“What do you recommend?” Several people have asked me this when I’ve been sitting at the library Reference Desk. The first time, I was amazed to discover that we have close to 1,000 comedy DVDs in the North Castle library. When a patron and I started looking over the list, she was quick to point out that some of the movies that the film studios call comedies “don’t sound very funny.” A movie that had caught her attention was Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston. It’s about a mother who is suffering from debilitating physical and emotional pain in the aftermath of a car accident that killed her young son. This “dark comedy” is an interesting movie about grief and healing and is, in fact, one that I would recommend, but it’s not “rolling in the aisles” funny.
It can be difficult to distinguish between the uproarious Robin Williams-style comedies, and more serious films with comic elements that are sometimes called “comedies.” In addition, much of what people find funny is a matter of personal taste. Jerry Lewis, who died this past week, was widely thought of as a genius in France, but never achieved quite the same level of acclaim in the United States.
That’s why I was happy to see an online poll where people were asked, “What’s the funniest movie you’ve ever seen?” I then found another poll where comedians were asked which movies they thought were the funniest. The films they selected that are in the North Castle collection follow, in alphabetical order. If you don’t see your own favorite comedy, please add it in the comments!