie of 2012, the story is of bipolar Pat, played by Bradley Cooper. He is determined to rebuild his life. After meeting Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence, he partners with her for a ballroom dance competition to win the heart of his ex-wife. Winning in every category, it’s a hilarious comedy, a heartfelt romance, and an emotional drama. It also accurately depicts the struggles of mental illness and how it can affect you and the people around you. It fully deserves all of its critical praise.
The sort of true story of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s struggle to adapt the book The Orchid Thief to the screen is another Kaufman classic. Adaptation is a highly imaginative and original addition to the spectacular collection of Kaufman films that grace our theatres. It sports an amazing script, great directing from the same director from Being John Malkovich, and a fantastic performance from Nicolas Cage as both Charlie and his brother Donald Kaufman. The film is both hilarious and emotionally rewarding.
I know this is a pretty-new movie. Actually, you can still catch it in theatres, and I highly recommend you do. But it has to be on this list. The Way Way Back is the perfect reason for why I love movies. It is a coming-of-age story of a 14-year-old shut in, who goes on vacation with his family only to meet an unlikely friend and find new inspiration in life. It’s a character-driven dramedy that is both hilarious and emotionally significant. Each of the characters is developed so well and that’s something you don’t get in many movies these days. A movie with characters this engaging and a story so enthralling just can’t be replaced.
Like Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell is known for his wide range of roles in mostly stupid comedies. That’s why I think Stranger Than Fiction was such a breakthrough for him, like Punch-Drunk Love. The tale of a socially isolated IRS agent whose life is being narrated by an unknown female voice is funny, but it has a unique intelligence that no usual Ferrell film, or much of any film for that matter, can muster. It’s clever, charming, and Will Ferrell gives a fantastic performance that really shows you that he has something to give to Hollywood other than just being funny.
“GOOD MORNING VIETNAM!” In 1965, DJ Adrian Cronauer is assigned to take the AFR’s Saigon radio broadcast show, instead of the normal, dull announcers that have come before him. The film is highlighted by a phenomenal performance by Robin Williams as the charismatic and hilarious Cronauer, and an unforgettable script. It’s a movie that can make you laugh not only from the jokes themselves, but also by the way they are portrayed. It’s a movie that is laugh-out-loud funny, but never loses sight of the true horrors of war.
From the studio that brought you The Way Way Back comes this delightful comedy about a dysfunctional family that is obsessed with winning the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant for their daughter. With dead-on performances from the whole cast and some great direction from two first-time directors, Little Miss Sunshine deserved all of its praise. It’s a sentimental and quirky satire that blends the comedy and the drama with finesse.
Written by Jacob Miller — Tylerdscreation