12 Lesser-Known Comedies Guaranteed To Brighten Your Day
And we're not talking about Adam Sandler filmography here.
1. What We Do in the Shadows (2014)
Alright, imagine – vampires? Living in a flat share in New Zealand? Yep. Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav, the immortal bloodsuckers, navigate through the mundane troubles of paying rent, house chores, and social life. Their squabbles and antics are hilariously juxtaposed with their ancient vampiric nature. Meanwhile, a documentary crew captures their every move, which gets even wilder when they meet Nick, a newly turned vampire.
2. Frank (2014)
There's a band, right, named Soronprfbs. Hold on, it gets stranger. Their frontman, Frank, always wears this massive papier-mâché head. Why? Don't ask. Anyway, Jon, an aspiring musician, joins them. Together, they embark on a whirlwind of bizarre performances and emotional turmoil, only to culminate at the illustrious South by Southwest.
3. The Death of Stalin (2017)
History books don't tell you this, but after Stalin kicked the bucket, there was quite the fiasco. Khrushchev, Malenkov, Beria, and others scrambled for power in a cutthroat and often ridiculous fashion. The nation's politics became an absurd, laugh-out-loud spectacle. Well, okay, perhaps not in real life. But this dark comedy paints the Soviet Union's transitional chaos in the most humorous light possible.
4. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
Let's chase a wild tale from down under. Ricky Baker, a mischievous foster kid, is thrust upon Bella and Hector, an eccentric couple living in the New Zealand bush. When Bella dies and Child Services threatens to tear Ricky from Hector, they both go rogue. Wild chases, madcap humor, and the picturesque NZ wilderness ensue. Bushmen? More like bush-madness.
5. Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Imagine stumbling upon a classified ad: "Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. Safety not guaranteed". Would you apply? Journalist Jeff decides to investigate, taking two interns with him. They meet Kenneth, the quirky guy behind the ad, who truly believes he can time-travel. The story unfolds as they prepare for the alleged leap across time.
6. Submarine (2010)
Oliver Tate's life is... well, how shall I put it? Eccentric? He's trying to save his parents' crumbling marriage, mostly from his mom's ex-lover who's moved next door. Meanwhile, he's navigating his own first love with a pyromaniac classmate. The Welsh setting, quirky characters, and Oliver's inner monologue create a peculiar cocktail of hilarity and teenage angst.
7. In Bruges (2008)
Two hitmen, Ray and Ken, land in the quaint town of Bruges, Belgium. Ordered to lay low after a botched job, the city's medieval charm is lost on Ray, who's grappling with guilt. Ken, on the other hand, becomes a pseudo-tourist. Their European "vacation" spirals into dark humor, surreal confrontations, and unexpected allies. Oh, and did I mention a dwarf predicting the apocalypse?
8. Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
Once upon a time, in 1940s Shanghai, Sing aspired to be a gangster. But not just any gangster, the top gangster. He attempts to extort a slum known as Pig Sty Alley, but its kooky residents aren't what they seem. Cue ridiculous fight sequences, a harmonica assassin duo, and a landlady in hair rollers who defies the laws of physics.
9. Bernie (2011)
Who knew funerals could be so amusing? Bernie Tiede, the most beloved mortician in small-town Texas, strikes an odd friendship with Marjorie, a wealthy widow nobody likes. But even Bernie's saint-like patience wears thin. One day, Marjorie's gone. The town, surprisingly, isn't upset. But how far can Bernie push his luck?
10. The Lobster (2015)
Imagine a world where being single is illegal. Huh? Exactly. The newly single David checks into The Hotel, where he has 45 days to find a romantic partner or get transformed into an animal of his choice. Hence, the title. David decides to escape and joins the rebellious Loners in the woods. Satirical, absurd, and oddly heartwarming.
11. Four Lions (2010)
A satirical look into terrorism? Risky, but this British comedy nails it. Four radicalized British Muslims decide to become jihadists. Yet, their lack of intelligence, bumbling antics, and constant infighting turn their terror plots into a series of comedic misadventures. It's like the Three Stooges went radical, but there are four of them.
12. A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2012)
Meet Jack, a children's author turned crime novelist. The problem? He's developed an irrational fear of being murdered. His phobias lead to slapstick situations: from knife-wielding laundromats to therapy sessions gone wrong. But when Jack's offered a big break by a Hollywood executive, he must face his fears head-on. Or at least try to.