The world’s a boiler-room right now and we need something to escape the clutches of this heat. And nothing other than a pure comedy peps me up, where I get to suspend all the worries about our society. So, here are some of those funniest films on Netflix that will definitely give you a lasting stomach ache, from innocent buddy comedies to puerile Chinese flicks.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Now, Steve Carell getting a complete makeover — from a “loser” to “stud” — is not exactly a novel concept at this point. I personally do not think that anything can top Crazy, Stupid, Love there (also another unmissable gem on Netflix). But this is the film that showed us how sexy but also funny Carell can be when he dons the suit of loveable immaturity. And of course, as an added bonus, this one also has two of Hollywood’s comedy giants — Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen.
Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008)
This is one of the subtler comedies in the list, but it is this exact subtlety that makes Dibakar Banerjee’s film a real hoot. About an unrepentant burglar (played by the infectiously charming Abhay Deol) who steals from the rich for the heck of it, OLLO has the American Hustle style of comedy — where reasonably grounded crime is laced with irreverent humour. But at the heart of this film is Paresh Rawal and the three characters he takes on and perfects. Banerjee, throughout the film, challenges our wits, and once you get the hang of it, you cannot help but laugh at the idiosyncrasies that flood the story.
Due Date (2010)
I miss those times when director Todd Phillips was just the good, old-fashioned Todd Phillips. His films never bothered with anything serious — they were energetic, bawdy, improper, and pure romps. And Due Date is just another one of those comedies, like The Hangover’s minus the Dutch courage, strippers, and weddings. And Robert Downey, Jr., well, essentially plays himself — effortlessly that, too — by dropping a few f-bombs, channeling his celeb-like cockiness in a weirdly enticing manner, and by simply dialling up his charisma. Zach Galifianakis, again, is as nutty as a fruitcake. Together, the two manage to pull off a silly but amusing story about a road trip to LA.
Drunken Master (醉拳) (1978)
If you add barrels and barrels of booze to Kill Bill or Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, you’ll get a somewhat accurate version of Drunken Master (coincidentally, the three films share the same stunt and fight coordinator). After all, in here, Jackie Chan does learn the esoteric technique of drunken boxing, which I assure you is very real. But over and above the zany action choreography, this is where we get to see Chan’s true chops as a martial artist and a comedic actor. This is his OG Cantonese slapstick, one that everyone ought to see.
The Change-Up (2011)
This one’s a wild card for this list, those who have seen it may disagree with this choice. But I have only four words in its defense — it is hella fun! This is basically an R-Rated, obscene Freaky Friday where two grown men (whose lust for sex can put Tom Cruise in Risky Business to shame) have their identities switched. Here, Ryan Reynolds essentially plays a mixture of his roles in Adventureland and The Proposal — he’s a man-child who loves to bonk. And Jason Bateman sticks to what he does best — the jaded adult who’s experiencing a midlife crisis. All in all, with its raunchy, toilet humour, and Reynolds’ magnetism, The Change-Up can make for some frivolous fun.
Nothing To Hide (Le Jeu) (2018)
Nothing To Hide is a remake of the Italian movie Perfect Strangers (Perfetti Sconosciuti), which is the most adapted film in the world, and for good reason. It took a niche concept and turned it into a cinematic punchline — what happens when you give all your friends unrestricted access to your phone? Giving someone this kind of unbridled access, now, is essentially the same as baring it all, going nude. And Nothing To Hide capitalises on this millennial hellscape with a ridiculous amount of laughs and gags.
Golmaal: Fun Unlimited (2006)
There are very few contemporary Bollywood films that could rival the tomfoolery and jackassery we see in this one — where four parasitic spongers deceive an old, blind couple by posing as their grandchild. This screwball comedy manages to churn humour out of everyone — each character becomes a laughing stock in Golmaal at least once. This is one of the perfect examples of a leave-your-brain-at-home movie, and I don’t think it would be crazy to say that Rohit Shetty peaked at his second film.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Jason Segel really just takes on a more modified version of his character in How I Met Your Mother here. He is a goof who’s simply trying to get over his ex-girlfriend by going on a vacation. Segel, who also wrote this, is at the centre of every side-splitting moment in the film. With an evolved comic rap and benign side-romances, Forgetting Sarah Marshall is currently one of the most enjoyable comedies on Netflix.
Stree, starring Rajkummar Rao and Shraddha Kapoor, is a standout horror-comedy that not only managed to summon laughs with spirits but it also gave us a blistering feminist commentary. These walking-in-a-dark-alley-alone acrobatics, however, are seamlessly carried out by the brilliant Pankaj Tripathi, Abhishek Banerjee, and Aparshakti Khurana. All of them are small-townspeople in Chanderi haunted by a “chudail”, trying to ward her off. Stree is fast and smart but most importantly, a spooky scream.