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These 20 Comedy Movies Turn 20 This Year (And They’re Just as Funny as Ever)




by Xtreme HD IPTV

Comedy movies have been entertaining audiences for decades now. They tend to mine humor from our shared experiences, which is what makes them universally likable. Some comedies, however, get better with age as their jokes and one-liners continue to delight newer generations. In 2024, we celebrate the 20th anniversary of several comedy classics that redefine the genre by being either satirical, political, or endlessly funny.

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The year 2004 did not have a shortage of comedy movies. Whether it was Will Ferrell cementing his status as a hilarious leading man in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy or Simon Pegg transforming the zombie genre into a laugh-out-loud parody with Shaun of the Dead, their bumbling characters paved the way for a unique blend of absurd humor and pop culture delight. This list looks back to 20 movies that have aged gracefully because they do everything right, from situation to delivery.

20 50 First Dates

Back in the 2000s, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore were at the height of their careers, starring mainly in feel-good dramas and romantic comedies. 50 First Dates sees the former as a playboy veterinarian who falls for Lucy, played by Barrymore. The catch, however, is that Lucy has a condition that causes her to forget everything that happened to her in the previous days. To which Henry responds by going out of his way and making each day memorable.

Sandler and Barrymore Have Unmatched Chemistry

It wasn’t just Sandler and Barrymore’s heartwarming chemistry that carried this comedy to refreshing standards. 50 First Dates has the kind of humor that brings much-needed laughter and emotion even 20 years later. Director Peter Segal also deserves credit for bringing awareness to memory conditions and balancing it with subtle scenes of comedy, proving why fans keep coming back to the genre for more. Stream on Starz.

19 The Girl Next Door

Starring Emile Hirsch, Elisha Cuthbert, and Timothy Olyphant, The Girl Next Door is a buddy comedy directed by Luke Greenfield. It follows a high school senior named Matthew whose dreams come true when a pretty woman, Danielle, moves next door. Immediately falling in love with her, he begins to show her around town and introduces her to his friend. It is only later that he finds out that Danielle is a former adult movie star.

A Rare Villain Role from Timothy Olyphant

The Girl Next Door didn’t make it commercially and wasn’t very popular with the critics, but it gained a cult following over time because of its clueless and world-weary characters. Olyphant, in particular, won praise for his role as Kelly, an adult film producer, and Danielle’s ex-boyfriend. Moreover, the movie has a subtle sweetness and razor-sharp wit that certainly warrants a couple of rewatches. Rent on Apple TV.

18 Team America: World Police

Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the genius minds behind South Park, Team America: World Police is a brilliant comedy that uses marionettes instead of humans and satirizes Hollywood action movies as well as American politics. The titular elite paramilitary force is tasked with keeping America safe. They recruit a famous Broadway actor to join them on an over-the-top mission involving Kim Jong Il.

Way Ahead of its Time

Like most of Parker’s works, Team America: World Police was way ahead of its time in skewering American imperialism and militarism. Seeing puppet versions of celebrities, placing them in absurd situations, and giving them clever dialogue adds an extra level of satire. While the F-bombs fly out just as freely as they do today, it is the political commentary that rings true. And indigestible to some. But that’s what makes fans howl. Stream on Paramount+.

Related: 55 Best Comedy Movies of All Time

17 Meet the Fockers

In the sequel to Meet the Parents, which was praised by audiences and critics alike, we see Greg Focker and his fiancée Pam Byrnes six months away from their wedding when they bring their parents together. Pam’s parents are Jack and Dina and Greg’s parents are Bernie and Roz. The cultural differences between the disciplined, by-the-book Byrnes clash with the Fockers’ free-spirited and progressive way of life, leading to a lot of chaos.

Stiller and De Niro Are Hilarious Together

Once again, Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller are hilarious together. Whether they are skirmishing physically or exchanging verbal insults, watching them is always entertaining. Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand steal the scenes as the quirky Fockers and leave everyone on edge. Meet the Fockers is basically a freewheeling comedy about marriage and in-laws. Stream on Netflix.

16 The Whole Ten Yards

Not a massive commercial hit, The Whole Ten Yards is almost as funny, if not more, as its predecessor. The crime comedy features Bruce Willis as the retired assassin Jimmy “The Tulip” Tudeski, now happily retired from contract killing. Matthew Perry plays Oz, Jimmy’s former pal and the current husband of his ex-wife Cynthia. When Cynthia is abducted by a Hungarian gangster, Jimmy jumps in to help.

An Underrated Bruce Willis Comedy

Filled with a lot of mayhem and over-the-top action, The Whole Ten Yards is appreciated for its comedic timing and outlandish plot twists. Directed by Howard Deutch, the movie is so silly that it is almost painful to watch. But fans of Willis and Perry would find it charming and breezy, especially if you are looking for an escapist action and fun watch. Rent on Apple TV.

15 The Terminal

Loosely inspired by a true story, The Terminal tells the story of a man named Viktor Navorski. He arrives at the JFK Airport from Krakozhia only to be denied entry into the United States due to a military coup in his country rendering him a citizen of nowhere. With an invalid passport, Navorski is stranded in the terminal transit lounge. Butting heads with Frank Dixon, the acting commissioner, and making friends with the airport staff, he remains persistent.

Spielberg Makes Us Laugh and Cry

Director Steven Spielberg’s entire aim with this movie was to create something “that could make us laugh and cry and feel good about the world.” With Tom Hanks leading the narrative, it sure brought depth and humor into the year. Hanks lets his character evoke laughter by refusing to let his bizarre reality dampen his optimistic outlook on life. The movie also has a bunch of farcical supporting characters played by Stanley Tucci, Kumar Pallana, and Diego Luna. Stream on Fubo TV.

14 Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Spoofing sports dramas like no other film before its time, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is a true masterpiece in the comedy genre. The central character is Peter LaFleur, an average and unlucky gym owner who faces the risk of losing the establishment due to mounting debts. To save his business, he forms a team of misfits and competes in a dodgeball tournament.

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge

Gracing the genre with memorable rapid-fire dialogues like “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball!” and “Remember the 5 D’s of dodgeball: Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge,” the movie never gets old. Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn showcase their immense comedic talents and celebrate the idea of nerdy underdogs while also lobbying for laughs. Overall, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story is the kind of comedy you’d expect from the 2000s. Stream on Hulu.

13 The Incredibles

With The Incredibles, Pixar Animation Studios established yet another outstanding family-friendly franchise. Set in a futuristic version of the 1960s, where superheroes have been outlawed and forced to live normal lives, the movie revolves around Bob Parr, aka Mr. Incredible, and his wife, aka Elastigirl, and kids Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack, as they are lured into an evil trap by Syndrome, a fan-turned-foe.

On Par With Any Other Superhero Flick

Brad Bird’s second collaboration with Pixar is a love letter to the golden age of superhero comics. It dazzles the audiences with its premise, which is a mix of spy thriller and family comedy. The film’s success and enduring nature is mainly because of the incredible animation, slick action, and endless surprises. The two Oscar wins show it just gets better over time. Stream on Disney+.

Related: Best Non-Marvel or DC Superhero Movies, Ranked

12 Sideways

sideways

Sideways

Release Date
October 22, 2004

Runtime
124

A thoughtful and very funny buddy comedy/road film, Sideways centers around two men in their forties – Miles is a failed novelist and Jack is a soon-to-be-wed actor. Together, they embark on a week-long road trip through California’s wine country to celebrate Jack’s upcoming wedding. From battling anxieties to seducing women, they escape midlife crises and realize how moving and profound their friendship is.

Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay

A delightful success at the box office and winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Sideways is genuinely funny in the sense that it is honest. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church are perfectly cast as two cringeworthy and snobbish men, rendering both pathos and humor. Under the gaze of director Alexander Payne, the movie sparked a wider appreciation for wine and became a timeless comedy. Stream on DirecTV.

11 EuroTrip

Eurotrip

Eurotrip

Release Date
February 20, 2004

Runtime
92

Directed by Jeff Schaffer, EuroTrip is a sex comedy that follows a high school graduate named Scott who gets dumped by his girlfriend and is so drunk and angry that he decides to set off on a backpacking trip to Europe and find his German pen pal Mieke. Accompanying him are his best friends Cooper, and twins Jenny and Jamie. Their misadventures see them traveling across England, the Netherlands, Slovakia, and Italy, while being caught up in wild experiences.

Youthful Clichés and Funny Cameos

Despite being full of teenage clichés and having a ridiculous plot, EuroTrip elicits laughter from relatable situations like indecent youthful indulgence and clashes with parents’ expectations. Years after its release, the movie became a staple in pop culture because of its well-directed scenes, bad jokes, a cameo from Matt Damon, and the memorable song “Scotty Doesn’t Know.” Rent on Apple TV.

10 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is one of those films that found appreciation years after its release. Directed by Wes Anderson, it follows the titular character, an oceanographer, whose expedition partner Esteban was killed by a jaguar shark. Determined to hunt down the mysterious life form and exact his revenge, he gathers a ragtag bunch of characters and goes on an underwater adventure.

One of Wes Anderson’s Best Films

Nowhere out of the ordinary from Anderson’s filmography in terms of its whimsical aesthetics and poignant message, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou still stands out because of its deadpan humor and exquisite design. The stellar cast, which includes Bill Murray as Zissou and Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum as supporting characters, does an outstanding job at fully realizing the fantastical world that is both funny and thought-provoking. Stream on Hoopla.

9 Garden State

Written, directed by, and starring Zach Braff in the lead role, Garden State tells the story of a 26-year-old struggling actor and part-time waiter who returns to his hometown of New Jersey after years of begging away to attend his mother’s funeral. Still dealing with a lot of emotional trauma, Andrew reconnects with old friends and falls for a young woman named Sam.

Offbeat Humor and Melancholic Themes

Garden State is a must-watch for all the 20-somethings out there not just because it spins the trope with offbeat humor and melancholic tunes, but also because it depicts that inner battle within a person’s subconscious in an indelible light. The subtle humor comes from Braff’s character, and his chemistry with Natalie Portman is simply breathtaking. Her ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ kick-started a wave of representation in comedy dramas. Stream on Hulu.

8 Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle launched the careers of Kal Penn and John Cho and established them as the ideal jinxed stoner duo. In the movie, they are roommates who smoke a lot of marijuana one night and see an advertisement for White Castle before embarking on an epic quest to satisfy their late-night munchies. Along the way, they encounter Neil Patrick Harris and other craziness.

Amazing Chemistry from the Leads

Staying true to the genre of stoner comedies, this first film in a series of many others, also subverts stereotypes and is full of riffs on everyday annoyances. Penn and Cho’s characters have hilarious chemistry and their notorious humor shocks the audiences but also lands on the cultural radar, enjoyable by many. According to Roger Ebert, the movie nails the secret of comedy where “the characters must be obsessed with unwholesome but understandable human desires.” Rent on Apple TV.

Related: 15 All-Time Best Stoner Comedy Movies Ever Made, Ranked

7 Shrek 2

Shrek 2

Shrek 2

Release Date
May 19, 2004

Runtime
93

The second installment in the Shrek film series sees the beloved ogre and Princess Fiona return from their honeymoon to the Kingdom of Far Far Away only to realize that her parents aren’t exactly approving of Shrek. Enter the Fairy Godmother, and her son Prince Charming, and Shrek finds trouble standing in the way of his “happily ever after.”

Better Than the Original

Much like the inaugural film, Shrek 2 found success at the box office, as well as with critics. The movie also took home five Critics Choice Awards and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards, and was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or. If that alone isn’t a testament to the film’s charm and legacy, there’s Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy’s unparalleled comedic timing, refreshing fairy tale tropes, pop culture parodies, and genuine humor to make it an enduring comedy. Stream on Peacock Premium.

6 13 Going on 30

Silly but heartwarming, 13 Going on 30 tells the story of an unusually unhappy adolescent Jenna Rink who experiences a humiliating birthday and makes a wish – to be an adult. Waking up another day to discover herself as a 30-year-old woman in New York City and realize that she now works as an editor for a fashion magazine is an easy pill to swallow. But Jenna’s adulthood struggles soon catch up to her.

A Heartwarming Teen Comedy

A massive praise for 13 Going on 30 went to Jennifer Garner, who excels at playing the role of an adult Jenna, still a teenager at heart. The humor comes from scenes like Jenna dancing carefree or her trying to adapt to corporate life. According to critics, “Garner throws herself so fully and effectively into the role,” and that’s why this rom-com stays just as funny two decades on. Stream on Netflix.

5 Kung Fu Hustle

Kung Fu Hustle

Kung Fu Hustle

Release Date
February 10, 2004

Cast
Stephen Chow , Xiaogang Feng , Wah Yuen , Zhi Hua Dong , Kwok-Kwan Chan , Chi Chung Lam

Runtime
99

Grossing a little over $100 million at the box office, Kung Fu Hustle was a humble hit at the time of its release, and the movie eventually grew a larger fan base. Its plot, set in 1940s Beijing, sees Sing, a hapless wannabe gangster wanting to join the notorious Axe Gang, who spread terror in the neighborhood. What Sing doesn’t know, however, is that the neighborhood is also occupied by three eccentric kung fu masters.

Stephen Chow at His Best

Featuring plenty of over-the-top fight scenes and slapstick comedy, Kung Fu Hustle is among those martial arts movies that demand occasional repeat viewings. Not only does the film mock the genre classics like Crouching Tiger, but it also refrains from being complex and compelling. Director Stephen Chow finds the sweet spot between wuxia epics and absurdist dramas, stays at the center of the spectrum and delivers a movie that is simple and timeless. Rent on Apple TV.

4 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

It is the 1970s, we’re in the local news business and Ron Burgundy is the most famous anchorman in San Diego news. However, the arrival of an ambitious newswoman named Veronica Corningstone, who is just as good, is threatening his perfect hair and career. Adam McKay’s directorial debut is filled with newsroom hijinks and one-liners that are game-changing.

I’m Ron Burgundy?

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy not only perfected the combination of absurdism and screwball, but it also satirized masculinity, workplace dynamics, and inflated male egos with unmatched precision. The movie is made up of an incredible cast. After all, we won’t get to witness Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and Paul Rudd in the same film again, right? Plus, it immortalizes lines like “Knights of Columbus, that hurt.” and “I’m kind of a big deal.” Stream on Paramount+.

3 Napoleon Dynamite

Developed on a shoestring budget of $400,000, Napoleon Dynamite was an unexpected but well-deserved success. It centers around an awkward teenager, Napoleon, who spends his days daydreaming. When he decides to help an immigrant student Pedro run for and win the class presidency, there’s only more chaos and embarrassment. Additionally, he’s pursuing a school crush and dealing with a difficult family.

John Heder’s Breakout

John Heder is perfectly cast as the socially awkward and kind-hearted outsider seeking an escape. He imbues the role with his own brand of physical comedy and delivers memorable one-liners. Now, Napoleon Dynamite isn’t what you’d call a ‘hilarious’ film, but its offbeat humor, ability to capture mundane high school/small town drama, and quirky characters, are what make it a gem in the genre. Stream on Hulu.

Related: Top Feel-Good Movies of the 2000s

2 Mean Girls

An undeniable success and a beloved cult favorite, Mean Girls follows Cady Heron, a teenager who moves to America to attend public school after being homeschooled in Africa her entire life. She befriends the unpopular girls, Damian and Janis, and learns about the predatory ways of the ‘Plastics,’ a clique of popular girls led by the ruthless Regina George.

On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink!

Mean Girls is written by the SNL great Tina Fey, so naturally, it is laden quite generously with a sharp wit. The movie takes a piercing look at the social hierarchies of high schools and offers a refreshingly funny take on queen bees and social outcasts. Scene-stealing performances by Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams are talked about even today. The movie’s cultural impact was so solid that even today, dialogues like, “Get in loser, we’re going shopping” and “On Wednesdays we wear pink” retain the ability to induce cringe and catharsis. Stream on Showtime.

1 Shaun of the Dead

A zombie satire that is basically a romantic comedy, Shaun of the Dead was co-written and directed by one of the most promising modern directors in the comedy genre, Edgar Wright. Simon Pegg penned the script with him and played the role of a lazy electronics salesman Shaun, who is more than happy to step up and lead his friends and loved ones to safety when Britain is overrun by zombies.

You’ve Got Red on You

The movie received massive critical acclaim for churning comedic gold while also satirizing popular zom-com tropes and delivering gags like there’s no tomorrow. Wright’s idea of casting Pegg along with Nick Frost gave us one of the best duos of hapless heroes of all time. The movie also paves the way for genre-blended comedies in the future with its subversive riffs and perfectly executed scenes. Overall, Shaun of the Dead continues to deliver entertainment. Rent on Apple TV.

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