The Netflix Instant universe is vast, and full of many delights from all corners of cinema. Chances are, if you're in the mood for a certain genre, there's at least 11 movies that'll scratch the itch. Which is why, on a weekly basis, we here at Cinema Blend will bring you the 11 most interesting offerings in a genre, all of which are available for streaming through your Netflix account.
Last week, we scared you to the limits of your queue with our pick of 11 choice horror flicks, and this week, we're here to kick off your 4th of July weekend with some much needed laughter. After all, it's a holiday, and as such you owe it to yourself to enjoy your time off. So let us point out to you the following 11 films that'll keep you and yours occupied in-between grilling and going for a swim.
Coming To America
Eddie Murphy's rise to fame was at its peak in the 1980's, with films such as Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, and Coming To America all making him a household name. However, it's this tale of a prince trying to avoid an arranged marriage, by posing as a pauper in New York, that helped Eddie become recognized for a rather important piece of his schtick: playing multiple characters in the same scene. In particular, the barber shop scene, which features a young Cuba Gooding Jr., also showcases Murphy and co-star Arsenio Hall, as several different people, all sharing a hilarious moment. While this may have peaked with The Nutty Professor, and completely collapsed under Norbit, it was a gag that made a killing in Coming To America, and shows just how great Eddie Murphy was in his prime.
With the second golden era of SNL in full swing, Lorne Michaels produced a couple of films starring members of the cast that made the 90's run of the popular comedy so rewarding. With Wayne's World already proven a hit, Michaels also took a chance with Tommy Boy, which starred Chris Farley and David Spade. Sometimes, a gamble pays off, and that's exactly what happened with this movie, as the story of a man armed with only his father's legacy, as well as his right hand man, sets off on a journey to keep the family business afloat. Of course, that's only the film's story on paper, and to ruin any of the classic jokes for any potential outsiders would be a sin. Be prepared to laugh, and miss Chris Farley all over again.
Now we're getting into the less traveled path, as we shift over to this hidden gem that's packed with a comedy cast for days! Now stay with us on this one: Oliver Platt and Stanley Tucci play a pair of down on their luck actors, who are on the run from angry Alfred Molina, and accidentally stow away on a cruise ship. Not only do they have to keep one step ahead of their rival, but they have to expose a pair of con artists (Richard Jenkins & Allison Janney,) avoid a horny tennis player (Billy Connolly,) and prevent the ship from blowing up at the hands of a saboteur. There's a lot going on in The Impostors, but believe us when we tell you, it's all worth taking in.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby
When you think Will Ferrell, you're either thinking one of two things: Ron Burgundy and uncontrollable screaming. Well, you'll definitely get one of those two things, as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby has plenty of Ferrell's trademark freakouts, as well as some really good NASCAR related gags. The film shows the fall and rise of Ricky Bobby, a race car driver who loves to go fast and cash a check. Of course, this is all threatened when a hot French Formula 1 driver starts to shine just a little bit brighter than Ricky, triggering all sorts of madness. While it's not as remembered as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights is a legend in its own right, especially considering what Ferrell and co-star John C. Reilly would go on to do with Step Brothers, two years later.
50 First Dates
Adam Sandler movies are easy targets as of late, so it's almost hard to remember a time when Sandler's presence meant that something funny was on its way. One of the last films that held the honor of that distinction was 50 First Dates, the film that reunited Sandler with his co-star from The Wedding Singer, Drew Barrymore. Barrymore plays Lucy, a woman with severe short term memory loss whom Sandler's Henry falls in love with. At times genuinely sweet, and laugh out loud funny, 50 First Dates reminds us of an Adam Sandler we miss a lot. If only he knew how to come back...
Silver Linings Playbook
Comedy is good for making us feel better when we're down, while Drama can be really good at helping us better understand just why we're down in the first place. It's the nexus of these two genres that creates the joyful experience that is Silver Linings Playbook. Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a man who's just gotten out of a psychiatric hospital after a traumatizing event. Through coincidence, and a couple of off-color outbursts here and there, Pat meets and bonds with Jennifer Lawrence's Tiffany, a woman with a short temper, and an equal amount of issues. Together the two swim through uncertain waters, as they prepare for a dance competition that'll change both of their lives. If you like laughs anchored with a lot of heart, this movie's for you.
Before he became the independent film mogul he is today, Kevin Smith was a guy from New Jersey with a dream of making movies. After studying through copious amounts of both indie and blockbuster films, Smith made Clerks, a film that most still consider as the man's magnum opus. The story's simple: Dante and Randal, two store clerks in Jersey, gripe about work, life, and women through a day in the life of their dead end jobs. However, the true meat of the film comes from the epiphany that follows all of the dirty jokes and sharp snark that the film builds its foundation on. Without Clerks, the Smith formula would not exist, and the world of film would be a lot worse off for it.
Another bedrock contributor to the landscape of comedy that just happens to have an entry on this list is none other than John Hughes. The man who brought us Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off pretty much invented, perfected, and ruled the teen comedy genre in the 80's. Submitted as further evidence of this fact is the film Sixteen Candles, which tells the story of young Sam (Molly Ringwald,) and the worst 16th birthday ever. With her sister getting married the day after, her birthday has pretty much fallen off the face of the map. But after the day she ends up having throughout the film, it'll be a day she'll never forget. It's funny, it's frantic, it's a movie where you can see baby-faced John Cusack and Anthony-Michael Hall be friends.
Brexit. There, we said it, and you were probably thinking it after seeing Dudley Moore and Peter Cook in the photo above. However, we're not including Bedazzled on this list as a way of triggering thoughts about British political upheaval. In fact, we're including this on the list so you can completely forget about such matters, and enjoy a darkly funny tale about a short order cook, The Devil himself, and a series of wishes that could make a person swear off wishing. Taking aim against religion, pop stars, advertising, and even nature itself, Bedazzled is as sharp as Satan's pitchfork itself, and it hurts a lot less.
If John Hughes' work on films like Sixteen Candles helped pioneer the feel-good teen comedy, then Daniel Waters' Heathers helped bring balance to the world with its dark and biting answer to that same genre. The world of Heathers is run by four girls who share that same name, and is shaken up after the group accepts Winona Ryder's character, Veronica, into their ranks. An outsider for most of her life, Veronica longed for a place among the popular girls, and finds herself wanting to become a geek again once the luster of the gig wears off. Of course, getting out of the web of murder, lies, and blackmail that she's walked right into won't be easy, but surely her boyfriend J.D. can help, right? If you like your teen movies with an edge, then Heathers is exactly what you're looking for.
Wet Hot American Summer
It's amazing what 15 years can do for a cast of up-and-coming comedy superstars. Wet Hot American Summer is one of those movies that you watch years after the fact, only to realize that a lot of your favorite actors were in it, waiting for you to discover them this whole time. Taking place during the last day of Camp Firewood's 1981 summer season, everything and anything happens during that final, fateful 24 hour period. Counselors hook-up, a can of vegetables becomes a source of inspiration, and SkyLab threatens to flatten a camp full of kids... all in a day's work for Camp Firewood. With appearances from Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, and Janeane Garafolo, as well as a ton of others, Wet Hot American Summer not only makes for a hysterical film, it's also spawned a great prequel in the Netflix series, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp. A fitting entertainment for the season that inspired it.