Comedy Movies 2017 – Guide1.01.17 # Comedy Movies # No Comment
Let’s take a look at the biggest and best comedy movies of 2017. Funny this year comes in the form of Will Ferrell starting an illegal casino, The Rock as a Baywatch lifeguard, the return of the Super Troopers, and Kevin Hart inside Jumanji. That and so much more. Let us know in the comments what you think will be the best comedy movies 2017 has to offer.
Here’s the rundown of every significant theatrical release, good and bad:
Who’s Your Daddy? (aka Bastards)
Starring: Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Glenn Close, J. K. Simmons, Ving Rhames
Director: Lawrence Sher
Out: January 27, 2017 (U.S. Release Dates)
Twin brothers (Wilson, Helms) who were raised believing their father died, learn in their 40s that he’s still alive. Not only that but their mother (Close) confesses she had such a wild youth at Studio 54 that their father could be one of several candidates. The brothers determine to hit the road to examine the potential dads. J.K. Simmons plays one paternal possibility, while Ving Rhames plays a former football player who helps Terry Bradshaw (legendary NFL quarterback) figure out if he’s the father. This is the directorial debut of veteran cinematographer Larry Sher (‘The Hangover’). All signs point to a so-so R-rated comedy, owing a lot to the plotline of ‘Broken Flowers’.
Starring: Charlie Day, Ice Cube, Jillian Bell, Tracy Morgan, Christina Hendricks
Director: Richie Keen
Out: February 17, 2017
On the last day of the year, a cowardly high school English teacher (Day) is trying to keep it together amidst senior pranks, a dysfunctional administration and budget cuts that put jobs on the line. But when he accidentally gets his feared colleague (Cube) fired, he is challenged to an after school fight in front of the whole school… This is a loose remake of the classic high-school comedy ‘3 O’Clock High’, only this time it’s the teachers fighting. Other staff include Jillian Bell (as a drug-taking school guidance counselor), Christina Hendricks (as an intense drama teacher with the hots for Cube), and Tracey Morgan in his first movie role since his accident (great to see him back). The director cut his teeth on the amusing ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ so knows how to get the most out of Charlie Day. Day’s speciality is the weasily, fast-talking coward, as Ice Cube’s is the tongue-in-cheek hardass. Expect sporadically-amusing, forgettable entertainment.
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, Isabella Amara, Judy Greer, Cheryl Hines
Director: Craig Johnson
Out: March 24, 2017
Comedy-drama about a lonely, neurotic and amusingly honest middle-aged man (Harrelson). Wilson is the modern egotist – outspoken, and oblivious to the world around him. Reuniting with his estranged wife (Dern) he gets a shot at happiness when he learns he has a teenage daughter born after the marriage ended and given up for adoption. Soon he is forcing all three to reconnect as a family, an idea that will surely backfire… Adapted from his 2010 graphic novel by Daniel Clowes (of ‘Ghost World’ fame), a master of dark, deadpan alienation comedy. The director was well reviewed for his similarly-toned ‘The Skeleton Twins’. Harrelson looks like he’s on great misanthropic form. Hopefully it won’t end up underappreciated like Clowes’ more niche ‘Art School Confidential’.
Starring: Dax Shepard, Michael Peña, Vincent D’Onofrio, Adam Brody, Kristen Bell
Director: Dax Shepard
Out: March 24, 2017
California Highway Patrol officers (CHiPs) Jon Baker (Shepard) and Francis “Ponch” Poncherello (Peña) cruise around the L.A. area stopping speeders and car thieves, helping stranded motorists, and assisting paramedics at accident scenes. But they find themselves in an inconceivable situation when a sadistic ex-cop (D’Onofrio) and his motor vehicle theft team start wreaking havoc throughout the city… Set in the present day, this CHiPs is R-rated and rude, with plenty of nudity, “sexual stuff and naughty language”. Adapting a wholesome family TV series into a raunchy explosive-comedy is a route travelled by ‘Dukes of Hazard’, ‘Starsky and Hutch’, and ’21 Jump Street’, etc. But Shepard stresses this isn’t a straight up spoof of CHiPS, rather a semi-serious take on the material, “a cross between ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘Lethal Weapon’. Not a heightened world but real world stakes with insane situations.” The motorcycle stunts were a draw for the TV show, and Shepard promises some of the best ever committed to film. Shepard’s writer-director record only has the low key, so-so 2012 effort ‘Hit and Run’ to go off. Expect ‘CHiPs’ to fall somewhere between passable dumb fun and dreaded Razzie.
Going In Style
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin, Matt Dillon, Ann-Margret
Director: Zach Braff
Out: April 7, 2017
After their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty, three lifelong buddies (Freeman, Caine, Arkin) decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives to plan a bank heist… Remake of Martin Brest’s 1979 classic, which featured George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. It’s hard to pick a golden oldie comedy caper from the last couple of decades that hasn’t been completely forgettable, from ‘Last Vegas’ to ‘Stand Up Guys’. The casting is a bit unimaginative: Freeman and Caine have already starred in a ton of films together and Arkin is hired for this sort of grumpy third player role all the time (eg ‘Stand Up Guys’). It would have been more interesting if the trio included oldies who haven’t had a meaty role in a while, like Dustin Hoffman or Warren Beatty. Regardless, the project represents a surprising change for director Zach Braff, who up until now has only directed himself, from his own screenplays. His comic sensibility and emotional sensitivity could work well with this material. Having the screenwriter of ‘St. Vincent’ might help too.
How To Be A Latin Lover
Starring: Eugenio Derbez, Kristen Bell, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Rob Riggle
Director: Ken Marino
Out: April 28, 2017
Finding himself dumped after 25 years of marriage, ageing lothario Maximo (Derbez) who made a career of seducing rich older women, must now move in with his estranged sister, where he begins to learn the value of family… This is a vehicle for Eugenio Derbez, in his first English-speaking starring role. The 55-year-old is Mexico’s most successful actor, the most recognised actor among Spanish-speaking Americans, and the most influential Hispanic male in the world according to Variety. Last year’s fatherhood comedy ‘Instructions Not Included’, which he directed, co-wrote and starred in, was the most successful Spanish-language film ever in the US ($44m gross) and worldwide (a further $54m). ‘Latin Lover’ has a supporting cast well stocked with American name talent (Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Rob Corddry, Raquel Welch, Rob Riggle), but still for someone outside his demographic it’s hard to see his appeal and the humour is a bit simple. It doesn’t feel like this will crossover, but with his Hispanic audience as big as it is, it doesn’t need to.