If you follow me on Instagram, recently you would’ve saw I attended an event promoting Super Troopers 2. I’ve been a Broken Lizard fan since I first saw Super Troopers when I was 14 and thought it was absolutely hysterical.
I’ve come to realize not everyone knows what Super Troopers is and it always shocks me. How?!? I thought it was one of those films that EVERYBODY had seen?
The 2000s were a great time for comedy and that means there were plenty of funny movies that flew under the radar compared to bigger comedy hits of the oughts – think Mean Girls, Anchorman, and The Hangover. Well, that leaves plenty of laughs to still be had. I put on my movie-glasses and got to work in putting together a list of what I think are 13 Underrated Comedies of the 2000s.
These thirteen picks are not the height of cinematic masterpieces, nor are they high-brow comedy, but they are easily quoted and guaranteed to give you a few laughs. If you’ve ever been in my presence for any amount of time – chances are I have quoted one of these movies, if not all, at some time.
I avoided romcoms since the list would then get far too long (but maybe that’s a post you’ll see in the near future.) If there is a romantic plot in any of the below choices, it’s very minor to the overall story. Shall we begin?
On a side note, in retrospect it’s odd to see how much of the ’00s humor relied on cop storylines. I wonder what it was about that decade that made us think, yes, cops…cops are always funny. But in the case of the these movies, it actually worked.
Super Troopers (2001)
Five Vermont State Troopers spend their days screwing with the unsuspecting citizens that they watch over and perpetuating an on-going feud with their rivals – the local cops. Between maple syrups chug-offs and meowing about, there’s bigger problems on the horizon. Budget cuts want to shut them down, but a bananas of a case lands in their lap for them to solve, which may be the key to keeping the squad alive. I think the opening scene of Super Troopers I have watched at least 100 times on it’s own. Forget Willy Wonka, I will never look at snozzberries the same way again.
Hot Rod (2007)
Hot Rod is classic Andy Samberg at his finest. Rod (Samberg) believes his father was Evel Knievel and wants to be a revered stuntman just like him. Two tiny problems. Knievel wasn’t his father and to put it nicely, Rod is a dreadful stuntman. A situation arises that leads Rod and crew (Bill Hader, Danny McBride, and Isla Fisher to name a few) to attempt the biggest stunt – “the jump of his life” and raise money for his jerk stepfather’s heart surgery, allowing Rod to finally prove his honor.
Step Brothers (2008)
This is easily the most well-known on the list, but I included it for the mere reason that that so many people discredit Step Brothers. Brennen (Will Ferrell) and Dale (John C. Reilly) are man children that are brought together when their parents marry. At first, the two despise each other, but over time their hijinks turn them into an inseparable duo that create more trouble together than separately. After it’s over, you’ll be wanting to go to the Catalina Wine Mixer too.
The United States has been overrun by zombies and few humans survive. A group of four unlikely individuals (Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin) come together in an attempt to find zombie-free land. There’s a never-ending search for a doughy yellow dessert, accidentally killing Bill Murray, and a visit to an amusement park in disarray. Zombieland may do the unthinkable and may even make you crave a Twinkie,
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
We’ve all heard about my love of Jay and Silent Bob before. The two signature characters of Smith’s films, Jay and Silent Bob, learn that a move adaptation of their lives is being created without their knowledge. They can’t have that now can they? Setting off to ruin the film, the duo hitchhikes to Hollywood, hence the title of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Knowing any time Jay and Silent Bob are onscreen theres a disaster happening somewhere, this movie is almost overflowing with hilarious havoc along the way. The end credits will forever be the first thing of I think of when I hear “The Bird” by Morris Day and The Time.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost paired together multiple times during the 2000s for comedy gold with their signature British dry humor. Their better known film of the decade is Shaun of the Dead which often leads to forgetting about Hot Fuzz (which is the better flick in my opinion.) Police Constable Nicholas Angel (Pegg) is just too good at his job and his colleagues are sick of being overshadowed, so they decide to send him to Sandford. The most peaceful village in all of the United Kingdom. Now Angel is paired with Danny (Frost) a bumbling officer who loves big-budget police movies a little too much. After another escaped geese chase in Sandford, Angel begins to think not all is as idyllic as it seems.
17 Again (2009)
Listen, I know this was marketed as a comedy for teenagers, but it was SO enjoyable. It was the film that made me first enjoy Zac Efron. That’s got to count for something right? If that doesn’t win you over – Leslie Mann’s performance will. Mike is struggling with middle age…a marriage on the rocks, kids that don’t enjoy him, a lackluster career. You know the drill. But what happens when he gets the chance to do it all again? Yes, the movie’s plot line is entirely predictable, yet I promise you’ll enjoy every minute. (It beats you actually being 17 Again.)
Role Models (2008)
Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (Sean Williams-Scott) hawk a second rate energy drink. One of them hates his life, the other one thinks its the perfect outlet for never growing up. After an…unfortunate Minotaur-fueled accident leaves them both with the choice between jail or probation, they find themselves as role models at Sturdy Wings to a pair of kids. Everybody in Role Models is a hot mess of dysfunction and the exact opposite of that moniker, but somehow they work better together.
White Chicks (2004)
The Wayans Brothers were the kings of comedies in the early 2000s with their horror spoof series Scary Movie. They created more during that time period. White Chicks is one of those plots that is so off-the-wall it can’t be good, but yet the laughs are still there. After numerous screw-ups, FBI agents Marcus and Kevin are placed on babysitting duty of two heiresses as punishment. When the girls refuse to attend a Hamptons Summer Bash, the brothers must pretend to be them and become bait for a heist. Yes, this was basically an alternative dimension of popular ’00s reality show The Simple Life but where it met screwball comedy and had a baby.
Bad Santa (2003)
Alternatively titled: When Christmas Goes Very Wrong. I know there’s plenty of people that would exclaim you can’t make a dark comedy about Christmas! But oh boy, you can and Bad Santa does it perfectly. It’s so naughty, it’s nice. A miserable, alcoholic con-man (Billy Bob Thornton) poses as Santa yearly to pull off a large shopping mall heist. It wouldn’t be a movie if there wasn’t at least one hitch and here they come in the form of a child who wants to befriend Santa and a store manager (Bernie Mac) who knows what Santa and his elf are up to and wants in on the scheme.
The House Bunny (2008)
Anna Farris plays a disgraced Playboy Playmate who finds the only job she can get: the house mother for a failing sorority. The House Bunny is exactly the story you’d expect with a playmates meet college scenario. However, Faris shines through the material as she shows off some of her greatest comedic chops. I once had a friend describe this movie as “women finally taking charge of lewd and rude humor” and I think that is spot on in all the best ways.
What more do you need than Mandy Moore throwing a bible while yelling “I am filled with Christ love!” Saved is a sharp-tongued look at religion and many of the correlated issues, wrapped up in a coming of age story. Mary (Jena Malone) is a devout Christian, even forming the Christian Jewels group with her closest friends. After her boyfriend, Dean, comes out as gay to her, she breaks her chastity vow thinking Jesus wants her to save him with sex. All her well intentioned plans go belly-up when she comes to find out she’s pregnant and Dean is still gay. This film isn’t anything you’d expect and somehow ends up being heartwarming as well.
School of Rock (2003)
Oh, Dewey, never grow up. Posing as a fake substitute teacher, Dewey Finn (Jack Black) takes over a classroom and instills a love of rock & roll in his students by molding them as a musical group to compete in the upcoming battle of the bands. Time is running out both literally and figuratively as the competition gets closer and uptight Vice-Principal (Joan Cusack) begins to get suspicious. Thank you School of Rock, for giving me my favorite insult: “You’re tacky and I hate you.”
What are your favorite comedies of the 2000s?
P.S. – Comedy has always been a well-loved favorite genre of mine. One of my earliest memories is being obsessed with Tommy Boy and acting out the famous scenes in my living room. (My mother really was a saint.)
Until next time,