For every good comedy, there is approximately an equal amount of bad ones.
The difference between a comedy and a funny movie is small, yet significant. “The Graduate” is a comedy in its premise, but it certainly doesn’t keep the audience in stitches.
Our think tank put aside our love for movies like “Weekend at Bernie’s” and “Houseguest” to bring you a list of comedies based on their popularity and longevity with audiences, their impact on the genre, laugh-out-loud factor and quotability.
Now, less reading and more… reading. In list form!
20. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Judd Apatow’s next big hit following “Anchorman” is a funny, heartfelt romantic film disguised as a sex comedy. It’s a great showcase for what the writer/director is best at loose, improvisational humor, strong ensemble casts, and lifelike, relatable characters.
The central idea of a guy who reaches 40 without ever knocking boots with a girl may seem preposterous at first, but Apatow manages to pull it off with the help of the undeniably earnest Steve Carell who not only stars as the titular virgin but also co-wrote the script with frequent Apatow collaborators Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen, and some great supporting players like the always hilarious Jane Lynch.
Put it all together and you’ve got a recipe for a fun, entertaining romance that doesn’t insult your intelligence.
Andy’s (Steve Carell) buddies are wonderfully cast. David (Paul Rudd) is still hopelessly in love with a woman who has long since outgrown any possible interest in him; Jay (Romany Malco) is a ladies’ man who considers himself an irresistible seducer, and Cal (Seth Rogen) is the guy with practical guidance, such as “date drunks” and “never actually say anything to a woman, just ask questions.”
All these guys have problems of their own, and seem prepared to pass them on to Andy as advice – listen with particular care to the definition of “aftercourse.” Also at work is Paula (Jane Lynch), Andy’s boss, a tall, striking woman who is definitely not a 40-year-old virgin. After asking him if he’s ever heard of just being sex buddies, she promises him, “I’m discreet, and I’ll haunt your dreams.”