Comedy movies have no respect. In fact, this is not entirely true: the audience loves them, and a great comedy is sought more than any muted drama. But when it comes to critical adoration and award ceremony, most of the time, comedy gets the shaft. And this is completely wrong. After all, is there anything more difficult than making a whole theater explode with laughter? Not only that, but comedy is also the least enduring genre of the entire cinema. What constitutes an almost hyperventilating audience in 2023 may only be greeted with stony looks a few years later, let alone half a century later.
With a witty and hilarious script by Craig Mazin, author of Chernobyl and The Last Of Us, Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman star, assisted by Amanda Peet as Trish Patterson, Sandy’s wife, Jon Favreau as Harold Cornish, Sandy’s managing director, and John Cho, Sandy’s colleague and later his boss. If the identity thief is something to be seen in your funny alley, then there are a few more visitors here. You can watch most of these movies like Identity Thief on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
1. Get Him to the Greek (2010)
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Writers: Nicholas Stoller, Jason Segel
Stars: Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Elisabeth Moss
If traveling with grandparents seems unusual, how about traveling with a rock star? Sounds like fun, right? Aaron thinks so too, until he actually leaves with one. Aaron Green (Jonah Hill), an ambitious record label manager, is given an initially seemingly simple task: he has to accompany the British rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) to the opening show of a lucrative comeback tour to the iconic Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. However, Snow has other ideas.
When the rock star learns that his true love is in California, he promises to win her back before the tour even starts, putting extreme pressure on Aaron to get Snow on stage in time. Directed by Nicholas Stoller, Aaron’s problem is similar to Sandy’s in Identity Thief in that both have to fulfill an extremely difficult task at an even more difficult time.
2. The Mask (1994)
Director: Chuck Russell
Writers: Michael Fallon, Mark Verheiden, Mike Werb
Stars: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert
Long before Marvel’s Loki, there was the Jim Carrey variety, an altogether more intense cheater type in a comedy in which Carrey cemented his fame as Ace Ventura in 1994. Looking back, the energy of the Looney Tunes movies provides the perfect showcase for Carrey’s wacky maximalism: When he transforms into the mask from the clownish bank teller Stanley Ipkiss, the cue is CG-enhanced scenario chewing, while going through a deeply silly series of fart jokes, Edward G. Robinson impressions and Cameron Diaz advertise. The effects may have lost their luster, but Carrey’s performance still brings with it some comical tension.
3. Tammy (2014)
Director: Ben Falcone
Writers: Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates
A Ben Falcone movie, Tammy not only shares a member of his cast with Identity Thief but also bears a resemblance to the narrative. Melissa McCarthy leads the cast as Tammy, a waitress at the restaurant whose day is getting worse and worse. She totalizes her car, gets fired from her job and discovers her husband in a lewd act with the neighbor. It’s time for Tammy to leave, but she has few options, because she has no money or means of transportation.
Tammy has no choice but to go on an excursion with her grandmother Pearl Susan Sarandon, who has a car, money and a desire to see Niagara Falls. Although Tammy had not planned to leave, the trip turns out to be full of surprises for her. In both Identity Thief and Tammy, the protagonists grow as the film progresses, an unlikely phenomenon in comedy films.
4. Midnight Run (1988)
Director: Martin Brest
Writer: George Gallo
Stars: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto
From one bounty hunter to another comes Martin Brest directing Midnight Run. The reclusive bounty hunter Jack Walsh is hired by Eddie Moscone to track down a mafia accountant named Duke and bring him to Los Angeles. Eddie promises Jack that the job will be easy or a midnight run. However, the FBI and the mafia are eager to catch Jack when he finds the Duke.
During a chase around the country, Jack has to dodge the police, hide from the crowd and take care of his sanity, which is under great threat due to the unpredictable behavior of the dukes. Just like Identity Thief, where Sandy is looking for Diana, Jack is looking for the Duke in Midnight Run; both looks make up for comedic gold that leaves a mark on the audience.
5. The Cable Guy (1996)
Director: Ben Stiller
Writer: Lou Holtz Jr.
Stars: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann
Produced by Judd Apatow, directed by Ben Stiller and starring Jim Carrey, Jack Black and Matthew Broderick, The Cable Guy has all the building blocks of a legendary boy comedy. However, the film is not a Bromance – Carrey plays an insane cable man who drags the new single Broderick into his twisted fantasy world. With an unpleasant scene in which a trip to a medieval restaurant leads to fierce fights between the two friends, the strengths of this dark comedy lie in revealing the unsavory side of Carreys’ acting personality.
6. The Guilt Trip (2012)
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writers: Dan Fogelman, Jason Conzelman
Stars: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen, Julene Renee
The Journey Ahead is The Guilt Trip, a film by Anne Flecther that revolves around Andy Brewster Seth Rogen visiting his controlling mother Joyce Barbra Streisand before embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime journey. This turns out to be a terrible mistake, as Andy gives in to the pressure to take his mother with him on the trip. At first, Andy is only annoyed by his antics when the miles roll by.
However, over time, he begins to realize that they are more similar to each other than he originally imagined, and that Joyce’s insight may be exactly what he needs. Both films, The Guilt Trip and Identity Thief, show through their protagonists that even improbable expeditions can lead to rewarding experiences.
7. Ace Ventura, Pet Detective (1994)
Director: Tom Shadyac
Writers: Jack Bernstein, Tom Shadyac, Jim Carrey
Stars: Jim Carrey,Courteney Cox, Sean Young
When Snowflake, a 500-pound dolphin and mascot of the Miami Dolphins football team, is stolen on the eve of the Super Bowl, Ace Ventura is the only person with animal instincts who can solve the crime. Played by Jim Carrey, he is a second-rate detective with a penchant for Hawaiian shirts and the hyperactive energy of a six-year-old. It’s Carrey at its best. Be warned: there is a lot of humor in the bathroom.
8. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Director: Jared Hess
Writers: Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess
Stars: Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries
Girls just want friends who have great abilities… as for bow hunting skills, computer hacking, it is safe to say that the thin Idaho high school student Napoleon Dynamite does not really understand girls or conversations. This social outsider becomes a great outsider hero, and when he decides that his skill is dancing, things become really funny. Keep an eye out for a funny twist from Efren Ramirez as Napoleon’s best friend Pedro, a transfer student running for class president. Vote for Pedro!
9. Due Date (2010)
Director: Todd Phillips
Writers: Alan R. Cohen, Alan Freedland, Adam Sztykiel
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan
Directed by Todd Phillips, Due Date is a travel comedy inspired by compelling performances by acting heavyweights Robert Downey Jr.and Zach Galifianakis is directed in leading roles. The film follows Peter (Robert Downey Jr.), who, after an incident with an aspiring actor named Ethan, has to cross the country to Los Angeles in time for the birth of his son and is forced to travel with him, which leads to funny results.
Both at maturity and at identity theft, the contrasting personalities of the protagonists contribute to the humor. Like Sandy and Diana, Peter and Ethan Pole are distant from each other, which contributes to the conflict that leads to numerous outrageous situations in both films. The fact that the protagonists finally warm up on the due date, as well as the identity thief, is also a similar and encouraging fact.
10. Clueless (1995)
Director: Amy Heckerling
Writer: Amy Heckerling
bAlicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy
Based on Jane Austen’s Emma, Clueless follows Cher Horowitz, a teenage girl obsessed with shopping and clothes, as she guides rookie Tai through high school. It’s so much more than a teen movie, but for a movie that’s almost 30 years old, Clueless still has a lot of cultural influence, whether it’s inspiring music videos, fashion trends, or shouts of ‘how about! However, most often it is this outstanding achievement of Silverstone that gives this film so much charm and intelligence.