vulture lists

29 Funny Movies to Stream If You Need a Laugh Right Now

Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Photos by MGM, Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks

You’ve donated to the charities. You’ve called your representative. You’ve tweeted your displeasure. (Or, if you’re a Trump voter, you’ve basked in the warm glow of electoral vindication.) Now you need to watch something — anything — to get your mind off the events of the past week, and the four years to come. If you’re not in the mood for some comfort TV, may we suggest watching these lighthearted comedies, all of which are available on major streaming services? We promise: It feels good to laugh right about now.

Galaxy Quest (1999)
You might not think that a mid-budget Star Trek parody from the late 1990s would stand the test of time, but you’d be wrong. Trekkies once voted Galaxy Quest the seventh-best Star Trek film of all time, all the original Star Trek actors love it, and David Mamet considers it “perfect.” By Grabthar’s Hammer, if you haven’t seen this movie, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
How far off from reality is the world of HtLaGi10D? (Superfans pronounce it HUT-laggy-TEN-dee.) Not only does this classic rom-com take place in a world where a woman can become a high-powered magazine columnist at the age of 24, where a guy from Staten Island can have a Texas accent, and where it’s normal to meet someone’s parents after you’ve been dating a week — it also takes place in a world where the Knicks and Kings would be facing off in the NBA finals. Bizarre!
Where to stream it: Netflix

Minions (2015)
The Minions are befuddling. At first, it’s hard to understand the appeal of these stupid little yellow dummies. Then you watch Minions and you get it: Ah, yes, they’re stupid little yellow dummies! As a side benefit, you have no clue what any of them are saying, which makes this movie a refreshing relief from the constant onslaught of post-election opinions.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

Coming to America (1988)
Here’s a movie about an immigrant looking for love in and falling in love with America. Nice! It’s also a comedic tour de force, with Eddie Murphy operating at the absolute peak of his powers: The former SNL star plays so many characters and delivers so many jokes that his comedy overwhelms the senses.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

Hot Fuzz (2007)
For the second film in their Cornetto Trilogy, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg import the tropes of a Hollywood action film into a picturesque English village. To solve a string of murders, supercop Nicholas Angel (Pegg) and his innocent partner Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) must contend with gossipy locals, villainous supermarket magnates, and heavily armed priests. It’s like watching Bad Boys 2, but with more jokes about farmers’ mums.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

The Princess Bride (1987)
Some movies are so quotable you can spout their famous lines without even seeing them. But in the case of Princess Bride, that would be a waste: In between “Inconceivable!” and “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die,” is an unusually warmhearted adventure tale, told with wit and cheer. And there’s not too much kissing, either.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
WHAS has a couple things going for it: Not only is a deeply silly movie, it’s also a deeply positive movie as well. If you’re the type of person who went to summer camp, it’s hard to not feel a warm rush of nostalgia from the shenanigans on display. Just remember: Never go into town.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
The Emperor’s New Groove is generally considered the beginning of the end of the “Disney Renaissance,” but don’t tell the film that. Though it might not have the instantly iconic musical numbers of the studio’s previous works — Sting’s songs were largely shelved after the film was retooled mid-production — it does offer a laugh-a-minute pace and wonderful voice work from David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, and Patrick Warburton.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

Barbershop (2002)
Barbershop does have a plot — something about a stolen ATM — but you’d be forgiven for forgetting about it, as this is one of the great hang-out movies of all time. Things like story come secondary to the banter between the barbers and their customers. The clear winner, with apologies to Rosa Parks, is a scene-stealing Cedric the Entertainer. 
Where to stream it: Amazon and Hulu 

His Girl Friday (1940)
There’s something magical about great rom-com chemistry, and you can’t do much better than Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, who are just so good at sparring with each other here. The film’s sexual politics, too, are quietly revolutionary: Director Howard Hawks decided to change a play about an editor and his brilliant male reporter into a film about an editor and his brilliant female reporter, who is also his ex. The shift never feels didactic or heavy-handed —  Grant and Russell sparkle too bright.
Where to stream it: Hulu 

Clueless (1995)
Does Clueless hold up? As if! That is to say, yes, it does hold up. Quite well. The characters remain distinct and cartoonish without ever feeling flat. When was the last time you watched it? I can’t hear you, but I’m going to assume the answer is “Not recently enough.” Just do yourself a favor: Don’t Google what Stacey Dash has been up to.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

13 Going on 30 (2004)
Kids yearn to have the independence of grown-ups, and grown-ups yearn to get back the innocence of kids — a movie like 13 Going on 30 has something for everyone. Eighties tween Jenna (Jennifer Garner) wishes she could skip ahead to the fun parts of adulthood, and thanks to some magic, she does, learning important messages about friendship, loyalty, and “Thriller” along the way. In a pleasant twist, the movie is just about old enough for current 30-year-olds to watch and feel nostalgic for their own adolescence.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

Spaceballs (1987)
For some comedy nerds, Mel Brooks’s Star Wars parody Spaceballs is their Star Wars. Instead of Han Solo, there’s Captain Lone Starr (Bill Pullman); instead of Chewie, there’s Barf (John Candy); instead of Jabba the Hutt, there’s Pizza the Hutt. It’s all pretty juvenile, but the film is a non-stop assault of bits, some of which are very dumb and many of which are very Jewish.
Where to stream it: Hulu 

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995)
Yes, To Wong Foo has three straight men (Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo) playing drag queens, but the 1996 road movie treats drag culture with a surprising amount of reverence. Famous queens like Ru Paul, Lady Bunny, and Candis Cayne even pop up in cameos to lend a hand — and a wig.
Where to stream it: HBO 

Brewster’s Millions (1985)
Richard Pryor’s Brewster’s Millions, one of many adaptation of the 1902 novel of the same name, has maybe the greatest high-concept premise for a broad comedy: A man inherits money from a distant relative he never met, but there are two options. One, he can get $1 million straight away; or two, he can spend $30 million in 30 days (with tons of restrictions), he can get $300 million! What an idea! What a movie!
Where to stream it: HBO 

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
As tempting as it might be to retreat into the fantasy of an eternal childhood, Tim Burton’s debut film reminds us that even that path comes with trouble — someone might steal your bike! Fortunately, as long as you’ve got some ghost-truckers, hobos, and bikers on your side, things can still turn out okay.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

Top Five (2014)
Can a movie ever be overshadowed by its own press tour? Top Five certainly was: Only a fraction of the people who read Chris Rock’s many interviews and profiles saw this small film about a frustrated black actor who yearns for more ambitious work, but (one joke aside) this is the kind of humanist comedy we need right now. And, as a bonus, the bit about Boo! A Madea Halloween is even funnier now that that movie actually exists.
Where to stream it: Hulu 

What If (2014)
Yes, it’s good when romantic comedies cast super-good-looking people, but it’s also nice when a rom-com focuses on two cute little nerds who have no idea how to navigate each other. Zoe Kazan and Daniel Radcliffe play friends who question if men and women can be friends and banter about sandwiches and Canada. Seriously, this movie has some high-level banter. Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis play the duo’s friends, who happen to be slightly more instinctual (and also slightly more conventionally attractive). As far as rom-coms go, What If lands somewhere between When Harry Met Sally and About Last Night — if both of those movies, again, starred cute little nerds.
Where to stream it: Hulu (with a Showtime account)

50 First Dates (2004)
Adam Sandler’s mix of dumbness and sweetness was made for weeks like this. Turn your brain off, consume Drew Barrymore’s unstoppable charm, and watch a walrus throw up.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

Keeping the Faith (2000)
This perpetually underrated, under-seen rom-com is the only movie Edward Norton has ever directed. It is a love triangle between a high-powered business woman (Jenna Elfman), a rabbi (Ben Stiller), and a Catholic priest (Norton). That may sound like the setup for a joke, but the result is an undeniably warm, big-tent, everyone-is-welcome kind of movie.
Where to stream it: HBO 

Legally Blonde (2001)
Female solidarity. A tiny chihuahua. An upper-class twit named Warner Huntington III. Legally Blonde has everything you need right now.
Where to stream it: Amazon 

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant are all incredibly charming on their own; putting all three in a movie together simply isn’t fair. This is a movie for anyone who’s ever felt not thin enough, not smart enough, or not British enough. If Zellweger can pull off the accent, so can you!
Where to stream it: Hulu (with a Showtime account) 

Dumb & Dumber (1994)
It’s dumb. It’s in the title. Twice! Sometimes dumb is good. Sometimes it’s necessary. These are those times.
Where to stream it: HBO 

Old School (2003)
You might be in the mood to party yourself, but it might be nice to watch other people do it. Old School is so low-stakes and fun that’s it’s hard not to have just a little bit of a good time watching it.
Where to stream it: HBO 

Jackass: Number Two (2006)
You can watch the Jackass series to release a whole bunch of pent-up rage, or you can watch it to revel in the pain inflected upon these avatars of toxic masculinity. Either way, a bunch of men get hit in the face.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

Shaolin Soccer (2001)
One of the silliest films in recent memory, Stephen Chow’s Shaolin Soccer combines two of cinema’s most over-the-top genres for 87 minutes of pure madcap fun. Films don’t have bones, but if they did, this movie wouldn’t have a serious one in its body.
Where to stream it: Amazon 

Spy (2015)
Spy made a lot of money and got good reviews, but it still feels like a classic “Wait, this movie is actually really good” movie. It’s both charming and action-packed, and Melissa McCarthy gets to be very funny while beating people up.
Where to stream it: HBO

Good Burger (1997)
Come for the youthful high jinx of Kenan and Kel, stay for an impressive supporting performance by Abe Vigoda, as well as beautiful shots of the West Covina, California, locations. Be sure to enjoy it with an orange soda.
Where to stream it: Netflix 

The First Wives Club (1996)
Watch this and you’ll know:

Where to stream it: Amazon and Hulu

29 Funny Movies to Stream ’Til the 2020 Election