There’s a lot of films out there, most of which you won’t find time to watch but during stressful quarantine time when being isolated from the rest of the world is longer than expected watching some classic comedies can relieve the pressure. A lot of films go off the radar or receive bad reviews, only to later become cult classics, films hailed as either misunderstood gems or criminally overlooked fun. I’ve made a list of ten cult classic comedies I think everybody should watch during quarantine time to ease the stress of COVID 19.
#1 The Big Lebowski
This film is one of three Coen Brother’s films on the list, which I am not ashamed of. The Big Lebowski follows the story of “The Dude” an older waster who is mistaken for another Lebowski. This mistake embroils him in a kidnapping that includes nihilists, a chopped toe and bowling. One of my top ten all time films, nevermind cult films.
#2 Office Space
Office Space is a film from Mike Judge, who brought us Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill. Office Space satires the dreary life of those relegated to an office day in day out. Nobody will forget the memo scene or the pain brought from the printer refusing to work yet again.
#3 Napoleon Dynamite
Napoleon Dynamite is an oddball comedy, to the point where I can see why it wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste. That being said, this is one I watched numerous times in high school and spent many days quoting. One for those looking for a fairly silly film.
There’s a chance that you already know Kevin Smith by some of his other films such as Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back or Dogma, but this was his first. Clerks is about a day in the life of Dante and Randel, two clerks at a standard convenience store in America. Shot in black and white, the film has a clever script with a DIY ethic that is hugely charming.
#5 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Based on the phenomenal novel by Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a drug fueled romp through Nevada, highlighting the broken reality of the american dream through the eyes of one of our greatest writers. It’s hard for Terry Gilliam to do much wrong and this film is yet another testament to that.
#6 Raising Arizona
Nicholas Cage is on rare form in this film as a recidivist criminal who kidnaps a baby with his wife after finding they’re unable to conceive. This may not sound like the start to a hilarious film, but in true Coen Brother form, the dark plot and unconventional characters manage to bring the narrative to life in a way that can be both funny and touching.
#7 Withnail and I
I’m unsure I can say much about Withnail & I that hasn’t already been said by people much better at writing than me. Possibly one of the most quotable films ever written, Withnail & I is a bleak and depressing yet farcical look at the day to day lives of two unemployed actors who are also complete wasters. This one will speak to any creatives who feel themselves unappreciated, while also making them feel fairly silly for the lives they’re possibly living.
#8 The Hudsucker Proxy
Yet another Coen Brother one, ey? Guess who’s a big fan. But for good reason, which the three films on this list will hopefully show you. A screwball comedy, The Hudsucker Proxy yet again highlights how fantastic the Coen Brothers are at writing, with great performances from Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Newman.
#9 Galaxy Quest
If you’re not into Sci-Fi as a genre, I would implore you to still give this one a look. Galaxy Quest is a satire of Sci-Fi films, particularly Star Trek, in which a group of washed up television actors are beamed up by aliens after being mistaken for actual space adventurers. Comedy mixed in with family-fun action, this is one that I highly recommend to all.
#10 Human Traffic
Human Traffic follows a group of friends through their weekend, chronicling the rave culture that pervaded much of Britain during the 90s. A derision of the weekender lifestyle as much as it is an homage, this film is a brilliant look into the pros and cons of growing up on drugs and clubs. Also, possibly the only good film Danny Dyer has ever been in.