Monday, October 22, 2018

CANON OF FILM: "EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN"

EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN (1994)

Director: Ang Lee
Screenplay: Ang Lee, James Schamus and Hui-Ling Wang




For some reason, and I’m not sure why, but until now, I kept thinking I also posted a Canon of Film entry on “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman” already. It feels like a movie I meant to get to a long time ago; I suspect what happened is that I must have started posted on the film at some point, but for one reason or another it just got pushed aside and I decided on something else. I think what happened is that I just got a little stumped trying to explain the film’s greatness. That happens sometimes; it’s vastly easier to describe all the technical greatness of say ‘Citizen Kane” or some Kubrick film or whatever than it might be for some movies that are just, well, just, entertaining films. Sometimes we admire something because of how well they tell the story or even just because we like the story we’re telling. I had a similar struggle writing my Canon of Film post on “Back to the Future” as well for basically the same reasons; technically there’s nothing innovative or important about that movie, even storytelling-wise, it’s not that different from several other time-traveling stories, and I guess on the same, there’s not much that’s inherently unusual or unique about this film; it’s basically just a family dramedy.

And yet, there is something special about this film. When I first tried to write this, my focus was on Ang Lee. The Taiwanese-born director is one of the world’s most eclectic and I’d argue best directors working today. I’d also, even after winning multiple Oscars I rarely hear his name brought up in that regard, probably because he’s something difficult to get a hold on. He’s capable of making almost anything; he is practically impossible to place in a genre, as he seems to seamlessly switch between them, and many times between continents. He’s willing and able to conquer the works of Jane Austen with “Sense and Sensibility,” then switch to a martial arts romance in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and then make a superhero film like “The Hulk”, and I consider those films his minor works; (Although, I’ll admit, I probably need another viewing of “Crouching Tiger….”) his very best films like “Eat, Drink, Man, Woman” “Life of Pi”, “Brokeback Mountain”, “Lust, Caution”, among others, sometimes their even harder to grasp a natural consistent underlying theme or motif of his, but if there is one, and I’m not sure it’s entirely consistent, but I think he’s fascinated with repression and hidden passions.

Come to think of it; I doubt you can really have one without the other, An Oscar-nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and the second film of what’s loosely referred to as Lee’s “Father Knows Best Trilogy”, along with “The Wedding Banquet,” and underrated “Pushing Hands”,  essentially the movie is about, characters who struggle to release and reveal their real feelings and emotions, even thought, that’s literally what they end up doing every time they sit down for dinner. The film centers on a great Chinese food chef, Chu, (Lee favorite, Sihung Lung) who’s lost his sense of taste and smell. If there’s an ingredient that makes this particularly movie delectable, it’s definitely the food; it’s one of the best foodie films of all-time. When not putting out fires at the restaurant, Chu, everyday makes these wonderfully elaborate dinners that would my family for a week for dinner with his three daughters, who are so used to it, they barely react to nightly dinners that make our mouths water. They’re so used to this preparation and the food, they can spot their father’s minor taste flaws, and are possibly the only people not impressed with passionate cooking, and the amazing-looking food.

Jai-Ning (Yu-Wen Wang) is the oldest, she’s become a businesswoman working for an airline, and is making plans to move out. Jai-Chen (Chien-Lien Wu) has been hurt by a boyfriend years ago, has become a Christian, and works as a mousey high school science teacher.  Jai-Jen (Kuei-Mei Yang) is the youngest, still in high school, and works at the local Wendy’s. We follow each of these characters, and yet, we constantly find ourselves trying desperately to keep up with them and their ever-changing lives. Chu puts all his feeling and emotion into his food, and whether cooking for his daughters, or the neighbor girl down the block, and that leaves his daughters trying to find their own way in the world, until we find out the real story with the sudden constant announces, happening at the dinner table. In fact, nearly every dinner begins with someone saying the phrase “I have an announcement.” On repeated viewing, this gets hilarious, and even though we easily follow these characters through their own personal dilemmas, we keep seeming to be surprised by their announcements. It’s seems the movie’s so repressed, that it doesn’t reveal the events until after they’ve happened and through these grand gestures around the dinner table, is the only time anything can be told. It’s hard to describe all the events the family goes through, there’s too many of them, and too many characters, and just when you think you have a grasp, you don’t. That’s not simply the unpredictability of life, that’s the richness of the characters, and there are a lot of characters. They may be reserved, but they are filled with thought, emotion, passion, compassion, love, and lust, and everything else that goes into that nightly dinner.

If this sounds a little familiar, you might have seen the American remake “Tortilla Soup,” which used many of the elements, and created a story about a Mexican-American family, lead by the great Hector Elizondo as the master chef. It’s also a very good movie, and not while it is a remake, it’s got its own unique touches, and is definitely worth watching as well. I’m actually surprised this film hasn’t been remade more often, its core story about family and food will cross many culinary and ethnic divides. It’s also simply a fun movie. Unpredictable, even on multiple viewings, it’s a family epic, that barely leaves the dinner table, much less the house, yet, by the end, we feel like we’ve traveled thousands of miles and through dozens of lives.

“Eat Drink Man Woman,” the basic principle of life? I don't know, but if it is, I think it’s more enjoyable if you can really taste it, you know?

Monday, October 15, 2018

CABLE OBSERVATIONS! RANDOM THOUGHTS ON THE CURRENT CABLE/SATELLITE TELEVISION LANDSCAPE AND MEMORIALS AND REMEMBERANCES OF TELEVISION'S PAST!



Lately, I've been watching a lot of, what I'll charitably call cable television lately. Last few weeks in fact, it's been that way ever since I ended up between houses and started living at what's officially called "Extended-Stay Experience" which, basically means it's a weekly hotel, where me and my family are staying until we can find a real apartment, and as depressing and lousy at it is to feel like I'm living in "The Florida Project", one of the benefits I've always enjoyed about places like this, in the past and even now is that I get to enjoy free cable television. Or, this is probably satellite actually, 'cause the channels are in this weird alphabetical order, except for the network local channels; it's odd. Like 2 is A&E, 4 is Freeform, which makes no sense until you remember that it was ABC Family, The Turner channels are in the 40s; I'm used to them being in the teens, meanwhile Animal Planet is seven-, it's odd.... 

Anyway, it's limiting and often annoying. I haven't had cable in years, and I'm used to digital televisions now, so I don't get to fall asleep watching Movies! or Create like I'm used to, but the thing is, that people still have channels like these and they watch them, regularly. I like that. To me, watching television, should literally be, watching television, way more often than it is. Sitting down and finding something on, and not through Netflix or something, like actual channel surfing. You got nothing to do, you're stuck in the house, okay I sometimes have options on my computer, but screw that. See what's being rerun in the day, watch CNN for a minute, scan the channels- One of the great drawbacks of technology is how we end up, narrowing our scope of vision. Partly through algorithms of watching the same twelve things on our streaming sites and then them recommending the same things, but most of the shit that I've watched or found or discovered over the years, it comes from doing this instead, finding it randomly not because my tendency algorithm determined I'm more likely to like it. I wish I still had a Prevue Channel to watch and see what's on, so that I can see something like "Legends of the Hidden Temple" come scrolling up and I have to go, "Alright, what the hell is that," and then check to see. 

It's that world that I compare other TV shows too; it's why I'm usually unimpressed with many of the top shows these days that are supposedly breaking new ground, or whatever. Half the time, it's not new and I've long run into it years earlier, or worst than that, they're shows that, just don't fit in this world of television that I'm familiar with. It's the same thing with the old filmmakers that people make fun of when they talk about how not seeing movies in an actual movie theater means that you're not actually watching a movie correctly; they're just as right as I am here and they're not wrong; there is a clear difference. Of course, sure times change, and so does television itself, but I'm still watching it like this, and everywhere else, others are too. 

Binge watching for instance; people think that started with streaming it seems; television shows have marathoned in reruns forever, the only difference is, you didn't start in the beginning first or anything, you found something that looked interesting and wondered what it was on TV, while you were searching for a score or something and then, turns out there's like twelve "Flipping Out"'s on in a row, and you're watching all of them! (BTW, when the fuck did Jeff get a kid on that? Man, am I behind on that.) 

A show isn't great just because it's great from first episode to last or season by season, a show is truly great when you can sit down, get thrown into a random episode and get woven into it anyway, like you were caught in it's spell. This is why "Mom" and "Mike & Molly" are gonna be in reruns for years and "Silicon Valley" is gonna be forgotten in ten years. Why you can come to the conclusion after a week of watching nothing but "South Park" that we really don't have enough episodes of "South Park" out there. Why "Law & Order" and "CSI" will be around forever, and why-, seriously why does AMC play nothing but "The Walking Dead" anymore; they used to air movies! The M in AMC, is for MOVIES! Put an old movie on! And, by old, I mean, older than my high school diploma!  

Hell, I enjoy watching crap television like this. I may be a film snob at heart, but I do understand the value of watching, studying and analyzing the crap of television; maybe that's because I grew up back when the novelty of Jerry Springer made the trainwreck watchable and controversial, but I think bad movies come and go, television was practically built on the premise of just throwing whatever you can find to air, on the air, 'cause they needed to fill air time; there was never that need for movies to produce content, even back in the earliest days of the medium. I can appreciate a lot of, utter garbage, television-wise, on that level, much more than I can appreciate most garbage I find in cinema. Maybe that's me. I once commented that it was wrong that contestants on "Project Runway Junior" didn't know what "Gilligan's Island" was and I got pushback from some who thought it was a good thing. I mean, I get it, that we should leave the bad in the past, but, no, I'm right here; it is bad that television has been morphing to the point where it's forgetting it's roots simply because television is evolving. I was the only one who seemed to think ABC canceling "The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show" was the worst thing of all-time, but everybody said, "Looney Tunes" won't go away, it'll be around, and it's on cable and everybody has cable, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, none of that became true and now we have generations of kids who grew up on "Pokemon" and they think it's okay for that to have happened. Getting rid of the past or roots, good or bad, it's bad. So, yeah, I don't think it's a bad thing that I was more than one episode of "Botched" today. I mean, there's certainly better I could've done, but that could've been limiting my scope and now is the time to explore and expand. 

That sense of discovery is gone. People are getting rid of their cable or in some cases their TV nowadays, and to be honest, I do understand it. Cable/satellite is too expensive and for those who don't find joy in these typical searching and trapfalls of television; I guess they don't need it, but to me, the ideal scenario for entertainment will always be, getting the biggest cable package you can, as many channels as possible, including pay channels if possible, and not banning or blocking anything. Seek, find, explore, sit down and enjoy something that, you weren't in the mood for or knew you were going to watch when you sat down, just find something on and watch it, because it was on at the time. 

All that said, I do have some observations however about how cable has change, or at least some of the channels. I mean, I can see how, let's just say, cable is less desirable cause, some of these channels, they- some of them barely resemble the channels that I used to-, not even like, just remember. And yeah, I know there's the typical complaints, MTV doesn't play music videos, or has much to do with music at all, anymore, or butter they're not the only offender of that one. There isn't much focus on Arts or Entertainment on A&E anymore. Bravo, despite finally getting "Project Runway" back, at least the brand if not Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn back, except for "Top Chef" they've basically abandoned reality-competition series, which was already a hard sell from what they used to be, and the History Channel is full of alien conspiracy bullshit when not airing "Pawn Stars". 

Come to think of it, as much as I do like marathons of series, those used to be, only a rare, or occasional thing; not everyday. Memorial Day for instance,or some other holiday was a great excuse to air marathon blocks of shows, but still, TV channels did used to have a lineup of several shows. I mean, I know shows are expensive, but cable used to be the home where we'd find all those obscure cheap programmings that we'd watch as a kid. Now? They're on everyday, on multiple channels. You know, it's not that hard to find a regularly-scheduled program. I mean, I like marathons, they're early binge-watching, but the way it's done here, it's basically turning into, just-, well, it's turning the networks into the shows themselves. I mean, you turn on A&E and all that's ever on is "Storage Wars", then it's just gonna be the network of "Storage Wars". "Storage Wars" and-, um, all those reality shows about cops and other emergency personnel series that,- I'm just gonna call them, Not-"Cops"-but-basically-"Cops" shows. (Oh, and Leah Remini's Scientology thing, which is amazing btw.) 

I guess that wouldn't be this homogenous if perhaps TV wasn't always streaming everywhere; streaming doesn't really work as well for networks when they have to get the rights to obscure kids childrens series from Canada and the UK or wherever else early Nickelodeon got their shows, but (Sighs) it's a little disappointing. Everybody creates their own content, but now there's less content 'cause they have to make it all, and also it's cheaper, so a lot of it is redundant reality series. Or-, maybe redundant isn't the right, but formulaic. 

Every network's collection of reality shows has a formula, and that's...- fine. I mean, reality has always been formulaic as well, but, some variety would be interesting. I mean, if the Emmys can find like five different reality program categories, than why can't TLC? (Also, why is TLC a reality channel, that stands for "The Learning Channel," that should- hmph. Nevermind. [Don't write comments, I know why TLC is the way it is now; I'm just still annoyed by it.) 

Branding a network isn't as important anymore. I mean, in some cases it is, but accuracy of branding has left the building and some channels change their name so damn much anymore too that it's no wonder that it seems like anything can show up anywhere now. I think it just seems like networks are changing their approach and branding more often and more rapidly than ever. This could just be because I haven't watched cable on as regularly as I once did, but it does feel weird how some networks continue to struggle to seem consistent. Or in some cases, seem was too consistent it's almost impossible to put anything else on them at times. (Shrugs)

Of course, this is probably our curse at well. We had 4 channels, we weren't happy, we got 57 channels and we said that nothing was on, now we have as many channels as the world can imagine, they can't all have a full concise lineup anymore. I mean, it was hard enough finding quality back then, and frankly I'm not even looking for that most of the time. If I find quality, it's almost like a shock, you know? I've had that conversation several times, "Hey, I started watching this reality show about fashion designers, turns out it's really friggin' good!" "You know what else is good, that show that's like "Kitchen Nightmares" but with bars? Yeah, who knew? I'm watching that after I'm done with British comedy series I found, that-, you gotta see it some time, "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", it's just these comics and they take suggestions from the crowd and make up shit...-, just trust me, you gotta see it, but you first, you gotta see this Japanese cooking show, "Iron Chef"!..." 

I think that's what I miss most, that search for something good. If there's any difference between film and television, it's this; movies, we get reviews, we get previews, we have to seek out and god to a movie theater to find something specific to watch, television is so vast and wide, just on that little box in our living room that you can and sometimes should just seek out everything and see what you find. You filter through the crap, so you can tolerate the decent and still not feel like you've been cheated even if it takes you forever to get to the quality, and even then, it's a good that you might not've been expecting. To me, that's the best kind of good; when you're not expecting it and it comes thrusting upon you. It's hard for films to do that, but television, that's the real joy. 

Even if you'd never in a million years, would think you'd ever watch a channel or two; the fact is, you don't really know that for sure do you; so you might as well check it out once in a while, just in case. 


Sunday, October 7, 2018

COMEDY FILM RECOMMENDATIONS: A random list of films as a response to BBC and TIMEOUT's Top 100 lists.

Hmmm. I know I’m supposed to write something about, whatever’s going on in the entertainment world at the moment, but honestly there’s not too much I really feel like talking much about, even like a minor way. I mean, other than the fact that IMDB’s new buttons on Movie, Top and TV News are just stupid and awful and they should totally go back to how it previously was on their webpage, but what’s going on, anything? Kanye West is being stupid? Yeah, that’s not news. There’s some casting choices that I don’t care about and won’t have an opinion on until after the movie comes out. I mean, I guess there’s some stuff going on with Weinstein, but I think we’re all sick of that, and besides, most of us are more focused on the even more egregious crap going on in Washington, where they’ve come up with the idea of “Let’s find the drunk-as-a-skunk Biff Tannen version of Harvey Weinstein meets jock itch and forcing him onto the Supreme Court, which is still like, barely in the Top 20 of horrible ideas they’ve had lately so, yeah it’s hard with that kind of bullshit going on to pay attention to anything going in the Hollywood at the moment. #FreeAmy.

So, instead of dwelling on anything going on in the real world, I think we can use a break from the real world and perhaps a laugh. Now, a few months back there was a Top 100 Comedy films poll released by BBC Culture, you can view the list at the link below:


Also, coincidentally or perhaps in response to the list, TimeOut also produced a Top 100 Comedy Films list a couple months back, that link is below: 


I won't comment on every film on either list although any one I haven't seen on either, I'm currently adding to my Netflix. (Well, I will be soon at least.) I must confess though that, well, it's been harder and harder to laugh lately. While here, I'm an entertainment blogger, when I'm working on my screenplays and work, usually I tend to consider specialty to be comedy. Most of my heroes are comedy writers to one degree or another, either working in film, television, stand-up, sketch, variety, etc., and I still consider being a comedy writer one of my biggest strengths and in many cases, I think comedy is the biggest and most important art form in some mediums. It amazes me how little sitcoms are given credit for instance in regards to television today, especially when they're usually still bigger and more important and culturally relevant than even the best drama series and will be remembered far longer and with more revery than it's sister genre. Yet, I can't remember the last time Comedy Series was considered the premiere Emmy Award and was announced last as it had traditionally been years earlier. However, I do understand the shift. Frankly, I've wanted to laugh less and less lately over the years and right now, without giving away too much of what I'm doing personally, I haven't written a full comedy script or even a sketch of one in years and the current project I'm working on, is of all genres, horror. I mean, it's more thriller horror than blood-and-guts slasher or anything, but still, this is such a vast 180 from even a couple years ago for me personally, much less years earlier back wence I started this blog that my mind boggles if I think too long about the path I've taken to get here. 

Still though, if anything, this feels like a sign to me that comedy is just as important, if not moreso than ever. Sometimes we really need to laugh. I'm not sure we'll always be able to in these times, but we have to try; we have to laugh. 


So, what am I going to do, just list a bunch of Comedy Movies? (Shrugs) Yeah, I think so. 


I mean, I-, well, I hate to be so,...- eh. Yeah, I don't really know what else to say or do really. 


I mean, I could tell jokes or something but...- um, alright I'll write a joke real quick. Um let's see-eh, a guy walks into a Talent Agent's office, "He says, I've got an act for you," and the talent agent says, "You're not gonna pitch me The Aristocrats again, are you?", and the guy goes, "Oh, so I've been here before? Well, alright, I got other acts for you, I represent Dane Cook, Bob Saget and Carrot Top," and the Talent Agent looks on deep in thought for a minute and says, "Alright, let me see The Aristocrats again."

(Shrugs) That's the best I got on short notice, unless you want to hear a two minute rant about supermarkets lines being too long, so...- 


Alright, I'm not doing a Top 100 Comedy Films, it probably wouldn't be that different from the lists above anyway, although I definitely wouldn't mind knocking a few titles off both those lists. So, I'm just showcase some other comedies that didn't make either list. There's no order or anything, just some funny movies that I highly recommend people watch. 



THE THIN MAN (1933) 


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I've written on "The Thin Man" before, you can find that Canon of Film post below:
http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2015/11/canon-of-film-thin-man.html


I guess some would claim that this isn't so much a comedy as it is a mystery, but we're mostly watching these films for the drunken banter and absurdist wit of Nick and Nora Charles. There might be a serious mystery around them, but life is a fun-loving comedy to them. 



SOULS FOR SALE (1923) 

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One of the first comedies to satirize the film industry itself, this dark comic silent classic has only been rediscovered recently. It's part cameo-fest for the time, but it's also sometimes downright insane.


HORSE FEATHERS (1932)


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"Duck Soup" is rightfully considered The Marx Brothers best movies, and deservedly so, but then usually people seem to go to "A Night at the Opera" which is a good movie, but I think "Horse Feathers" is by far their next funniest. 


I'M NO ANGEL (1933)


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How do they not have a single Mae West movie on either of these lists? I've written on this one before too: 


http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2016/11/canon-of-film-im-no-angel.html


THE BANK DICK (1940)


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Okay, it's a little more understandable to me that they both left off W.C. Fields, it's somewhat tricky to distinguish what his best film might be, but-eh, seriously, how do they leave off W.C. Fields? 


BALL OF FIRE (1941)


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I'm not the biggest Howard Hawks guy, but this is some wonderful screwball nonsense of his. It probably helps that Billy Wilder wrote the screenplay. 


THE MIRACLE AT MORGAN'S CREEK (1943)

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I'm honestly a bit surprised Preston Sturgess got this one past the Hays Code back then; it's actually pretty racy when you think about it, even for the time. 

SUNSET BLVD (1950)

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Speaking of Billy Wilder, I know this is generally considered more of a drama as well, but there's definitely a dark-comic edge to some of his most serious films. You can probably throw "Stalag 17" and "Double Indemnity" into this category as well. 


SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT (1955) 


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Yes, Ingmar Bergman does comedy and he does it well. This is probably one of his most overlooked movies, but it's as batshit insane any other "The Rules of the Game" re-imagining you can think of. 


ADAM'S RIB (1951) 


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There's a lot of great Tracy & Hepburn films I can put here, "Pat & Mike" for instance I think is fairly underrated, but "Adam's Rib" is the probably the top go-to. I wrote on this one earlier too.

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2013/09/canon-of-film-adams-rib.html


A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (1964)

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I'd say this holds up well as a comedy, don't you? There were musicals on several of those lists; and this is a great comic musical. And besides that, even if you can't get a laugh, at least you get The Beatles. 

IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD (1963)


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How did this masterpiece completely miss both lists? It's another one I've written on before, but I can't imagine anybody who hates this one; there's always something funny in this one if you wait a minute.

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2015/12/canon-of-film-its-mad-mad-mad-mad-world.html


DAY FOR NIGHT (1973)

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Another one of the films I've already put in the Canon of Film, and personally, not only is this film still pretty funny; I must say that while there's definitely competition, this is what I consider to be Truffaut's best film.
http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2018/04/canon-of-film-day-for-night.html

MANHATTAN (1979)

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I know it's not en vogue now, but it's still one of his best films. I've also written on this one: 


http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2013/06/canon-of-film-manhattan.html


AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973) 

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Boy, they really did miss a bunch, didn't they? Including this, George Lucas's greatest film! (Yes, it is!) I've written on-, eh, you know the drill by now.


http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2012/11/canon-of-film-american-graffiti.html

THE GOODBYE GIRL (1977)

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I know most people just think of this movie as the film that Richard Dreyfuss won the Best Actor Oscar for, but I think people forget that this is a great Neil Simon work that's absolutely hilarious. I mean, Dreyfuss has to play a flaming homosexual Richard III in the worst production of it ever! Seriously, watch this one some time. 

BACK TO THE FUTURE (1985) 

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Anyone want to take the side of "This isn't a comedy"? I think it's like the one movie that everyone can possibly agree on, but-eh, somehow missed both lists? Yeah, I've written on it already too!

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2015/08/canon-of-film-back-to-future.html

FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982)

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I'm guessing this one might've suffered from not being particularly en vogue at the moment either. You know, with all the underage sex and teenagers sleeping with teachers, and...- yeah, yeah, yeah. I've made for the argument for this one already too.

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2012/09/fast-times-at-ridgemont-high-official.html


WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT (1989)

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Okay, they didn't forget all animation, both these lists anyway, how do you miss "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"? I think sometimes the voters just weren't thinking. 

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2013/01/canon-of-film-who-framed-roger-rabbit.html

THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO (1985) 

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There's a couple '80s Woody Allen's I could list, but I'm surprised this one doesn't pop up more often as one of his more beloved ones. 

ARTHUR (1981) 

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Have people forgotten how great the original "Arthur" was? Or do they just hate that it's a movie that make fun alcoholism? I don't know, still a great film to me.

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2014/11/canon-of-film-arthur.html


STRIPES (1981) 

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I don't know why "Stripes" keeps getting forgotten among '80s comedies either. Honestly, I think it's a lot better than some of the other '80s comedies starring these guys. More than some of the more popular ones. 

ROXANNE (1987)

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Are we not all in agreement on "Roxanne" being Steve Martin's best comedy film?! A-pparently not. (Depressed sigh) 

BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (1999)

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I think people have just forgotten how inventive and creative this film was when it was originally released. 

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2016/01/canon-of-film-being-john-malkovich.html

TOPSY-TURVY (1999)

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I'm always happy when people discover Mike Leigh's films, but they don't discover this one enough. I mean, c'mon! It's Gilbert & Sullivan, you're already at comic genius before you add Mike Leigh! 

ELECTION (1998) 

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Alexander Payne completely missed both lists; I have no idea why or how that is even possible. (Consider this the entry for all his films)

THREE KINGS (1999) 

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For some reason, this David O. Russell masterpiece constantly gets overlooked and I legit don't understand why we don't talk about this as easily his best film. 

DOGMA (1999)

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There's a lot about Kevin Smith that I relate to and appreciate, maybe moreso than others might, even today, (It's a Jersey thing) and I think it's debatable what his very best film is, but I probably have the softest spot for "Dogma". You don't just find smart comedies about high-minded subjects like this anymore. 

EAT, DRINK, MAN, WOMAN (1994) 

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I really need to put more foreign comedies on here, and frankly I should probably watch more, and Ang Lee wouldn't have been my original thought as a director in this regard, but this is a delightfully fun, family comedy, with a delightfully fun family in the middle. 

ALMOST FAMOUS (2000)

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I wrote on this one, a long, long, time ago....

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2011/10/canon-of-film-almost-famous.html

HIGH FIDELITY (2000)

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In this dead era of rom-coms most of the bad ones have either not learned any lesson from "High Fidelity," or were blatantly trying to copy it. 

O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU (2000)

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I guess I could single out almost any Coen Brothers film that they missed, (Which reminds me, I totally missed how both lists, totally missed "Fargo".) but I think this one deserves more love. 

ADAPTATION. (2001)

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I promise, someday I'm gonna talk more about how great "Adaptation." is; I just haven't gotten to it yet, but it is genius. Just trust me, I really know how genius this film truly is. 

LOST IN TRANSLATION (2002)

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Yes, it's a comedy, and a funny and touching one at that. 

GOSFORD PARK (2000)

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I really need to seek this movie out and rewatch it. I have to include at least one Robert Altman here. 

LOVE, ACTUALLY (2002)

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I don't get why there's so much animosity towards this film. Just because other rom-coms failed to try to remake it dozens of times, doesn't make the original worst.

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2013/12/canon-of-film-love-actually.html


BAD SANTA (2003)

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"Fuck me, Santa! Fuck me, Santa! Fuck me, Santa!" Sorry, that always makes me laugh. Also, we don't give Lauren Graham enough sexy roles. 

SAVED! (2004)

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I do love "Mean Girls", I know I should probably get more on board with that film, but, here's the thing, "Saved!" is the teen comedy that I always gravitated towards. 

THE UPSIDE OF ANGER (2005)

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This is a seriously underrated film. I'm not a Mike Binder guy, but he really nailed this one. It's like what a modern-day "Terms of Endearment" should be. 

THE PUFFY CHAIR (2006)

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To me, this is premiere mumblecore film. 

JUNO (2007)

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I still think it should've won Best Picture that year. I don't get the supposed, "At first we liked it, now we hate it," thing; "Juno" has always been great. 

PINEAPPLE EXPRESS 

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Fine, I put a stoner movie up, you happy? This actually is a really good modern one though. 

(500) DAYS OF SUMMER (2009)

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Still one of the best rom-coms this century. And best use of Hall & Oates in a movie, ever!

ZOMBIELAND (2009)

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(Sigh) I'll get shit for this, but I don't like "Shaun of the Dead", like at all. "Zombieland" I think is funny as hell though. I know it came out first, but I've tried, "Shaun..." is cute and all, but it bores me. 

3 IDIOTS (2009)

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I don't know enough about Bollywood or Indian cinema in general to know for certain how highly I should rank "3 Idiots" but-eh, this is the best of those films that I've seen, and like, by a mile the best I might add. 

THE LOBSTER (2016)

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People who complain about movies not having original or unique stories and say that they don't like "The Lobster"; I'm not sure what to do with them honestly. 

THE BIG SHORT (2015) 

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I'm definitely happy that "Anchorman..." got so many votes on those lists, but just because it's a movie about a serious subject, doesn't mean it's not a comedy too. 

TRAINWRECK (2015)

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"Trainwreck" is the movie that Mae West would've made if she were around today, and it's Judd Apatow's best film as a director yet. Also, Amy Schumer haters can suck it.

AMERICAN HUSTLE (2013) 

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I never got the hatred for this film either. "It's too Scorsese" or whatever. A. That's not a bad thing; B. it's not. You want proof, watch this after "Three Kings" and imagine this was the movie David O. Russell did after that film. 

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013)

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Speaking of Scorsese, look, I'm happy "The King of Comedy" showed up on both those polls, and deservedly so, but c'mon, this is his comedy film. 

YOUNG ADULT (2011)

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This might not be what anybody would call a "laugh-out-loud" comedy, but god, this movie is twisted as Hell. 

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011)

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Again, there's other post-'80s Allen's that deserves mention too, although "Bullets Over Broadway" should be more appreciated, but I don't know, in a world that seems run on nostalgia lately, um, this one feels the most relevant to me. 

BOWFINGER (1999) 

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Totally just realized that I don't have too many African-American comedies listed. I'm not sure "Bowfinger" should even count but it's the best Eddie Murphy comedy not on either list. 

BLACK DYNAMITE (2009)

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You know, I think I underrated this film when I first saw it. I liked it a lot, but mostly felt like it was thirty years too late, but now that some time has passed; I realize that it's so over-the-top that that doesn't matter too much. 

LETHAL WEAPON (1987)

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Now that I'm thinking about it, I originally skipped over "Lethal Weapon" even though I did notice that it was missing from the lists; at first I thought, eh, maybe it's too serious. I don't know what I was thinking there; this is the movie that all buddy cop movies try to be, even today. And you know what, a couple of the sequels are really funny too. 

Well, that was way more than I thought it would be. Lotta work and a lotta movies, and at least I hope they lead you guys to getting a lot of laughs if nothing else?