Entries Tagged 'Comedy' ↓

sandra bernhard: confessions of a pretty lady

An irreverent documentary on the contradictory life of one of America’s most outrageous pop-culture divas. Here we get an entertaining view of Bernhard’s wild life from her beginnings as an ugly Arizona duckling to her transformation into comedienne and gay icon. The doc comes complete with clips from her nightclub act and footage taken during her Playboy photo shoot. [us, 1994]

women on the verge of a nervous breakdown

In this delicious screwball comedy, four women struggle with sex, unfaithful men, police, and terrorists. Pepa, a popular television star, is ending a relationship with a suave but philandering co-star–the catch is, she’s pregnant. Add to this problem the fact that her best friend has mistakenly been harbouring Shiite terrorists, and confusion ensues. True to form in this Almodovar film, women who may start out as rivals (for example Pepa and her lover’s insane wife) end up helping each other to a relatively happy ending. It’s the ridiculous details–like the fully equipped cabbie–that make this film a treat. [spain, 1988]

thoroughly modern mille

Pure camp, and if you see it any other way you’ll hate it. But just imagine the chance to see those paragons of virtue and sweetness, Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore in a musical about white slavery. Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds, but the film never takes itself seriously. Be warned, the bad guys in this movie are “evil Chinese opium dealers” however, it does redeem itself in the end with Pat Morita (from Happy Days) as a good guy. Silly bubblegum flick with a few famous show tunes. [us, 1967]

calendar girls

In this Full Monty meets Saving Grace, a group of aging Yorkshire roses pose in the nude to raise money for cancer. Led by the scandalous Chris who routinely shakes up her staid women’s group with antics such as entering store bought cakes into country fairs and winning, the group shifts its yearly calendar theme from photos of local churches to nude 50-somethings. The artful calendar features the ladies tastefully hiding their naughty bits behind flower pots, buns and the like, and becomes a media sensation. Helen Mirren is downright sexy as Chris proving that attractiveness has more to do with joie de vivre than age. [uk 2003]

double happiness

Mina Shum’s fresh debut chronicles the challenges of Jade, a young Chinese-Canadian (played with verve and warmth by fellow Canadian Sandra Oh) as she struggles to forge her own identity in a traditional Chinese family. Ultimately, she can’t keep everyone happy and strikes out on her own, but not without some bitterly hilarious blowouts. [canada, 1994]

cold comfort farm

At the centre of this deliciously eccentric comedy circa 1930, is the feisty Flora, a recently orphaned young lady with a penchant for Vogue and a wit to match. When she pays a visit to her rustic relatives on their ramshackle farm, their drab existence is forever changed. And so of course is hers. [uk, 1994]

love serenade

With deadpan hilarity, Shirley Barrett’s anti-romance tells the story of two single and very bored sisters who, like so many women before them, fall head over heels with a heel. Ultimately though, they get the last laugh when the women wake up and the tale turns fantastically fishy. [australia, 1996]

clueless

Amy Heckerling directs this sassy Emma-inspired satire on American teen culture. Her smart script inspired a cult following and a slew of new expressions. Here the “hymenally challenged” Cher delivers such gems (with the perfect L.A. whine, of course) as “I’m surfing the crimson tide” or “That is so five years ago.” [us, 1995]

party girl

This slightly-skewed Cinderella story features Parker Posey as the party girl, a hip New Yorker who makes her living throwing fabulous parties in her loft. Everything’s dreamy until she gets busted by the police. Rather than granting wishes and posting bail, her godmother makes the party girl get a job, at the public library no less. Here the irresponsible party girl gains some self esteem, and meets a hunky exchange student which ensures a happy ending. Fun! [us, 1994]

steel magnolias

A celebration of big messy emotions, big hair, big tears, and big laughs. Here a bunch of outrageous Southern gals yack it up in the small-town beauty parlour run by queen of the belles, Dolly Parton. Full of comic zingers, this late 80s go-girl movie dishes out the man-slags. It won sentimental viewers hearts for its portrayal of strong, funny women who survive the challenges of no-good men, sickness, and tragedy with Hallmark aplomb. [us, 1989]