By Patrick Edwards, Second Year, Film
April Fools’ has come again. So in between the usual hilarious antics of rearranging your flatmate's room or posting about a breakup in your group chat, give some of the films below a try if you're in the mood for a good laugh this holiday.
Comedy can be notoriously difficult to talk about, as it isn’t always easy to explain why something is funny; however, I hope this list will have something for everyone.
Hot Fuzz (2007) | Dir. Edgar Wright
Most of Edgar Wright's filmography could feature on this list, but I’ll keep it to the best of the unofficial Cornetto Trilogy, Hot Fuzz. Hot Fuzz follows Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) as he is transferred from the Metropolitan police force to the fictional countryside sound of Sandford, Gloucestershire, where he encounters a much more laid-back form of policing and a cloaked figure attacking the residents.
The main source of comedy in Hot Fuzz comes from the brilliant premise. It takes the form of an over-the-top action film set in Gloucestershire. If that premise isn’t enough, don’t worry, as it is endlessly quotable and is so packed to the brim with jokes that you’ll miss on your first viewing.
It’s a film I’ve watched countless times, and I will enjoy it no matter what mood I find myself in; treat yourself this April fools by giving it a watch.
Airplane! (1980) | Dir. David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker
As silly and as simple as it gets. Plot is secondary in Airplane!, but the basic premise is a former pilot finds himself on a plane he is forced to land due to the crew and many passengers getting food poisoning.
The plot, as well as many of the film’s characters and lines of dialogue, are a direct copy from the 1957 film Zero Hour!; however, the Zucker brothers and Abrahams just added jokes and some extended sequences.
Its simple plot gives the trio of writers the freedom to do what they do best, a mix of deadpan, physical, and outrageous comedy.
It's hard to imagine someone sitting straight-faced throughout this film, as it throws so much at you, and almost all of it sticks. There’s a reason this film is still quoted over 40 years after its release; it's perfect viewing if you want an easy watch this April Fools.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) | Dir. John Hughes
I couldn’t talk about comedies without mentioning John Hughes. It may not be as consistently funny as the two others on this list, but its rebellious themes, light tone, and lovable characters make it a comedic classic.
Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) fakes an illness to have a day of school, where he is determined to enjoy his day and fill it with everything he can before his parents get home. He drags his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck) and his girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara).
It’s a wonderful film with some great moments of slapstick. Ferris Bueller’s rebellious and playful nature makes it a great film to watch this April Fools’.
The Lobster (2015) | Dir Yorgos Lanthimos
A slightly different type of comedy, however, one that’s still worth your time. The Lobster follows David (Collin Farrell) as he finds himself at a hotel where he has 45 days to find a partner, or he will be transformed into a lobster.
Although it may not sound much like a comedy, with its muted colour palette and its inexpressive performances, it is one of the most intriguing and unique films from the last decade. It takes deadpan to another level, which contrasts the themes of love that are prevalent throughout.
Lanthimos’ direction shines here, as he gets tragically comedic performances from all his talented cast, and his downplayed style meshes surprisingly well with comedy in a way you may not expect.
If you fancy something different this April Fools, give this one a watch.
Return of the Living Dead (1985) | Dir Dan O’Bannon
Part of the horror/comedy sub-genre, Return of the Living Dead, follows a zombie outbreak as they wreak havoc. It’s hard to explain where the comedy comes from in Return of the Living Dead. It doesn’t necessarily have jokes, just a consistently funny tone that makes it an oddly easy and hilarious watch despite some of the dark subject matter.
The film is rife with 80’s silliness and acts as a time capsule for the punk counterculture of the time due to the punk imagery and characters. It plays out like a slapstick comedy at times due to the bumbling idiocy of our main characters.
There's something hilariously entertaining seeing these characters make the wrong decision after wrong decision. Add to this a glorious amount of over-the-top gore, and you’ve got an excellent horror comedy that is worth your time if you’re up for being scared this April Fools'.
The World’s End (2013) | Dir. Edgar Wright
Sorry to include Edgar Wright again. I wanted to shine some love on one of his that isn’t as beloved as some of his others. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost pair up again, this time returning to their hometown to complete a pub crawl known as “The Golden Mile”. However, as they progress through the pubs, they realise a lot has changed since they were young.
Stylised and fast-paced, The World’s End is great viewing for those who have a fondness for bar hopping. The roles are reversed in The World’s End, with Simon Pegg playing Gary King, an immature 40-something desperate for his youth, while Nick Frost plays the much more grown-up Andy Knightley.
It’s a good reversal from what we’ve come to expect from the duo, and they complement each other brilliantly, especially Nick Frost, whose disdain for Gary leads to some of the funniest lines in the film.
All these films are worth your time this April Fools, so when you’re all pranked out today, but still fancy a laugh, give these films a chance.
Featured Image: Dumb and Dumber (1994) // Courtesy of Getty Images on IMDB
What is your go-to comedy film?