Soul (4.5 * )
Another Round (4 * )
Emma. (4 * )
Mank (4 * )
Love and Monsters (3 * )
Onward (3 *)
Over the Moon (3 * )
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2.5 * )
The One and Only Ivan (1.5 * )
The Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (1.5 * )
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (1 * )
It’s not as if I don’t like to laugh – I just don’t enjoy slapstick stuff. Of course, as a young boy, I watched my share of The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy, but if I happen to catch one of those shows these days, I am really puzzled as to what caught my devotion back then – poking each other in the eyes really isn’t all that funny. And while I enjoy an occasional sit-com, those shows aren’t my first picks when surfing the channels.
And so I am probably not your reviewer of choice if you are looking for recommendations of good comedy. I liked Sacha Baron Cohen in The Trial of the Chicago 7 very much, but hated his absurd role in the Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. While I too want to see Trumpers like Giuliani squirm, I just don’t get that kind of humor nor the, possibly immoral, lengths to which that movie goes to squeeze out some additional jokes. Similarly, the sight gags in the Shaun the Sheep Movie were interesting in the first film, but got old by the time Farmageddon rolled around. And I loved the music in Eurovision Song Contest…, but Will Farrell really just got in the way of liking the movie. I get that several of these films are designed for family viewing, and they might work really well in that context, but I’m looking for a bit more meat on the bones.
On the other hand, I DO enjoy humor when it is used to spice up movies that might not be considered comedies as their primary theme. Soul, Another Round, Emma., and Mank all had humorous elements, but those moments of levity were more to round out the story and amplify the characters. Humans laugh – it is one of our primary expressive emotions, so any good human tale should also have elements of comedic expression. But none of those three movies are primarily comedies.
If you tend to think like I do, then you will probably want to stick to those films at the top of the list. If you tend to like your humor blatant and self-evident, then pick from the bottom. Just don’t complain to me if you didn’t like them.