Episode 42 – Make ‘Em Laugh: Let’s Talk Comedy Part 1
Why Watch That
Who ever complained about a good chuckle? Nobody we know! So, we’re back with an episode about our favorite comedies. The Critic and the Referee discuss a variety of funny films so diverse that you’re bound to find something that will make you cry with laughter. Enjoy!
Directed by Jonathan Lynn
Released on December 13, 1985
Plot: In New England 1954, against a backdrop of McCarthyism, six strangers are invited to a party at a secluded New England mansion. They are met by the house butler Wadsworth, who reminds them that they have been given pseudonyms to protect their true identity. During dinner, the seventh attendee, Mr. Boddy, arrives. After dinner, Wadsworth takes everyone to the study and reveals the true nature of the party: All of the guests are being blackmailed and must cooperate with the staff to solve a murder mystery.
Referee: “This is my favorite comedy.”
Critic: “It’s good and has a wonderful cast, but it’s a little too long for my taste.”
My Cousin Vinny (Comedy/Crime)
Directed by Jonathan Lynn
Released on March 13, 1992
Plot: While driving through the fictional Beechum County, Alabama, NYU students and friends Billy Gambini (Ralph Macchio) and Stan Rothenstein (Mitchell Whitfield) accidentally shoplift a can of tuna while stopping at a convenience store. After they leave the store, the clerk is shot and killed, and Billy and Stan are arrested in connection with the murder.
The pair call Billy’s mother, who tells her son that there is an attorney in the family, his cousin Vinny (Joe Pesci). Vincent LaGuardia Gambini travels to Beechum County accompanied by his fiancée, Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei). Although he is willing to take the case, Vinny is a personal injury lawyer from Brooklyn, New York, newly admitted to the bar (after six attempts in six years) with no trial experience.
Critic: “This is one of my favorite comedies!”
Directed by Penny Marshall
Released on June 3, 1988
Plot: When Josh Baskin (Tom Hanks), a 12-year-old boy living in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, wishes to be big at a magic wish machine, he wakes up the next morning and finds himself transformed into a 30-year-old man.
Critic: “This is a quintessential comedy!”
Referee: “This is one of my favorite movies!”
House Party (Comedy)
Directed by Reginald Hudlin
Released on March 9, 1990
Plot: Kid (Christopher Reid) has been invited to a party at his friend Play’s (Christopher Martin) house. But, after a fight at school with three bullies, Kid’s father grounds him. Nonetheless, Kid sneaks out when his father falls asleep. But, Kid doesn’t know that three bullies have decided to give him a lesson in behavior.
Critic: “One of my favorites!”
Mrs. Doubtfire (Comedy)
Directed by Chris Columbus
Released on November 24, 1993
Plot: After a bitter divorce, Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams), a talented voice actor living in San Francisco, disguises himself as a female housekeeper to spend time with his children held in custody by his former wife.
Referee: “If I even smell that this movie is on, I’m watching it!”
Critic: “One of Robin Williams’ best movies!”
Napoleon Dynamite (Comedy)
Directed by Jared Hess
Released on August 27, 2004
Plot: A listless and alienated teenager, Napoleon, decides to help his new friend win the class presidency in their small western high school, while he also deals with his bizarre family life at home.
Critic: “Essentially, there is no plot, but this is a cult classic.”