This week, I found four (!) movies that I'd recommend if you're looking to watch something humorous.
Starting on Kanopy, the film Mushrooms is a dark comedy in the vein of Arsenic and Old Lace. A couple of not so innocent old ladies who taken in a border who turns out to be a bank robber. When he suddenly dies, they concoct various schemes to try and hide his body.
And on Overdrive Video, three more movies:
Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity is something I watched part of years ago on TV and always wanted to go back and watch from the beginning. I was pleasantly surprised to find out we have it available for streaming. It's enjoyable to watch the characters interact as they're brought together by Mindy's failed attempts at using magic to bring romance into her mom's life. We also have this movie on DVD .
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has been on my to-read list for a while. This was another movie that I was surprised to find we had online. This is an enjoyable film that had more action than I was expecting, but may make more sense if you've read the book first. You can also watch it on Blu-ray and DVD .
Remember when Rick-rolling was a thing? Well, the Rick-roll is back! (Or in my case, it never really went away.) The recently released “Brick Roll” recreates Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” video in Lego form withimpressively accurate and hilarious results. A Rick-roll Zoom service was bringing laughs to Zoom meetings before being shut down due to its violation of Zoom’s terms of service. And it turns out that even Rick Astley himself is not immune from the old bait-and-switch, with a fan on Reddit Rick-rolling Rick just last month.
Stream/download “Never Gonna Give You Up” and more Rick Astley tunes on Freegal. This includes Rick’s second hit “Together Forever”which earns some chuckles for how ridiculously similar it sounds to his first hit “Never Gonna Give You Up”.
From Rick-roll to rock & roll...
The comedic film That Thing You Do! tells the story of the one-hit Wonders, who like many rock & roll bands in 1964, were chasing the same success achieved by the likes of the Beatles. Tom Hanks wrote, directed, starred in, and even wrote music for the film. The soundtrack features original songs that could have legitimately originated in that era, with the title song “That Thing You Do!” becoming an actual hit on the charts for the Wonders in 1996 with the film’s release. The That Thing You Do! soundtrack is also available to stream/download on Freegal.
Speaking of the Fab Four...
The Beatles are funny! Watch John, Paul, George, and Ringo exercise their acting chops in A Hard Day’s Night, a magical mix of music and comedy. Then follow it up with a viewing of Help! for more of their hysterical shenanigans. The accompanying albums for A Hard Day’s Night and Help! include many of the songs featured or performed in the films.
"This patient has the worst case of the blues I've ever seen, but we're not going to lose him. No, not today. Nurse, I need 30 cc's of Comedy Bang! Bang! stat!"
"Yes doctor, here you are."
"I think the patient needs a double whammy dose, nurse get me the 2nd season of Comedy Bang! Bang!"
"C'mon buddy, get those blues out of your system. Laughter is the best medicine, give me a chuckle, a tiny giggle."
"Nurse I hear a titter! We saved the patient!"
THE DURRELLS IN CORFU
Watching this series and this strangely interesting family was often humorous and always such an enjoyable escape. It was hard to believe it was based on their real lives and the books written by the animal-loving youngest son, Gerald.
AND JUST FOR FUN...
I love to laugh.
There are plenty of comedies to choose from but which ones do I watch over and over?
The multitalented comedian, musician, author and director Steve Martin has a deep catalog of humorous (and dramatic) films but the one I return to is The Jerk. The film he made with John Candy Planes Trains and Automobiles is also up there on the favorites list and I often watch it around Thanksgiving.
The Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel, have directed lots of movies, not all comedies but usually with quirky characters and twisted plotlines. I think I have watched and enjoyed O Brother Where Art Thou at least a dozen times.
Taika Waititi is a talented director. I really liked his earlier films Boy and Eagle vs Shark but he one that really makes me laugh is What We Do in the Shadows. It is a fake documentary about the every-night (after)lives of a group of vampires existing in the modern world. The original film was then used as a jumping off point for a television series also called What We Do in the Shadows which is equally hilarious.
I'm choosing 3 classic movies and 3 contemporary ones:
Another favorite is Some Like It Hot. This hilarious Billy Wilder comedy classic features Marilyn Monroe as a singer in a girl band, while Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon masquerade as women in the band to elude mobsters who saw them witness the St. Valentine's Day massacre.
Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb is the only comedy by Stanley Kubrick. If you're old enough, like me, to remember hiding under your desk at school during nuclear bomb drills, you'll appreciate this wicked satire. If you're not, my guess is you'll still relate to the dark humor about impending nuclear war. Peter Sellers is brilliant in 3 roles.
Wild Tales, a Spanish-language film from Argentina. Wicked and hilariously deranged satire consisting of 6 stories around the theme of revenge. Best movie wedding scene ever. Don't miss the credits! Nominated for an Academy Award.
You probably never heard of the obscure movie "Untitled". If you've ever found yourself bewildered by avant-garde music and art, check out this satire of modern art and new music which at the same time makes you think about "what sells" vs "art", and is banging on some cans really music? What I like about this movie is that while it makes fun of this world, it isn't mean-spirited and is thought-provoking. Clever, sophisticated and really funny.
Booksmart sounds like a typical teen comedy about two overachiever best friends determined to go crazy making up for all the fun they missed while they were busy overachieving. But this feature debut by Olivia Wilde, with great acting by Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever is different. It's female driven, fresh, funny and touching. And it has some great music!
Without a doubt, when I am in need of a dose of laughter to make me well, I grab my CD’s and listen to Mike Nichols and Elaine May. They started out as a comedy duo that made it big performing their comedy skits at night clubs in the 50’s. After they stopped performing their skits, they both became wonderful filmmakers. American Masters : Mike Nichols : The Career of a Legendary Filmmaker, found on Kanopy is a fascinating, funny and insightful look into his genius.
For your viewing pleasure Nichols and May : Classic Mother and Son Skit
In 1973 National Lampoon Lemmings was a live stage show that was spun out of National Lampoon Magazine. This stage show helped launch the careers of Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest, and John Belushi. Lemmings was a take-off of Woodstock and was billed as” three days of peace, love and death.” Lorne Michaels saw the show and scooped up the talent for a show he was going to launch, Saturday Night Live.
I first heard the album at 13, and absolutely loved it. It had music, it was funny, and even to-day will come to my aid when feeling down.
Highway Toes is one of the songs, sung by Christopher Guest, as James Taylor
An absolutely “must be seen” is video of John Belushi doing his Joe Cocker impression for the first time. Here he is singing Lonely at the Bottom. The video quality is a bit rough, but oh so funny!
When I'm feeling out of sorts, a good, solid dose of singing and dancing to silly songs with the kiddos always puts me right. One of my favorite children's music performers has created some of the silliest songs to get you moving and playing and smiling - Jim Gill!
You may have seen him perform at your library during our Free Family Concerts in the past or you may have joined in when one of our children's librarians shared his songs during storytime. Either way, I know I've missed getting to experience his music with you and your families and want to remind you all that you can check out his CDs or his books by placing a hold through our catalog.
Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes
Jim Gill Makes It Noisy in Boise, Idaho
Jim Gill Sings Do Re Me on His Toe Leg Knee
Jim Gill's Irrational Anthem and More Salutes to Nonsense
Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times
Jim Gill Presents Music Play for Folks of All Stripes
Vote for Jim Gill
Each album has so many great songs, I can't recommend just one - give 'em all a spin!
Here are a few picks that guarantee to elicit at least one guffaw from me and sometimes I end up rolling around on the floor laughing.
Making snarky comments during movies is usually annoying, especially when someone else is doing it! However, when that someone else is Joel Hodgson , Mike Nelson or Jonah Ray with some robots on Mystery Science Theater 3000, then the result actually makes bad movies into something hilarious and wonderful.
Movies & Music - Question of the Week
Of the following teen comedy films, this one was NOT based on a classic Shakespeare work.
She’s the Man0
Just One of the Guys0
10 Things I Hate About You0
Get Over It0
Last week's trivia answer was: Bananarama