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The 15 Best Comedy Movies on HBO Max
Ah, HBO Max. They’re the new streamers on the block, but since they debuted in 2020, users have been into the great content they’ve provided, like their gripping documentaries, classic movie collection, and incredible original series. But they’re good at more than just that. They also curate awesome comedy movies. They’ve figured out the perfect formula of long-loved favorites and new school pop culture moments.
The spectrum of comedies HBO Max has on hand? Well, they make the perfect movie cocktail. Whether it’s a rom-com you’ve watched many times over or mockumentaries which changed the way you view spoofs, the streamer has got it all, with plenty more to spare once you’re done. Esquire took the time to gather some of the best comedies on HBO Max, because really, who doesn’t want to laugh out loud until their stomachs ache?
This one didn’t exactly land at box offices immediately following its 1995 release, but the team up from Ice Cube and Chris Tucker has become a cult favorite in the years since. When two unemployed friends realize they have to pay back a drug dealer for weed, it launches a tangled web of lies that eventually threatens their lives.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
When this 2005 film blew up in a big way, the world was introduced to two fresh names: director Judd Apatow and a young man named Steve Carell. This flick, hilarious and often-times crude in its humor, also offered movie-goers a romance which felt surprisingly understated, especially given the antics surrounding it. And, let’s be honest, the image of Steve Carell getting his chest waxed will forever be etched in our minds, for good reason.
As if you’ve never seen this movie! This 1995 teen classic, following the life of a rich and popular high schooler as she tries to make over one of the class nerds (wonder where She’s All That got their premise from?), has since become one of the most popular coming-of-age comedies to ever hit the market.
One of the most influential films ever made, this 1967 comedy has to be on the list, for a number of reasons. Apart from the story of a 21-year-old man getting seduced by an older woman, it also introduced the world to one of the most prolific actors of his generation: Dustin Hoffman. This movie was such a success, it received seven Academy Award nominations and was soon ranked by the American Film Institute as one of the greatest movies of all time.
When Harry Met Sally
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan star in this beloved rom-com as two friends on a 12-year road to love. From the quirky sexual chemistry between the film’s leads to that iconic diner scene (you’ve scene it), there’s nothing this movie gets wrong.
A Hard Day’s Night
Sure, the Beatles were cultural phenomenons, architects of both rock and pop. What you may not know is that their movies are just as good as the songs. Filled with comedic bits, a killer soundtrack, and a clear look at each band member’s personality (especially Ringo’s!), it’s easy to see why this film is a celebration of one of the greatest bands of all time.
Little Shop of Horrors
Culture fans may be more familiar with the stage version of this story, but this 1986 film is truly a gem. Exploring the story of a florist shop worker who discovers his Venus Flytrap has a vampiric streak, the movie developed a cult following years after its premiere. And with stars like Steve Martin, Bill Murray, and Jim Belushi sprinkled throughout the cast? Well, you better prepare yourself for your own rendition of “Suddenly Seymour”…
If you happen to be a foodie, this 1985 Japanese comedy is exactly what you want. Of course it’s not all just a drool-fest. Following a woman as she strives to perfect her trusted ramen recipe, the film also features cute kids, gangsters, and a young, handsome actor named Ken Watanabe.
From the story of an all-girl a capella group trying to regain their honor and win Nationals to the catchy versions of pop hits, this is the perfect laugh-out-loud movie to boost your spirits.
Ever wondered what it was like to work at either a convenience or video store back in the Nineties? Well, thanks to director Kevin Smith (and a mere $27,000 in budget), we now have one of the best hidden gems of the comedy canon.
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
When a part-time British intelligence agent from the 1960s suddenly finds himself transported thirty years into the future, what does he do? Well, the only thing he knows how to do: save the world from arch nemesis Dr. Evil, who’s busy trying to steal nuclear weapons and hold the world hostage for…$1 million. Though it was a sleeper hit when it originally debuted in 1997, it spawned two sequels. Meaning: once you’re done laughing out loud to Austin Powers’ shticks, there’s more for you to enjoy.
An American Pickle
Seth Rogen stars in this HBO Max original, exploring a rather ridiculous premise: what happens when an Eastern European Jewish immigrant gets preserved in a vat of pickles and somehow makes it all the way to 21st century New York? The concept may be wonky, but its focus on family and Seth Rogen playing both main leads sells it.
When a couple of kids from the Goon Docks of Oregon find a treasure map while their homes have just been foreclosed on, what do they decide to do? Follow it, duh! This ones full of friendship, laughs, and the first appearances of some famous 1980’s icons, including Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman and Sean Astin. Maybe you’ve heard of them?
Joe Versus the Volcano
In the first of many movies between stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, a Staten Island man, who after being told he’s dying from a rare disease, accepts a financial offer to throw himself off a volcano as a sort of sacrifice. But when he falls in love with the woman taking him on the journey to the rim, he begins questioning if everything he believes is really true.
Not Another Teen Movie
High school jock Zack is one of the most popular guys in school. But when he bets his friends he can turn nerd Janey into the hot girl, he never expects he’d fall in love with her. Playing on all the tropes of teen rom-coms, this movie will not only make you laugh from the antics, plus you may just discover the (in)complexities of a young actor named Chris Evans.
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