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Modern Comedies: Five Movies Since 1980 That Shaped the Genre

By    |   Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 06:02 AM

Laughter is the best medicine for dealing with the world, and modern comedy movies deliver this much-needed laughter in healthy doses. Comedies have a way of doing everything from offering biting satire about popular culture and society to providing zany slapstick that lets movie audiences forget about the outside world for a couple of hours.

Some movies in particular have shaped the comedy genre in modern times. These five movies below influence how other filmmakers approach stories and deliver laughs within this genre:

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“Airplane” (1980)

Parodies of popular movies, TV shows and pop culture figures regularly turn up since “Airplane” paved the way. It is a send-up of the popular disaster movies of the 1970s. The best element is having serious actors deliver hilarious lines in a straight manner. “Airplane” really opened the door to using parody as a way to poke fun at movie clichés.

“Caddyshack” (1980)

Every modern sports comedy owes part of its existence to Caddyshack. This movie, which chronicles the rivalry between an uptight judge and a boorish contractor at a country club, squeezes laughs out of pitting rich against poor. There is definite class warfare as a poor caddy rises up to get the best of the judge and beat him in a climatic round of golf on a dramatic final putt. This film set the formula for many sports comedies that followed.

“Ghostbusters” (1984)

Combining the supernatural with comedy isn't a new thing, but “Ghostbusters” took the idea to a blockbuster level. The movie follows a team of parapsychologists who do battle with a demon god that threatens to destroy New York City. It takes story elements usually reserved for the horror genre and plays them for lots of laughs.

“The Princess Bride” (1987)

Sword and sorcery get comedic treatment in “The Princess Bride.” The story is unfolded as a book read by a grandfather to his sick son. The typical fantasy characters – the prince, the princess, the rogue pirate, and the giant – are all painted in a new light that pokes fun at those character archetypes. Here, a pirate works to rescue a princess from a prince – instead of the other way around.

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“Groundhog Day” (1992)

Science fiction elements are used for comedic effect in “Groundhog Day,” a story that follows an arrogant, selfish weatherman who is forced to relive the same day repeatedly. Gradually, he learns how to become a better person and break the time loop. “Groundhog Day” explores what builds character and how a soul is changed in a light-hearted way – opening the door for exploring serious issues in a comedic lens.

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Laughter is the best medicine for dealing with the world, and modern comedy movies deliver this much-needed laughter in healthy doses. Comedies have a way of doing everything from offering biting satire about popular culture and society to providing zany slapstick.
modern, comedies, movies, films, hollywood
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2015-02-22
Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 06:02 AM
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