The Top 10 Best Comedies in 2009

10. Tyler’s Perry Madea Goes to Jail. The reviews on this film are among some of the worst I have ever read, going as far as to ponder who would underwrite the film and pointing out that both Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence have already made the “black man in a fat black woman suit” movie. Despite this, due to the success of the play bearing the same name, and the Tyler Perry brand, the film grossed $90 million domestically. Perry plays both the title role, Grandma Madea, as well as her nemesis Joe. As the title suggests, Madea lands herself in jail after a high-speed police chase and the plot of the film is her family trying to get her out.

9. Year One. This comedy was also hit or miss among viewers, but had a cast of combining a plethora of comedic actors that have done well in recent years. Jack Black, who is an outcast “gatherer” among a sea of hunters in this biblical comedy, plays the main role. Michael Cera of Superbad and Juno also plays a gatherer who doesn’t have the best luck with the ladies. Hank Azaria (The Simpsons and Along Came Polly) has a smaller role as well as Paul Rudd, and Michael Mintz-Plasse aka McLovin.

8. Paul Blart: Mall Cop. In one of Kevin James’s first major projects since King of Queens ended, he plays Paul Blart (and co-wrote the script), a mall security officer in a New Jersey Shopping Mall. Blart is in love with another employee, a female who runs a stand for hair extensions, and takes his job as seriously as a real cop. When the mall is robbed Blart is the only one that can rescue the people inside it-and save the mall.

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7. Couple’s Retreat. This star-studded film was co-written by Vince Vaughan and Ironman’s Jon Favreau. The plot of the film revolves around four couples in a tropical vacation, where couples go to rehab their relationships. One couple, played by Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell are seriously close to divorce. (Sex and the City’s Kristen Davis plays another wife) The film received tepid reviews although made a pretty penny grossing $106 million domestically as of December 6, 2009.

6. Bruno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-shirt. Sacha Baron Cohen’s highly anticipated follow up to his smash comedy film Borat was long awaited, but sadly did not measure up. This isn’t to say that the film was not successful (it made $60 million domestically) and was still not hysterical, but it didn’t have the critical acclaim of Borat. The film is similar to Borat in that the plot is based on a foreigner coming to America, but Bruno is a gay Austrian “fashionista” trying to make it big in Hollywood. Filled with explicit male nudity and profanity, the film took it to a place some people were not prepared for. It was, however, nominated at the Teen Choice Awards for best comedy, so clearly it garnered the attention of teenage fans.

5. Funny People. Judd Apatow’s most recent film written and directed by him is a dark comedy. Staring Adam Sandler, Apatow’s real life former roommate, as a seasoned comedic who finds out he is terminally ill and only has a short time left to live. Sandler performs with struggling new comic Ira, played by Seth Rogen, and takes him under his wing as his personal assistant. Compared to Apatow’s usual raunchy comedies this one was a bit of a surprise for how serious it got.

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4. World’s Greatest Dad. This dark comedy staring Robin Williams as a man that has “settled” in his life was a hit at 2009’s Sundance Film Festival. Williams plays a high school poetry teacher, and father to one “difficult” son, played by Daryl Sabara. He comes to receive some of the fame and fortune his once wish of having but doesn’t earn it in a conventional way. Directed and written by comedian Bobcat Goldthwait, the film also features full frontal nudity-from Robin Williams himself.

3. I Love you, Man. This film could possibly be described as a romantic comedy, but not in the hetero or homosexual sense but in terms of a “bromance. Comedic actors Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are the lead players in this “bromantic comedy” when Rudd’s character discovers he needs to find a best man for his upcoming nuptials. Rashida Jones, daughter of Quincy Jones, plays rudd’s wife. John Hamburg, of Along Came Polly and Meet the Fockers fame directed this film.

2. Zombieland. You wouldn’t think a movie deemed as both a horror and comedy flick could work, but Woody Harrelson’s latest flick zombie film took home the top spot in it’s opening weekend and has grossed $75,170,292 domestically as of November 29, 2009[1] (including a good reception from critics). The film is based on four characters, played by Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin, as the sole survivors of a world overrun by zombies.

1. The Hangover. The summer hit, this Las Vegas hit featured lesser-known actors revolving around a group of men celebrating a buddy’s last weekend as a bachelor. Staring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms of The Office, Zack Galifianakas, and Justin Bartha as the bachelor. The men wake up the morning after the bachelor party remembering nothing, and with the bachelor M.I.A. The film was released in North America on June 5, 2009, to critical praise and box office success. As of December 3, 2009, it has grossed $277,255,442 in the United States and Canada.[2]

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Sources: All box office amounts found at www.boxofficemojo.comAll films can be found at www.imdb.com for more information.

[1] http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=zombieland.htm

[2] http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=hangover.htm