Graphic by Viviana Duron
There's nothing quite like getting a good laugh from a funny movie. Sure, it's nice to be connected to a dramatic setting or to be transported into a fantasy-fueled world, but laughter is different. When chuckling at a one-liner or bowling over at a hilarious scene, the world feels lighter and more at ease. And when you're looking for a movie to provide an escape, laughing is often exactly what you need.
We found the 15 best comedies on Amazon to watch when you're seeking out humor as a way to shake off outside concerns. From modern classics like Mean Girls and Anchorman to timeless comedies like Airplane! and Some Like It Hot, these smile-inducing films are filled with the type of hilarious twists that can create a lighthearted cocoon on your couch. Gather loved ones around to share in the jokes, or watch these solo just in case you feel like repeating the one-liners again and again.
Don't be surprised if you know some of these punchlines already, either. There's nothing wrong with re-watching a favorite flick or finally seeing a beloved title, especially since laughter is always encouraged. Read on to see our recommendations, and enjoy the lightness of a good comedy.
Centered at a suburban Christian high school—where the popular clique, led by Mandy Moore's character, are devout worshippers—Saved! is a satire about what can happen when faith is involved with the best and worst intentions. After Mary, played by Jena Malone, figures out that she's unexpectedly pregnant, she befriends outsiders who don't fit into the school's clean-cut setting. They give her the support she needs, but of course, Mary can't hide her secret forever.
If you haven't already laughed your way through this movie, the premise is enough to make you smile: Three awkward friends are planning to go to a big high school party right before graduation, and they've been tasked with bringing alcohol. The host, played by Emma Stone, gave them money to do it. But when a hilariously obvious fake ID, bad timing, and two cops foil their original plan, their night spins out of control. Watch this if only to hear the one-liners between Jonah Hill and Michael Cera's characters.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
You may be familiar with the original '90s film starring Robin Williams, where a board game's jungle premise enters real life. In this updated version, four kids discover a video game and enter that same foreboding jungle as grown-up avatars—played by the likes of Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Dwayne Johnson. The group has to figure out how to survive in the game and beat it in order to return to their lives, but it's not going to be easy. And if they fail, they can't return. Jumanji may be a departure from its original storyline, but there are plenty of comedic scenes to laugh at.
Even though Mary Katherine Gallagher, a teenage girl played by Molly Shannon, is every bit an awkward nerd, you can't help but root for her. She wants to be a star—and to be kissed by the most popular boy in school, played by Will Ferrell—but her attempts always fall flat. It isn't until she decides to participate in a talent show that she might have a chance, but she needs a killer routine first. The conversations between Molly Shannon and Will Ferrell are laugh-out-loud funny, and the dance scenes are worth a few re-watches.
This is one of those classic spoof comedies that's filled with so many recognizable punchlines that it's worth seeing again, if only for the reminders. It most memorably stars Leslie Nielsen, Julie Hagerty, and Robert Hays aboard a plane flying from Los Angeles to Chicago. When passengers and the flight crew get food poisoning, they have to figure out how to navigate an impending disaster on their own. Autopilot keeps them in the air, but it's up to them—in the midst of a storm—to land safely.
The Naked Gun
And speaking of classic spoofs starring Leslie Nielsen, this film is yet another shining example of the genre, thanks to silly hijinks and twists that unfold in an ongoing series of deadpan one-liners. This time, Nielsen plays a police detective who aims to save innocent people from being brainwashed into assassins. The only problem? He doesn't have a clue how to do it.
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
Romy and Michele have been best friends since high school, and 10 years after graduation, they're happily living in Los Angeles. But when they get invited to their class reunion in Tucson—and realize that they might not be as successful as they thought—they invent a pretend story about their accolades so that they can attend with confidence. It's hard not to laugh at Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino as they devise and carry out their plan, and Janeane Garofalo makes a hilarious friend of theirs, too.
Some Like It Hot
If you have yet to see a Marilyn Monroe movie, this is the one you should start with. It stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon as friends who witness a mafia murder in Chicago, and in order to escape, they dress up as women and jump on a train bound for Florida. As part of their get-up, the pair joins a jazz band where Monroe is the lead singer, and Curtis's character falls for her. But in the meantime, the mafia is out to find the two friends, and eventually, they succeed.
It goes without saying that this movie's title alone is a solid indication that you'll be laughing through much of its premise. It centers around four friends—nicknamed the "Flossy Posse"—who travel to New Orleans for a festival. There are drinking and dancing, of course, but it's the star-making performance of Tiffany Haddish that's particularly memorable.
This Tina Fey–penned movie has been so popular since it came out in 2004 that you've likely seen it—or at least can identify some of its oft-repeated lines. That's because its cast, which stars Lindsay Lohan and Rachel McAdams, perfectly showcases the hierarchies of high school with very funny accuracy. After Lohan's character, Cady, moves from Africa to American suburbia, she befriends two outsiders who introduce her to the Plastics, the most popular girls in school. Cady is convinced to infiltrate the group but ends up becoming one of them. And that's when things get interesting.
Liar, Liar has a simple enough premise: An absent father, who works as a lawyer, misses the birthday of his son after promising that he'd be there to celebrate. Meanwhile, the son makes a wish that his dad couldn't lie for a day. But here's the thing: The father is played by Jim Carrey, so as he's forced to tell the truth—after becoming so accustomed to sprouting off lies—the problems that unfold take on a comedically physical toll. It's Carrey schtick at its best, and at the very least, you'll let out a few chuckles.
Crazy Rich Asians
Maybe you missed this past summer's standout hit, or perhaps you're simply ready to watch it again. This film balances the romance of its two lead characters with the humor and drama that often comes with meeting a partner's parents for the first time, which is even more heightened given that the fiancé's family is excessively wealthy. As the couple, played by Constance Wu and Henry Golding, navigate his family obligations and plenty of lavish events, you'll be entertained by the plot's sly humor and grand spectacle.
Here's yet another modern comedy classic that you either know by heart or association. It stars Will Ferrell as anchorman Ron Burgundy in the male-dominated newsrooms of the 1970s. When Christina Applegate's character is hired, no one thinks much of it—especially the ultra-confident and well-known Ron. But as she begins to outshine him on air, and eventually spurs him to say a big no-no in front of the camera, Ron has to figure out how to save his career and reputation before it's too late.
Super-awkward teen Napoleon Dynamite has no friends at his Idaho high school, and his home life has become weird since his uncle came to stay following his grandmother's accident. So, looking for some companionship, Napoleon befriends the new kid, Pedro, who wants to run for class president. It's a sleeper comedy with some really funny scenes—especially concerning Pedro's election—due in large part because of memorable characters who have delightful quirks.
Coming to America
If you have yet to see this classic comedy starring Eddie Murphy—and you constantly hear it mentioned as one of the best comedies ever made—now is the time to play catch up. Murphy plays an exceedingly spoiled African prince who decides to travel to Queens, New York, with his best friend Semmi, played by Arsenio Hall. The two friends hope to find a woman who loves the prince for his personality and not his wealth, and they decide that the best way to find her is to go undercover.