100 best comedy movies: the list
The 100 best comedy movies, picked by experts from across film, TV and comedy
By Tom Huddleston, David Jenkins, Adam Lee Davies, Derek Adams, Edward Lawrenson, Wally Hammond, Ben Walters, Gabriel Tate and Phil Harrison. Explore the individual top tens of every contributor.
Dir Harold Ramis (Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Stephen Tobolowsky)
‘Needlenose Ned? Ned The Head? I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show? Bing!’
Sometimes miracles can be found in the unlikeliest of places. Sure, it sounds like the tagline for a shitty straight-to-DVD 'Barbie and Friends' movie, but it also happens to be true. Who would have predicted that a writer-director who hadn’t been involved in anything decent since ‘Ghostbusters’ a decade previously would team up with a leading man whose career was, to put it politely, off the boil and a former model who couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag and come up with a dyed-in-the-wool comic masterpiece? ‘Groundhog Day’ is one of those movies which seems incapable of putting a foot wrong, marshalling a wildly complex plot and a sprawling cast of often unlikeable characters with effortless ease, setting a relentless pace and sticking to it, and chucking in a few unforgettable gags for good measure.
But what’s most miraculous about ‘Groundhog Day’ is that it does all this while offering a series of keenly observed, often uncomfortable truths about the human condition. Phil Connors may not exactly be everyman – he’s too wealthy and self-important for that – but he is, perhaps, every man on his worst day: irascible, selfish, vain and short sighted. And while his journey – from bitterness to acceptance, from loneliness to love – may be predictable, it’s travelled with the minimum of mawkishness and a heartening reliance on pitch-black humour. TH
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