Saturday, May 11, 2013

Top Three Comedy Films: Comparing “Fargo,” “Annie Hall,” and “Best in Show”

Funniest Movies of All Time Are Dark, Neurotic, and Furry

Preparing a list of the top comedy movies is impossible, until now. My three funniest films of all time are "Fargo," "Annie Hall," and "Best in Show."
Sizing up the three classics will stir debate in comedy circles, especially among rodeo clowns, who take humor seriously.

"Fargo" - A Lot Can Happen in the Middle of Nowhere
"Fargo" is a dark comedy about a financially strapped car salesman who hires two thugs to kidnap his wife, hoping to get a hefty ransom from her father.
Quicker than you can say "Paul Bunyan," the scheme goes awry. The thugs kill indiscriminately and someone ends up in a wood chipper.
Sound funny? Well in the world of dark comedy, it stands alone.
The brainchild of Joel and Ethan Cohen, humor abounds from the ensuing police investigation in a town where murder is about as rare as steak tartare.
Who can resist a comedy where the kidnapper orders the victim to stay calm in the back seat of the car by saying:
"Keep it still back there, lady, or else we're gonna have to, ya know, to shoot ya."
Gritty storytelling, flavorful dialogue, and gallows humor.
"Annie Hall" - A Nervous Romance
In contrast to the macabre plot of "Fargo," "Annie Hall" walks the viewer through the twists and turns of romance.
This masterpiece is about New York comedian, Alvy Singer, and his relationship with Annie Hall. The film, written and directed by Woody Allen, won an academy award for best picture, beating R2D2 and the gang from "Star Wars."
Allen uses many techniques to humorous advantage including animation, split screen, subtitles, and breaking the fourth wall.
But forget the directorial maneuvering; the laughs come from one-liners and dialogue.
Allen, and screenwriting partner Marshal Brickman, wrote a tight script delivered with comic brilliance by Allen and co-star, Diane Keaton.
Classic quotes include:
"Those who can do, teach. Those who can't teach, teach gym."
"A relationship, I think, is like a shark. It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark. "

If you haven't seen this movie, do so, immediately.
Best in Show - Some Pets Deserve A Little More Respect Than Others
The tightly scripted "Annie Hall," couldn't be more different than the mockumentary "Best in Show." The film follows several proud dog owners through their journey at the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show.
Among the competitors are Harlan Pepper (an aspiring ventriloquist) and his bloodhound Hubert. Gerry and Cookie Fleck, who run out of money, forcing them to sleep with their terrier, Winky, in the hotel's storage room. And lawyers Hamilton and Meg Swan, who take their dog, Beatrice, to therapy sessions.
You get the idea.
Cameras follow the eclectic cast as they prepare and compete for top prize.

Writer/director Christopher Guest, allows his talented cast to improvise scenes that are as hysterical as any scripted comedy.
As when Gerry Fleck advises his house sitter before leaving, "Don't water the plants, they're plastic."
Or when Hamilton Swan screams at his Weimaraner prior to competition, "Don't look at the fat ass losers or freaks, look at me!"
So there you have it. Three movies that will tickle your funny bone, all from a very different angle.

Laugh on!

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