"100 Movies, Some Of Which Were Funny, Presented In No Particular Order."
For no good reason, Ish and I got sucked into another countdown show. But instead of it being anything decent, like the sorts of QUALITY COUNTDOWNS VH1 produces, it was horrifying.
Bravo decided to name the top 100 funniest movies of all time. And I am deeply troubled.
Now, let me preface this by saying that I pretty much love Bravo. Bravo is the main ingredient in my television diet, and I am breathlessly counting down the minutes until the new season of Project Runway begins. Top Chef also won me over, and while I very much hated that Ilan won a couple seasons ago (yes, I'm still bitching about it), I thought Bravo's producers went out of their way to make the show better this season.
Gosh, I thought. How classy Bravo is!
So! When Bravo decided to embark on this "funniest movies of all time" countdown, I thought -- hoped? assumed? -- it would be fantastic.
For starters, the countdown suffered from two HUGE flaws.
ONE - It heavily weighted movies that have come out recently. Nothing on the whole list wasn't American (which is fine, but that should be noted, I think), and nothing came out more than 45 years ago. No Marx Brothers. No Laurel and Hardy, no Abbott and Costello, nothing that would have once been described as a "madcap caper." Bringing Up Baby and Some Like It Hot spring to mind. But then, the AFI knows what it's talking about.
TWO - It spent a lot more time discussing the movies it happened to have clips for. Several of the major movies included in the list got all of 5 seconds worth of commentary and showed no clips. They just threw in a few still shots, zoomed through a perfunctory narrative, and then moved on to the next, thorough dissection of a Ben Stiller vehicle. How can a major network (or major network affiliate, anyway) not manage to get clips? (But then, they don't own www.bravo.com either, so whatever.)
Overall, I think the list was AT BEST about 70% accurate as far as which movies they decided to include. But it's not just that they omitted at least 30 really funny flicks, it's that at least 30 of the "films" they included should never, ever have been made, let alone dubbed "comedy" let alone CELEBRATED.
Meet the Fockers? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Worse, however, was the ORDER in which they counted these movies down. The Top 10 list in particular was an abomination. You want to know?
Prepare to be horrified.
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I am not saying that Arthur isn't funny, but I do not think it is TOP TEN FUNNIEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME funny. Shouldn't one criterion be whether or not the movie stands the test of time?
Dear Anyone Reading This Who Is Under The Age of 30:
Have you ever seen the movie, Arthur?
I didn't think so.
9. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
I think that if a committee over at the American Film Institute were to make a list of the 100 funniest movie stars of all time, Jim Carrey would probably have to be put on that list. However, I am certain that they would include him only begrudgingly, through gritted teeth, justifying their decision by citing his insane box-office draw and movies such as "Man on the Moon" and the un-ignorable "Dumb and Dumber." And they would still feel horribly, horribly guilty.
8. Blazing Saddles
This is so ridiculous I couldn't even put it in the headline.
It's... The Wedding Singer.
The Wedding Singer.
In the top 10.
The Wedding Singer doesn't totally suck as a movie. It's light, cute, and fun, and sometimes it has funny moments. It is not, however, laugh out loud funny. And the thing that makes it most enjoyable (aside from Steve Buscemi) is that it pokes fun of the ridiculousness of the 80s, even though it's totally anachronistic.
I swear to you, though, even Adam Sandler himself has more sense than to include this movie on the top 100. And yet there it sits, mocking all that is sacred.
(And speaking of sacred, Annie Hall is #28. That puts Meet the Fockers, which came in at #26, ABOVE IT. HAHAHAHAHA!)
Mickey Blue Eyes made me laugh a lot harder than The Wedding Singer. And that's saying something.
Airplane! might be my all-time favorite comedy. I remember watching it at my grandparents' house once, with my dad. And he laughed so hard he -- quite literally -- fell off of the couch, clutching his belly.
And surely that is a Top 10 comedy.
It is a comedy. And don't call me Shirley.
5. Southpark: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
I am happy that this movie made the list at all, although I can't say I'm totally surprised, since as best I can tell this list was made by people who've only seen movies that make great drinking games.
Still, the Southpark movie was enjoyable on many levels and surprisingly clever -- especially if you're familiar with musical theatre.
Top 10 clever? Good God, no.
Top 100 clever? I'm not sure. Maybe. What would Brian Boitano think?
4. There's Something About Mary
I could probably be convinced that the performances, along with the prom-night bathroom scene and (of course) the hair gag, could land this movie on the Top 100 list. I think it will stand the test of time on the general American humor-o-meter. But I have to ask: was it really better than any of the wild and raunchy movies of the 80s? Like, say, Porky's or Smokey and the Bandit Part II?
Hmmm, maybe those weren't the best examples. But you get my point.
I have to wonder if Bravo is just totally pulling our leg. Maybe it's all one big joke? Like, maybe Bravo was competing to win The Funniest "Top 100 Funniest Movies" list? And maybe someone is going to give them a prize for how HILARIOUS their "list" is?
Bueller? (#54, btw.)
I thought Shrek was ingenious and artful. It told a good story, and made fun of itself all at the same time. Kind of like Monty Python and the Holy Grail (#40) except animated. Or, you know, ANY Christopher Guest movie.
But I do not see how groundbreaking animation equals funny. And, be honest, if Shrek had been live-action, it wouldn't have been half so entertaining.
When you get down to it, the funniest thing about Shrek is how it throws in a lot of adult humor, stuff that will fly over most kids' heads and entertain the parents. I agree, that makes the movie fun -- but those crazy Muppets have been doing the same thing for decades. And call me old-fashioned, but I'd posit that The Great Muppet Caper is every bit as funny as Shrek. Eddie Murphy as a mouthy donkey is funny. Charles Grodin as a criminal mastermind in love with Miss Piggy? Priceless.
I will not argue that Caddyshack is Top 10 material. It has proven, over time, to be the quintessential movie of the 80s. The comedy to define all comedies. The script by which all other comedies since have been judged.
That is, if you're a dude.
Ladies, may I ask: How many times have you seen this movie? Enough to know the names of all of the characters? Enough to quote the movie from start to finish?
OF COURSE NOT.
You do not have a Y chromosome, and therefore you simply remember that Chevy Chase was in it. Oh, and Rodney Dangerfield. And there were caddies. And Bill Murray was crazy. And um, there was that Baby Ruth thing.
But it requires that Y to know more than this. And while the Y makes the dudes love this flick, it does not also give them the ability to explain WHY it's so great. No guy I know can offer more than "It just IS" and then, having stupidly opened the door in the first place, I will be subjected to at least 10 minutes of quotes that mean nothing to me. God forbid another dude be in the room, because then the entire afternoon will be shot.
So it's not that this movie isn't funny, it's just... I find it hard to believe that men and women were equally represented on whatever sort of panel Bravo used to compile this crappy list in the first place.
1. Animal House
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I reiterate: the list was absurd. Offensively so. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. If you Google "Bravo Top 100 Funniest Movies" you get forum after forum of people bitching about this atrocity, which I believe is made worse because it's coming from such an otherwise reputable source.
But let me ask you --
What do YOU think is the most offensive thing about this list? And what's most obviously missing?
Because this is just silly:
Top 100 Funniest Movies, according to Bravo
99. The Birdcage
98. School of Rock
97. Happy Gilmore
96. Four Weddings and a Funeral
95. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
94. Waiting for Guffman
93. The Aristocrats
92. Father of the Bride
91. Revenge of the Nerds
88. Team America
87. The Kentucky Fried Movie
85. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
84. Silver Streak
83. Sister Act
81. Half Baked
80. Lost in America
79. Three Amigos
77. Flirting with Disaster
75. Dumb and Dumber
74. Trading Places
73. City Slickers
70. The Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy)
69. The Blues Brothers
68. Broadcast News
66. Dazed and Confused
65. Office Space
64. This is Spinal Tap
62. The Pink Panther
60. When Harry Met Sally
59. Police Academy Series
58. Private Benjamin
56. Young Frankenstein
55. Bull Durham
54. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
53. Dr. Strangelove
52. Meet the Parents
51. National Lampoon's Vacation
50. The Princess Bride
49. American Pie
48. American Graffiti
47. 9 to 5
46. The Incredibles
45. Raising Arizona
44. Sixteen Candles
43. What About Bob?
42. Harold and Maude
41. Austin Powers
40. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
39. Mrs. Doubtfire
38. Best In Show
36. Good Morning Vietnam
32. Groundhog Day
31. The Big Lebowski
30. The 40 Year Old Virgin
29. Legally Blonde
28. Annie Hall
27. A Fish Called Wanda
26. Wayne's World
25. Meet the Fockers
24. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
22. Beverly Hills Cop
20. The Jerk
19. Wedding Crashers
16. Old School
15. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
14. Napoleon Dynamite
13. Naked Gun Series
12. The Producers
11. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
9. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
8. Blazing Saddles
7. The Wedding Singer
5. South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
4. There's Something About Mary
1. Animal House