From The Half Of It to Fire Island, these are the best comedy movies of the 2020s so far.
Although the 2020s are only getting started, we have already been blessed with many memorable comedy movies. It appears that people need a good laugh now more than ever, especially considering the challenging times we’re currently living in. Indeed, movies are a sanctuary for many of us, and what better way to distract yourself from the daily atrocities than watching a good comedy movie that has the ability to pull genuine laughs out of you? Even though there’s still plenty of time to make a definite ranking list of the best comedies of 2020s, here is our ranking.
Directed by Andrew Ahn, Fire Island is a 2022 romantic comedy starring Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Conrad Ricamora, James Scully, and Margaret Cho. Inspired by Pride & Prejudice, the storyline follows a group of gay friends who annually go on a summer vacation to Fire Island, but, this year, it gets injected with chaos due to turbulent romances and classism. This story is a true queering of the classical Austen novel, and you can definitely feel the love and respect the creators hold for the source material. The group of friends serves as a queer adaptation of the Bennett family, now acting as a chosen family (a staple in queer storytelling). There should definitely be more modern adaptations of the classical story in the years to come.
The recently released Minions: The Rise of Gru is the long-awaited animated comedy movie produced by Illumination. It serves a sequel for the Minions movie and acts as the fifth addition to the Despicable Me franchise. This time, we focus on 11-year-old Gru as he decides, at such a young age, to become a supervillian with the help of his minions. The Rise of Gru had been delayed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but despite the wait, it has received positive reviews. We get to see young Gru as a weird little kid who dresses like an adult and likes to commit crime. It has appeared to work as critics praise its comedic aspects, specifically directed at families. So far, per Deadline, the movie is the fourth-highest-grossing film of 2022.
The originality of movies knows no boundaries and Language Lessons is proof. In her directorial debut, Natalie Morales decided to do a movie about a character named Adam, whose husband surprises him with Spanish lessons. As the lesson progress, he develops an unexpected friendship with his teacher Cariño. The movie had its premiere at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival and received positive reviews for its depiction of friendship and compassion. Language Lessons showcases just how helpful and real online friendship can get, especially during times when no one was really allowed to step outside.
Shiva Baby is a 2020 comedy movie written and directed by Emma Seligman. The film stars Rachel Sennott in the lead role as Danielle, a young bisexual Jewish woman who has no idea what to do with her life or what direction to take. Almost the entirety of the movie takes place in real time and at one location: a shiva celebration. Danielle has to attend the shiva with her parents, but both her ex-girlfriend Maya and sugar daddy Max (with his wife) attend the event. The character is forced to explore her romantic and career choices under intense scrutiny by her family and friends. Although the Shiva Baby is labeled as a comedy, beware that most of it feels very claustrophobic and, at times, is reminiscent of the horror genre. It's more than likely you'll feel stressed out and suffocated by the end of it.
Yes, we're also including black comedy horror movies in this list, and it's all thanks to the enjoyable Spontaneous. In his directorial debut, Brian Duffield decided to adapt the novel of the same name. The plot follows high school students who suddenly start exploding (literally), and the main protagonists Mara and Dylan enjoy their moments as if they're supposed to be their last. The visual elements add a layer of anxiety due to the unexpected explosions, and the love story between Mara and Dylan works perfectly. You'll most likely enjoy the soundtrack of the movie as well. The ending of Spontaneous provides a fresh outlook on the questions of existentialism.
Loosely based on director Radha Blank's life, who also plays the main character Radha, The Forty-Year-Old Version is a comedy-drama released in 2020. The plot follows struggling playwright Radha, who wants to make it big before turning 40, so she turns to becoming a rapper. Having its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, the movie was named one of the ten best films of 2020 by the National Board of Review, as outlined by AV Club. The writing is extremely hilarious, and the story depicts what Black writing could be when they're allowed to be humanized and quirky on screen. The story arc feels very real and unique. Make sure to watch it on Netflix.
Written and directed by Alice Wu, The Half Of It is a coming-of-age comedy drama, starring Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, and Alexxis Lemire. As a loose modern retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, the plot follows Ellie Chu, who starts writing love letters on behalf of Paul, who later becomes her best friend. The letters are dedicated to Aster, who happens to become Ellie's crush as well. It beautifully portrays queer kids being themselves without the focus being on their queerness. The movie uses the rom-com tropes, but employs them platonically. We definitely need more media that values friendships over anything else.