No. 13 Short Film Ratings (Comedy Films)
I have to admit that this Short Film Ratings post, despite having one common genre, has an eclectic mix of films. Despite that many of the films below are considered American cult classics, I have only watched these films recently for the first time! The list includes: Office Space, Dr. Strangelove, The Big Lebowski, The History Boys, This is Spinal Tap, Risky Business, Annie Hall, How to be Single and Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising.
IMDb Rating: 7.8
Starring: Ron Livingstone, Jennifer Aniston, Stephen Root, Gary Cole and David Herman.
“Peter Gibbons, thanks to a hypnotic suggestion, decides not to go to work at the same time his company is laying people off. When layoffs affect his two best friends, they conspire to plant a virus that will embezzle money from the company into their account.”
The only thing I knew about this film prior to watching it was the meme of Lumbergh. However, the film is much more than this. Office Space has achieved cult status due to the variety of office-based characters, the quote-worthy dialogue, and the depiction of working life in a large office environment. All of these come together in a decent comedy which is watchable, and does provide some laughs as well as a storyline which is engaging.
Dr. Strangelove | 3.5 / 5
IMDb Rating: 8.5
Starring: Peter Sellars, George C. Scott and Sterling Hayden.
“An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.”
My first introduction to Dr. Strangelove was during a university module on ‘Philosophy in Film’. My lecturer regaled how magnificent a comedy it was, the wittiness, the characters and the underlying or overt messages that Kubrick was imparting on the viewer. I understood it all, but this ‘dark comedy’ did not make me laugh…it only raised a smile. Maybe I had become over-sensitised with all the jokes during my classes and that affected my viewing of this film this time round? This viewing was a bit…underwhelming.
The Big Lebowski | 3.75 / 5
IMDb Rating: 8.2
Starring: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, David Huddleston, Julianne Moore, Tara Reid and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
“Dude Lebowski is met by two mobsters wanting repayment of a loan that he knows nothing about. This simple case of mistaken identity entangles him into a complex kidnapping plot.”
The Big Lebowski is much more than a comedy. It has achieved a cult status. And it has perhaps influenced the lives of many people who have followed the Dude’s mantra for life. The mixture of friends is hilarious, the Dude is the relaxed and chilled out one, Walter is the complete nutter and Donny is …basically shouted at by Walter all the time! They each provide the perfect foil for one another to display their comedic talent, especially when thrust into situations which they can not handle, or lack the finesse to do so. I.E. the schoolboy’s homework…
The History Boys | 3.75 / 5
IMDb Rating: 6.9
Starring: Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Russell Tovey, Sacha Dhawan, Richard Griffiths and Stephen Campbell Moore.
“An unruly class of gifted and charming teenage boys are taught by two eccentric and innovative teachers, as their headmaster pushes for them all to get accepted into Oxford or Cambridge.”
This is a favourite of mine, not only because of the brilliant and witty comments from students and staff alike, but for the underlying teaching for life the students and the viewers received from the lessons. This education should warrant a higher rating from me, but the overt sexual innuendos near the end of the film seemed out-of-kilter with the comedy that had featured throughout the film and the building of a clear message that had been developed as well. History Boys is more than a comedy, it has so many life lessons, brilliant poetry and friendships which are a privilege to witness.
This is Spinal Tap | 3.75 / 5
IMDb Rating: 8.0
Starring: Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Rob Reiner.
“Marty DeBergi is a film-maker who decides to make a documentary, a rockumentary actually, about the world’s loudest band, the British heavy metal group Spinal Tap. The movie is in fact a biting satire and spoof of the whole rock and roll scene that passes itself off as a real documentary of a real band. Hilarious behind-the-scenes footage is combined with faux-concert clips to breathe life into the imaginary group.”
If you told someone that this wasn’t a mockumentary, and that Spinal Tap were an actual band, they may actually believe you, until they come out with something hilarious like the gif below! The deadpan delivery of each of the actors is the reason I enjoyed the film the most. All they needed was a ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ t-shirt when talking about a rock and roll escapade gone wrong, and it would be perfect!
Risky Business | 4 / 5
IMDb Rating: 6.8
Starring: Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay.
“A suburban Chicago teenager’s parents leave on vacation, and he cuts loose. An unauthorised trip in his father’s Porsche means a sudden need for lots of money, which he raises in a creative way.”
All I knew about Risky Business was Tom Cruise’s slide across the floor…haha! The film is my favourite from this edition’s list of Short Film Ratings. I adored every part of the film. The acting, the comedy, the scenarios and the message. “What the f***!”
Annie Hall | 4 / 5
IMDb Rating: 8.1
Starring: Woody Allen and Diane Keaton.
“After breaking up with his girlfriend Annie Hall, neurotic comedian Alvy Singer goes on a stream of consciousness journey through his memories of their relationship, trying to find out what caused them to part ways. He often breaks the fourth wall, speaking to the camera, entering peoples’ stories, and even using animation.”
A film for the film student undoubtedly. I enjoyed the dry humour of Woody Allen, the quirkiness and beauty of Diane Keaton and the general relationship analysis that occurs throughout the film. The modern equivalent would be 500 Days of Summer, so for those who enjoyed that film, they would enjoy this equally, if not more.
How to be Single | 3.25 / 5
IMDb Rating: 6.1
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann, Nicholas Braun, Jason Mantzoukas, Damon Wayans Jr and Anders Holm.
“There’s a right way to be single, a wrong way to be single, and then…there’s Alice. And Robin. Lucy. Meg. Tom. David. New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, be it a love connection, a hook-up, or something in the middle. And somewhere between the teasing texts and one-night stands, what these unmarrieds all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love. Sleeping around in the city that never sleeps was never so much fun.”
A film to be watched on the sofa with a beer, glass of wine, Ben & Jerry’s or a takeaway. Some easy watching comedy of twenty-something-singletons living in New York City (Yeah, we’ve seen plenty of them already!) Nothing more to be said, but I have now developed a crush on Alison Brie…
Bad Neighbours 2: Sorority Rising | 3.25 / 5
IMDb Rating: 6.0
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron and Chloe Grace-Moretz.
“When their new next-door neighbors turn out to be a sorority even more debaucherous than the fraternity previously living there, Mac and Kelly team with their former enemy, Teddy, to bring the girls down.”
A similar mentality is required for Bad Neighbours 2 to that of How to be Single. Hi-jinks aplenty, crude humour, Zac Efron’s abs and Seth Rogen’s manboobs all feature in the sequel to Bad Neighbours. A few funny scenes to keep you entertained, but not the most memorable comedy…as expected really.
That concludes this editions of Short Film Ratings….not really short was it?! Sorry!! My next post should be a book review of The Wrath and The Dawn. Feel free to recommend any films to me too!!!