With the 82nd Academy Awards coming in less than a month, it's only appropriate to list movies that were either overlooked by the Oscars without getting any nominations, or...wait, these five movies didn't get any notable nominations at all (except one film received one for Best Original Song, which the movie actually lost). Here is a countdown of the best five comedies that walked away without a single Oscar:
5. Caddyshack (1980):
Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, and Chevy Chase are hysterical in their respective roles in Caddyshack which has become a comedy classic. Chevy Chase plays Ty Webb who is socially awkward, not to be unmatched by Carl Speckler, played by Bill Murray, who makes Chevy Chase seem normal. Rodney Dangerfield plays Al Czervik, but he's basically playing himself doing stand-up comedy. Carl Speckler is such a non-sequitur in the film because he's trying to get rid of gophers that are on the golf field. Watching these three comedy legends play absurd characters without anybody really one-upping each other is incredibly enjoyable.
4. Office Space (1999):
This movie has become a cult favorite. If you have an office job (or even a retail job), it is impossible to ever go through a day without experiencing an Office Space moment. Also, a character named Drew in the movie has a line about a girl giving her " 'O' face" which has become regular conversation in American culture. The film becomes so incredibly and realistically dry, and of course, Peter Gibbons goes through this transformation after a hilarious scene with a hypnotherapist. A funny note about this movie: for anybody that has seen American Beauty, an old classmate of this reviewer once called American Beauty (which won a bunch of Academy Awards) a pretentious Office Space. In a very abstract and vague way, and as great as American Beauty is, there's a lot of validity in that statement. Think about it. Yep.
3. 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005):
40 Year-Old Virgin changed how comedies were done for years. Steve Carell plays--charmingly--Andy, a (titular line) who is in the midst of these vulgar men. The movie becomes about sex, but it stays classy in a strange way because there is absolutely no malice in these dirty jokes. The immaturity levels of Andy's friends all come organically. It feels like four boys just hanging out and a camera is put on them. There's no fluff. This honesty makes the film come off more realistic which makes the sweet moments feel earned because they don't go for cheap emotionality. Also, most of the movie is filled with filthy hilarious jokes to keep you laughing the entire time, so even though there are sweet moments, this film isn't bogged down by them.
2. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006):
Borat very nice, high-five! Oh boy, remember how overplayed the Borat voice was in 2006? Everybody was doing it for three weeks and then this movie kind of just went away. It's one of the few movies that suffered from overexposure but is actually funnier if you watch it a second time four years later. Seriously, this movie is much funnier than you even remember it. All you have to do is fast-forward the naked hotel scene, and with DVDs, you can just skip the chapter. There are so many great scenes in this movie that are underrated: the scene where he asks the driving instructor to be his boyfriend, the scene where he finds out his wife dies, etc. The famous scenes (at the rodeo and with the USC guys, etc.) are still funny, but it's the forgotten ones that will make you laugh more the second time around. Also, culturally, Sacha Baron Cohen has created a stereotype to expose the ignorant perspective Americans have of other cultures. The reactions that people have to Borat's character is a great reflection of how Americans honestly think without being afraid of having inhibitions.
1. Man on the Moon (1999):
This is the film that was nominated and lost for Best Original Song (to South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut). Jim Carrey embodies Andy Kaufman so realistically that it's a wonder that he didn't even get nominated for Best Actor (he WON the Golden Globe that year!). This is probably Jim Carrey's best acting performance he's ever done, but this film was a box-office flop so it wasn't seen by many people. This biopic of Andy Kaufman is fascinating because Andy Kaufman's comedy was so ahead of its time. This is a comedy that the masses can get into, but even deeper than that, it's a comedy about comedy. Everything he does is art, but as Andy Kaufman himself admits, he doesn't know what's funny. Another reason he's so ahead of his time is because a lot of his humor was a wink for comedy insiders, and the public doesn't get wind of it until years later. He has a mix of satire, absurdism, and post-modernism, probably not realizing that he's meticulously performing these styles of comedy so perfectly. One of the funniest scenes in the movie is Andy Kaufman reading The Great Gatsby to a classroom full of college students. This scene by itself is almost worth you watching this film that was wrongfully snubbed by the Academy Awards.
*HONORABLE MENTION* Love Actually (2003): This film came very close to making the list. For what it's worth, it is the best romantic-comedy ever.
Unfortunately, Caddyshack and Man on the Moon limited availability in stores. You can purchase them on Amazon. As for the rest of the aforementioned comedies, you can purchase them at your local Best Buy.
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