2022 hasn’t been the best year for comedies. Of Brothers to High-speed train, comedies have struggled to find an audience, and the genre has been struggling for two years. However, comedies were all the rage during the early years of the new millennium, with hits like Presenter: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Almighty Bruce become certified classics.
Still, not all movies were winners from the get-go, and some 2000s comedies were unfairly overlooked when they first hit theaters. Luckily, modern audiences can rediscover these underrated gems through streaming and finally give them their due.
‘Down with Love’ (2003)
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Years before becoming part of the MCU, Peyton Roseau directed the future two-time Oscar winner Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor in the 2003 pastiche I’m done with love. The plot centers on a serial womanizer who poses as a shy astronaut to woo the feminist novelist who criticized his behavior.
An ode to 60s rom-coms, I’m done with love is a delight from start to finish. Zellweger and McGregor do their best dory day and Hudson Rock, and the plot complements their antics perfectly. The tongue-in-cheek tone may be hard to get used to, but the chemistry between Zellweger and McGregor is more than enough to sell the premise.
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When talking about the underrated comedies of all time, it’s impossible not to mention Barry Levinsonit is bandits. A detective comedy with dark accents, bandits stars Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thortonand Cate Blanchett and follows a pair of escaped prisoners who fall in love with the housewife they kidnapped.
A black comedy to the end, bandits makes excellent use of its main trio, creating an exciting and often hilarious story with a surprisingly progressive approach to polyamorous relationships. Additionally, Thornton and Blanchett give two of their best yet most overlooked performances, making bandits a must.
“Stranger Than Fiction” (2006)
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Will Ferrell received a Golden Globe nomination for his tenderly comedic performance in 2006 stranger than fiction. The film is a fantasy comedy about an IRS agent who begins to hear an author’s voice writing about his life and seemingly leading to his eventual death.
Co-starring Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Queen Latifah and Dustin Hoffman, stranger than fiction is one of the most original comedies of the 2000s. The film is a unique and clever look at some of life’s most difficult concepts, including fate and purpose. Benefiting from an exceptionally restrained performance from Ferrel, stranger than fiction succeeds as a challenging exploration of life with a heavy dose of humor.
‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ (2005)
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Robert Downey Jr.The revival of began in 2005 with Shawn Levyblack comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The story centers on Harry Lockhart, a petty criminal who travels to Los Angeles to work alongside a private detective after being mistaken for a professional actor. Val Kilmer and Michelle Monaghan co-starred.
To be a Shawn Levy film, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang takes place during the holidays, making it one of the best unconventional Christmas movies. The dynamic between Downey Jr. and Kilmer is hilarious on its own, but the increasingly absurd plot will have audiences laughing and cringing.
‘Best of the Show’ (2000)
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Christopher GuestEnsemble comedies have become cult classics. Featuring a large group of famous but often overlooked artists, Guest’s films are satirical masterpieces. Best of Show is an acidic look at the world of dog shows with a parade of accomplished comics, including Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Lynch and Bob Balaban.
One of the best mockumentaries of all time, Best of Show is a showcase for its talented ensemble. More importantly, the film is a masterclass in improvisation, with Guest making the most of the group of gifted performers he assembles. And let’s not forget the slew of incredibly cute dogs that could be the show’s real stars.
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Sally Hawkin won a Golden Globe – and was robbed of an Oscar nomination – for her spirited and brilliant performance in Mike Leighthe 2008 comedy Happy-Go-Lucky. The plot follows Poppy Cross, a carefree and cheerful schoolteacher whose philosophy clashes with her more cynical friends and colleagues.
Featuring some of Leigh’s most inspirational writing, Happy-Go-Lucky is a love letter to optimism that never loses its bite. Hawkins shines in her starring role, taking what could easily be a one-note character and elevating her, creating one of 2000s cinema’s most unforgettable female figures.
‘Igby Breaks Down’ (2002)
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Before being Roman Roy, Kieran Culkin was Igby Slocumb. 2002 Igby falls tells the story of a rebellious and privileged teenager who escapes his exclusive boarding school and travels to New York to escape his authoritarian family. Claire Danish, Jeff Goldblum, ryan philippeand Susan Sarandon also star.
One of the best coming-of-age black comedies of the new millennium, Igby falls rides on Culkin’s back. The young man of twenty carries the film with ease, painting the nuanced portrait of a reckless teenager who borders on annoyance without ever giving in to it. Accompanied by an all-star cast, Culkin makes Igby falls an underrated classic.
“The Savages” (2007)
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Academy Winner Philip Seymour Hoffman joins the Oscar nominee Laura Linney as writer/director Tamara Jenkinsblack comedy The Savages. The film focuses on two siblings who have to take care of their sick father.
Acclaimed for his humor and his treatment of a sensitive subject, The Savages earned Jenkins an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay and Linney for Best Actress. The film is a thoughtful and humorous look at family responsibility, presenting several serious issues with an unabashedly dark and get away with it approach.
“The Squid and the Whale” (2005)
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Noah Baumbach is one of the most famous directors working today. His breakthrough film was from 2005 The squid and the whale, a semi-autobiographical version of his parents’ divorce. movie stars Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, with Jesse Eisenberg in one of his first major roles.
The squid and the whale earned Baumbach his first Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. The film finds humor in a generally gruesome experience, depicting the disintegration of marriage with empathy and intelligence. The ever-reliable Daniels and Linney make the most of the script, giving two of their best performances, while Eisenberg proved why he was one of Hollywood’s most promising talents at the time.
‘Lars and the Real Girl’ (2007)
Stream on Tubi
Fresh off of his Oscar nomination for Half Nelson, Ryan Gosling play in Craig Gillespieoffbeat comedy Lars and the real girl. The plot centers on the main character, a socially awkward but kind young man who develops an emotional bond with an anatomically correct sex doll named Bianca.
Sweet and surprisingly poignant, Lars and the real girl is a thoughtful exploration of love. Gosling excels in the lead role, turning in one of her most likable and offbeat performances. Plus, the film is as funny as it is smart, offering a unique take on the relationships and connections people need to get through the day.
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10 Best Hidden Gem Comedy Movies Of The 2000s – GameSpot