In the spirit of balanced reporting, I've also included a list of the comedies that have disappointed me this year. I'm not saying these are the worst movies of the year; I just expected more of them. It's list-making season. I love lists, so this is a bandwagon I'm more than happy to jump on. When pondering a definitive list of the year's best movies, it's an easy temptation to include the blockbusters that many studios use as Oscar-bait and hold for a Christmas day release, since they're so fresh and top-of-mind. But I tend to prefer goofy stuff that would never be considered for Oscar nominations anyway.
In the spirit of balanced reporting, I've also included a list of the comedies that have disappointed me this year. I'm not saying these are the worst movies of the year; I just expected more of them.
The Five Funniest Movies of 2009
1. 'I Love You, Man'. That's right. I'm ranking this above 'The Hangover', which has topped everyone else's lists. There's just something about the chemistry between Jason Segal and Paul Rudd that really made this one work. Plus Canadian icons Rush make an appearance. That's hard to top. Totes magotes!
2. 'The Hangover'. A classic, for sure. Zack Galifianakis is great as the dim-witted brother-in-law. And Ken Jeong is just plain awesome. Most importantly, the film teaches us all a valuable lesson: Tigers love pepper, and hate cinnamon. (Well, Mike Tyson's tiger, anyway.)
3. 'Bruno'. While it certainly didn't eclipse 'Borat' (a movie I'd easily rank as one of the best of the decade), Bruno's outrageous shenanigans with swingers, fashionistas and rednecks made for a very entertaining flick.
4. 'Funny People'. This wasn't the hilarious laugh-riot may were expecting, but it still had plenty of funny moments (including several by scene-stealer Aziz Ansari as Raaaaaandy) mixed in with the introspective "what really matters in life" musings.
5. 'The Informant!' I'm not usually a big fan of Matt Damon, but he's pretty darn funny as the bumbling FBI informant Mark Whitacre. His goofy running monologues are for the most part quite amusing. How do polar bears know their noses are black?
The Five Most Disappointing Comedies of 2009
1. 'The Invention of Lying'. I'm sorry, but I couldn't suspend my disbelief. It's an interesting premise, but just because people are incapable of lying, does that really mean they have to spew out their entire inner monologues?
2. 'Extract'. 'Office Space' is one of my favourite movies of all time, so perhaps I set the bar a little too high for Mike Judge's 'Extract'. Despite the solid cast, including Jason Bateman and Mila Kunis, the story just isn't compelling and none of the characters elicit any empathy.
3. 'Spring Breakdown'. I had high hopes for this one, with stars like Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Parker Posey. It's a great concept: three nerdy thirty-something women try to revisit their youth by crashing a college spring-break destination. But alas, the execution fell flat.
4. 'Observe and Report'. I didn't hate this one, but it was just a little bit...too much. Too dark, too abrasive, too disturbing. Having said that, Anna Faris was great as the quintessential shallow, catty mall bitch.
5. 'The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard'. Too depressing. Too many cheap jokes. Too lowbrow, even for me.