Here it is, y'all, a comprehensive list containing the very best comedies of the decade – except I'm cheating just a little and including movies that came out between 2010-2012 as well. Hey, what's a few years between good movies? I've polled friends and random internet folks to find these, so if your favorite comedy doesn't make the list, sound off – you never know when it might get included! Until then, check out the best comedies of the decade! They're in no particular order and don't include animated films because those, my friends, are a post for another time!
1. Bruce Almighty
Morgan Freeman as God – need I say more? Between that velvet voice and Jim Carrey's rubber-faced comedy stylings, Bruce Almighty was easily one of the best comedies of the decade. In recent years, in fact, Jim's made a ton of great, hilarious movies that are worlds away from his early funny films, like Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber. I Love You, Phillip Morris is another favorite, although I left that off since it's decidedly more romantic.
2. Napoleon Dynamite
Napoleon Dynamite hit big, although most people either really love it or really hate it. In spite of only recently seeing the whole movie, I love it. Jon Heder was … well, he was something else, wasn't he? The animated show based on the film didn't do as well, but no one will ever be able to forget Napoleon's dancing skills or the unlikely but incredibly sweet romance between Kip and LaFawnduh.
Zombieland was one of the movies that started the whole Zombie revolution. It helped propel Jesse Eisenberg and the unbearably awesome Emma Stone into fame, plus it brought Woody Harrelson back into the A game, where he belongs. If for nothing else, this movie is worth the watch for the Twinkies and the Bill Murray scenes.
4. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Although more a romantic comedy than a straight comedy, this one had people rolling in the aisles. It came out of left field as an indie film, and it was filled with incredible actors, spot on dialogue, and just the right amount of physical comedy. I know it made me wish for a big, fat Greek wedding of my own, but I'll settle for rewatching this every chance I get.
5. Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy
There are so many Will Ferrell movies that I wanted to choose, and many of them I did, but people are crazy for Ron Burgundy. It was no contest. The entire cast just gels together perfectly, and as a genre and retro film, it's spot-on. You might prefer Talladega Nights or Step Brothers (I happen to love any pairing that involves Ferrell and John C. Reilly), but this one is the superstar.
6. Pineapple Express
Although this wasn't Seth Rogen's first rodeo, it definitely helped launch him into super stardom. It takes the stoner comedy and turns it into something indescribably darker – but it's also smarter and funnier than most movies in the genre. It's a great twist on the “loser gets chased by bad guys” comedy, plus it has James Franco.
Bridesmaids is one of the reasons I decided to include movies that came out after 2009. I love this movie so much that I watch it every time I see it on HBO. A lot of people called it out for being too raunchy, plus there was some flak for that scene – you know, that scene where Kristen Wiig calls that little snotty girl exactly what she needs to be called. However, I love seeing strong, funny women in roles that go against the norm. Besides, it featured Melissa McCarthy wonderfully – and I don't give a damn what Rex Reed has to say about her.
8. Bad Santa
Billy Bob Thorton and booze and Christmas. Does it get any better than that? This is the raunchiest, wrongest Christmas-themed movie ever made. It's iconic. In another ten years, cable networks will be playing this for 24 hours on Christmas Eve – and by then, there probably won't be any censoring, either.
9. Meet the Parents
I'm trying to steer clear of including any sequels on this list, so forgive the lack of Meet the Fockers and Little Fockers. Besides, the first one was best. I love seeing really great, talented, old school method actors in comedic roles. Robert de Niro is the perfect straight man to Ben Stiller. In the sequel, I equally loved the play between Dustin Hoffman and Bob. I sort of hope that Little Fockers was the last one, though.
10. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is my favorite movie of all time and Jason Segel is my secret husband. The ensemble cast plays together so perfectly that I completely understand why Segel and Rudd, especially, get cast together so often. This movie still makes me wish that Jason Segel and Mila Kunis were dating each other, rather than their current partners. This is a love story with a twist, it's a ballad for heartbroken average Joes all over the world. Plus Jason gets naked, hello!
Ah, the film that briefly made people treat their servers better, for fear of getting a side of “Fromunda cheese.” This was raunchy and horrible and absolutely hilarious. Ryan Reynolds blew up soon after this, but he's at his wittiest, snarkiest level in this movie, especially against the relatively laid back quality of Justin Long.
12. The Hangover
I couldn't in good conscience include The Hangover II, because it was basically the same movie with a facial tattoo. The original, however, was the business. It took the world by storm and made sure that moviegoers everywhere finally received a proper introduction to Zach Galifianakis.
When I first saw previews for this film, I thought it would be wicked stupid, in spite of starring my girl crush Mila Kunis. Never mind that I'm one of the last people in the world who still loves watching Family Guy and American Dad, predictions were either really good or really bad. Then the actual reviews started coming in and I finally caved. I wasn't sorry. You wouldn't think a movie about a stoner teddy bear would ever be this funny, but it was – although not to everyone, granted.
14. Role Models
I'll see pretty much anything with Paul Rudd in it, although it helps that his movies are largely hilarious. This one was unexpectedly brilliant, partially because I think a lot of people identify with the characters – especially Christopher Mintz-Plasse's awkward LARPer. Seann William Scott overacted just a little, but that's pretty common and it worked in this flick.
15. Easy a
I can't say anything bad about this movie. Emma Stone is a goddess, and as a play on “The Scarlet Letter,” it was actually a thousand times better than the actual movie. It was Mean Girls for a new generation, but much smarter, much funnier, and much more charming. Plus, I don't think the gorgeous Emma is going to be turning into LiLo anytime soon.
16. Wedding Crashers
Wedding Crashers took everyone by surprise as well. I generally enjoy anything that stars Vince Vaughn, even when it's awful, and this even took me by surprise. Everything about it worked, right down to the clever fact that these two divorce mediators crash happy occasions any time it feels right. Add an ensemble cast composed of Christopher Walken, Rachel McAdams, and Isla Fisher, and you've got yourself one of the best comedies of the decade.
17. Next Friday
So I said I tried to stay away from sequels, not that I completely succeeded. I loved Friday without reservation; I even thought Chris Tucker was ten kinds of sexy. Several things made me love this one just as much: Ice Cube, as always; the return of John Witherspoon; and Mike Epps. The story was fantastic, of course, you have to love anything that involves a guy named DayDay, but the comedic stylings of all the players did it for me.
I apologize to everyone who hates Sacha Baron Cohen, but you have to admit, his movies are successful, even though many of them are horrible – read: Bruno. However, the incredibly awkward, raunchy Borat made people go insane. Whether they loved it or hated it, they had visceral reactions, and no matter how you look at it, that tends to make a movie successful.
Although I never had the desire to try and buy beer illegally when I was in high school, I imagine that it would have been a lot like this. Michael Cera (as you'll see) is an ace at the awkward comedy, and the trifecta of Cera, Hill, and Mintz-Plassee is just stellar. Add in a young Emma Stone and lots of questionable material, and you get a great comedy. Also? McLovin'.
Similarly, Juno was all the better because of Michael Cera. However, it goes without saying that Ellen Page made this movie, although I loved J. K. Simmons as her father and Jason Bateman, making a huge comeback, as her adult-buddy as well. This movie, too, got a lot of flak, mainly with people saying that it promoted teenage pregnancy, but I think it successfully showed how often painful, awkward, and sometimes unintentionally funny these real life situations can be.
Zoolander is certifiably iconic now. Zoolander's model face is perhaps the best model face ever made. Who needs to smize when you've got a pout like that? This cast is strong, turning an admittedly ludicrous premise into something not just amazing, but constantly funny. It proves, too, that Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller are a dream team.
22. Tropic Thunder
In fact, when Ben Stiller is on, he's on. This movie made such a huge impact. I think a lot of that had to do with Robert Downey, Jr., who's also made a monumentally successful comeback. This movie is crazy, and it wouldn't work so well if it wasn't for the cast. As it stands, however, it became a classic even before it premiered.
23. Shaun of the Dead
Simon Pegg is kind of seriously awesome. I don't know if anyone expected this movie to do as well as it did, or to be quite as funny. It's a total farce. I mean, it's a zombie apocalypse movie that got nominated for a BAFTA! The best part? Writers Pegg and Edgar Wright knew when to quit. Bravo!
24. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
Why is it that stoner movies are so uproariously funny? It might have something to do with starring such honestly brilliant leads. I mean, Kal Penn is the man. In my personal opinion, I think Neil Patrick Harris had a lot to do with this film's success as well. Besides, even if you don't partake, most people know what it's like to go through debacle after debacle just to score a burger.
25. I Love You, Man
Another Paul Rudd/Jason Segel pairing! This was filled with so many amazing one-liners, I can practically quote the movie in its entirety. It capitalized on the whole bromance trend, but it steered clear of the cheese. To me, it didn't have a single lackluster moment. Also, Lou Ferrigno beats up Jason Segel. Winning!
26. Super Troopers
I swear this is the last stoner comedy, but it really brought Broken Lizard to the fore. This movie is uproariously funny, even though it's a total joke. Still, ever since seeing it, I can't see State Troopers and city or county cops anywhere near each other without imagining a bunch of behind the scenes hatred.
27. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Steve Carrell had a pretty steady career going before this, but this film catapulted him into the stratosphere. Everyone was talking about this when it came out; people saw it in droves, and they didn't leave disappointed. Steve makes such an amazing loser, and the ensemble cast played off each other beautifully.
28. Madea's Family Reunion
I couldn't find a trailer for this to save my life, so enjoy the clip instead! I think Tyler Perry does a lot of amazing things, in spite of the flak he often gets. His plays, of course, are ten times better than the versions on screen. Diary of a Mad, Black Woman marked my introduction, and like tons of other people, I promptly fell in love with Madea. I thought the underlying plots and issues in this movie were beautifully done; in addition to being comedic, it had a very touching, very strong serious side.
29. Horrible Bosses
This one's kind of iffy, but I love Jason Bateman and I thought the premise was hilarious. I also enjoy any movie that puts Jennifer Aniston outside of her comfort zone, plus it was worth it to see Colin Farrell with a pot belly and a combover.
30. American Pie
I couldn't possibly leave this off the list. It remains one of the best high school movies ever. If you were in high school or college when this came out, you identified with at least one character – and you got to grow up with them! I imagine we're going to end up seeing American Children or something before the franchise ends, but beyond one-off bombs like Band Camp, I've loved every continuing film in this series.
I love comedies, and looking back, I have to agree that the 2000s gave birth to some great ones. Some of them were dark, some of them were esoteric, smart comedies, and others were totally screwball. Now, hit me with your opinions: did your favorites make the list or are you totally outraged that your favorite laugh-out-loud flick wasn't represented?