Summer may be almost over, but that's no reason to embrace the doom and gloom. Stay sunny with these comedy classics. Several of the funniest movies currently available to stream on Netflix also feature in Time Out’s list of the 100 best comedy movies of all time – and all of them are stone-cold guaranteed to have you rolling on the floor (or at least grinning from ear to ear).
RECOMMENDED: Time Out's 100 best comedy movies
The funniest films on Netflix UK
Director Adam McKay
Cast Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd
It took almost a decade for San Diego’s most hilariously awful reporters to return to the big screen and, let’s be honest, the much-anticipated sequel pales in comparison to its endlessly quotable predecessor. The new film, which sees Ron Burgundy and co facing the daunting world of 24-hour news reporting, is still enjoyable, though, and stuffed full of comedy heavy-weights and celebrity cameos.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy’
Director Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
Cast Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill reprise their roles as goofy undercover cops Jenko and Schmidt in the sequel to runaway success ‘21 Jump Street’. This time the unlikely friends are back at college to bust a drugs ring. There are more high jinks, ill-fated romances and dramatic chase sequences. It’s predictable but peppered with plenty of amusing gags.
Watch it if you liked… ‘21 Jump Street’
Director Nicholas Stoller
Cast Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star in this crude comedy as a happy thirtysomething couple with a new baby. They move house only to have their lives turned upside down when a raucous college fraternity arrive next door. First they attempt to be down with the kids, but, when the antics of frat president (Efron) prove too much to bear, full on war is declared…
Watch it if you liked… ‘Knocked Up’
Director Nick Cassavetes
Cast Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
A wife and her husband’s two mistresses team up for ultimate revenge in this comedy with shades of ‘The First Wives Club’. Kate (Leslie Mann) discovers her other half (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is playing away when Carly (Cameron Diaz) turns up on her doorstep. Soon they become unlikely friends intent on giving their mutual love interest his comeuppance. Think hair thinner, laxatives and increasingly implausible plot twists.
Watch it if you liked… ‘The First Wives Club’
Director William Wyler
Cast Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif
The fictionalised biography of Fanny Brice made its silver screen debut to critical acclaim a couple of years after making a name for itself as a popular stage musical. Fanny, the star-struck teenager who makes it big in Hollywood, is played by Streisand, who bagged the Best Actress gong at the Oscars for her performance.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Gypsy’
Director Hugh Wilson
Cast Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton
After their friend commits suicide, three women in their forties – all been ditched by their husbands for younger, sexier models – decide enough is enough. It’s time to get even. The target? Their former partners’ bulging bank accounts.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Beaches’
Director Tom Shadyac
Cast Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney
Jim Carrey takes centre stage in this likeable but pretty average comedy about a dishonest dad who has missed one too many special occasions. When lawyer Fletcher (Carrey) skips his son’s fifth birthday for NSFW reasons, Max makes a wish: that for one day his dad won’t be able to tell a lie. Cue a 24-hour truth spell and plenty of predictable laughs.
What it if you liked… ‘Dumb and Dumber’
Director Richard Benjamin
Cast Winona Ryder, Cher, Bob Hoskins
Cher stars alongside Winona Ryder in this eccentric family comedy. She’s Rachel, aka Mrs Flax, the mum of two girls who have been uprooted 18 times and counting. Their latest relocation has taken them to Eastport, Massachusetts and Charlotte (Ryder) is desperate to settle. It’s 1963, the year of Kennedy’s assassination and the year Charlotte’s life will change forever.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Heathers’
Director Greg Mottola
Cast Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds
Before he got all serious and actor-y, Jesse Eisenberg played the goofball hero of this lovable coming-of-age comedy set in a failing amusement park over one long summer. ‘Superbad’ director Greg Mottola creates a poignant atmosphere of teenage disillusion, and the laughs are provided by a hugely talented supporting cast, including Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and Martin Starr.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the World’
Director John Landis
Cast Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones
Eddie Murphy re-teamed with his ‘Trading Places’ director John Landis for this comedy about an African prince who travels to the US to hunt for a bride but finds only poverty and hardship. The satire never cuts especially deep, but Murphy is on charming form, having a ball playing multiple characters and trotting out a largely awful African accent. Let your soul glo…
Watch it if you liked… ‘Beverly Hills Cop’
Director Jonathan Lynn
Cast Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn
A flop on first release, this country-house comedy based on the successful board game (better known in the UK as Cluedo) has become a cult favourite in recent years, thanks in large part to Madeleine Kahn’s wildly OTT performance. It’s daft as hell, but the setup is amusing, the one-liners are sharp and Kahn is quite something to behold.
Watch it if you liked… ‘This is the End’
Director Ben Stiller
Cast Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell
Blue steel! The world of fashion was ripe for lampooning, and this scattergun comedy from writer-director-star Ben Stiller has become a cult favourite. He plays Derek Zoolander, the miner’s son turned male model who finds there’s more to life than just being really, really ridiculously good looking.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Anchorman’
Director David Gordon Green
Cast Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride
For a while there, it seemed like the stoner comedy was a strictly ’70s movement. Then along came dedicated tokers Seth Rogen and James Franco to reboot the genre for the twenty-first century. This giddy, lovable road movie follows Rogen’s weekend smoker and Franco’s addled dealer as they go on the run from a gang of mobsters.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Up in Smoke’
Director Gene Saks
Cast Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon
Neil Simon’s smash-hit Broadway play about two old friends – one prissy and neat, one slobby and raucous – who are forced to share a flat was transformed into a classic movie thanks to the inestimable talents of leading men Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. Are you an Oscar or a Felix?
Watch it if you liked… ‘Some Like It Hot’
Director Frank Oz
Cast Steve Martin, Michael Caine
Two con men compete to swindle a woman out of $50,000 on the sunny French riviera, and end up getting much more than they bargained for. Caine plays charming Lawrence Jamieson, a Brit posing as a prince in exile, while Martin stars as his American rival, Freddy Benson, whose criminal misdeeds know no bounds.
Watch it if you liked… ‘The Jerk’
Director Chris Columbus
Cast Macaulay Culkin, Catherine O’Hara
Everyone knows this Christmas comedy classic. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) wants everyone to just disappear and his wish is granted when his parents accidentally fly off to Paris on vacation without him. It’s a dream come true, but the novelty soon wears off when a couple of burglars target the house.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’
Director Billy Wilder
Cast Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine
Billy Wilder’s sharp romantic comedy ‘The Apartment’ was nominated for ten Oscars in 1960 – and won five of them (including Best Film and Best Director). Jack Lemmon is the office junior Bud, who lets his bosses borrow his Upper West Side apartment for flings with their secretaries so he can climb the corporate ladder. It’s a little cynical and sour, but very funny. Shirley MacLaine as the sad elevator girl is heartbreaking.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Some Like it Hot’
Director Adam McKay
Cast Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Michael Keaton
One of the silliest, most enjoyable blockbuster comedies of recent years, this pastiche of grandstanding cop movies features Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as the second-string detectives who must step up to the plate when the top guns go out the window (literally). A pre-renaissance Michael Keaton is great value as the TLC-quoting police chief.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Talladega Nights’
Director Richard Linklater
Cast Jason London, Matthew McConaughey
In ‘Boyhood’, his Oscar-winning epic, Richard Linklater gave us 12 years in the life of one boy. This classic coming-of-age comedy from 1988 is a little more small scale, focussing on just one day: May 28, the last day of term at Austin’s Lee High School. Watch out for early performances by Ben Affleck as bully Parker Posey and Matthew McConaughey as a sleazy stoner.
Watch it if you liked… ‘The Breakfast Club’
Director Robert Luketic
Cast Reese Witherspoon
Sorority queen Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) has everything she’s ever wanted, aside from a sparkler on her ring finger. But her handsome boyfriend has no plans to propose, hoping to bag a more serious squeeze at Harvard Law School. Undeterred Elle sets out to prove you can be pretty in pink and a kick-ass lawyer. This is girl power at its silliest, but it’s a fun watch.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Clueless’
Director John Hughes
Cast Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara
The original Time Out review bemoaned the fact that ‘no one got to wring the little blighter’s neck’. We’re still not entirely sure who pissed in our critic’s chips that day. The truth is that high-schooler Ferris Bueller is a hero for our times: sure, he’s a bit of a rich kid, but he’s also witty, kind and deeply cool. Save Ferris!
Watch it if you liked… ‘Pretty in Pink’
Director Penelope Spheeris
Cast Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Rob Lowe
Rock super-fans Wayne and Garth air public access TV show ‘Wayne’s World’ from Wayne’s parents’ basement. Or, at least, they do until sleazy TV mogul Benjamin offers to buy the show’s rights and move them to a swanky studio. The transition is less than smooth and that’s just the start of the boys’ problems in this big-screen spin-off of the Saturday Night Live skit.
Watch it if you liked… ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’
Director Amy Heckerling
Cast Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd
‘Clueless’ is a teen classic. It’s based on Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’, but you won’t see a corset or a crinoline in sight. As if. Instead, protagonist Cher picks perfect outfits from a high-tech digital wardrobe, before heading off to high school to battle with the politics of popularity, virginity, friendship, driving licences and what to do when you fancy your step-brother.
Watch it if you liked… ‘10 Things I Hate About You’
Director Richard Lester
Cast The Beatles, Wilfred Brambell
Four moptop scamps run wild in London in this riotous, freewheeling backstage comedy. The twist, of course, is that these rascals are the most famous lads in the civilised world – The Beatles. With a script inspired by their press interviews, a simple got-a-show-to-do plot and surprisingly spiky gags about everything from teen exploitation to the IRA, this is quite simply the greatest rock ‘n’ roll movie ever made, and one of the finest comedies to boot.
Watch it if you liked… ‘This is Spinal Tap’
Directors Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker
Cast Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen
Joke-for-joke perhaps the funniest movie ever made, ‘Airplane!’ single handedly invented the spoof genre, setting the bar so high that no other film since has managed to meet it. Almost every line is quotable – ‘I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue’; ‘Joey, do you like films about gladiators?’; ‘I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley’ – and the straight-faced cast only make it more hilarious. Genius is not too big a word.
Watch it if you liked… ‘The LEGO Movie’