Josh Bowman and Joanna Schroeder got all nostalgic and came up with a list of some classic comedies that still work today, and a few that are firmly stuck in the eighties.
The 1980s was a time of screwball comedies, pratfalls, and outlandish characters. At the same time, there were subtle and brilliant films that were far ahead of their time, and still hold up today. Here are a few we think stand out…feel free to add your own in the comments!
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- Ghostbusters – This film is a classic. We love it so much. There are some strange messages below the surface, though (everybody smokes, the Environmental Protection Agency is evil). Also, honourary mention for Ghostbusters II. Also a terrific film featuring a bizarre and inspired performance by Peter MacNicol.
- Beverly Hills Cop – Eddie Murphy helped establish a formula in this film that has continued for decades. A wise-cracking cop with a shady past, out for justice. He wasn’t the first to do it, but the pacing and fast-and-furious humour in Beverly Hills Cop were years ahead of their time. Sigh. Eddie Murphy used to be so, so funny.
- Trading Places
- Beetlejuice – Tim Burton has always written movies from the perspective of an outsider. At his best, he creates entirely original worlds which creep into sleep suburbia and torment its inhabitants. Beetlejuice is hilarious and timeless because it is so bizarre and other-worldly.
- Three Men and a Baby – Yeah. You read that right.
- The Jerk
- This is Spinal Tap – The Office. Modern Family. Every Christopher Guest movie. They all began with Spinal Tap. Way ahead of its time.
- Planes, Trains and Automobiles– there is real humanity in John Candy’s character, and the relationship that develops between him and Steve Martin is nuanced and beautiful.
- Three Amigos
- Fletch – Chevy Chase had such a heavy-handed brand of comedy that bringing him back on Community to primarily fall over and be a jerk is a really tongue-in-cheek nod to a comedic era that has come and gone.
- Short Circuit – In this movie, Number 5 was also so hilariously old fashioned. That being said, he does bear a striking resemblance to Wall-E.
- Crocodile Dundee – Paul Hogan’s rise to fame never made a whole lot of sense, nor did the plot of any of these movies. It is interesting to see a film where New York is painted as such a dangerous city, however. A lot can change in 30 years.
- Porky’s – even at the time, spying on girls changing in the shower seemed antiquated. Since Porky’s came out, pornography has become almost mainstream, and most cable television is chock-full of nudity and sex. To be honest, we almost miss those halcyon days where seeing a wet t-shirt or a bare bum was the height of impropriety.
So, what do you think? Are we totally off the mark here? What would you add?