Now that cold season is upon us, discussion has once again turned to “Cinema therapy”—that is which movies make us feel better when we are stuck in bed with a cold. Some of us reluctantly admitted that we use cold enforced downtime to catch up on really bad daytime TV that we will never actually admit to watching. And some of us copped to a steady “Get Well Sooner” diet of chicken soup and Lifetime Movie Network.
However, studies have shown that laughter is, in fact, the best medicine. So we decided to create a list of the ten best female-friendly laugh out loud movies (not to be confused with male-friendly laugh out loud movies like Airplane, The Hangover and any Monty Python offering).
For inspiration we consulted the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Movies of all Time (created in 1998 to commemorate the first 100 years of American cinema), Yahoo’s “100 Films to See Before You Die,” and our own side-splitting memories. Let us know what you think of these:
When Harry Met Sally (1989)—Can you get funnier than Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal saying words written by Nora Ephron and directed by Rob Reiner? Meg Ryan’s restaurant scene is one of the most recognizable scenes in movie history. But one of our laugh out loud favorites is where Harry and Sally discuss their dreams and fantasies. Which scene in When Harry Met Sally makes you laugh out loud?
There’s Something About Mary (1998) – This stars Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon and Ben Stiller. A lot of women see this as more of a guy movie. But somehow we all can appreciate the Ben Stiller bathroom scene. And the scene where Matt Dillon tries to revive the dog makes us laugh till we cry.
It Happened One Night (1934) – A zany Frank Capra comedy starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. It won 5 Academy Awards. It’s on both the AFI and the Yahoo lists. Clark gable is a newspaper reporter pursuing a scandalous story about Claudette Colbert’s character. The famous “Walls of Jericho” scene was considered quite risqué in 1934. Today, it’s just plain fun!
My Cousin Vinny (1992) – This was the film all our friends mentioned first when we asked what film makes them laugh out loud. Joe Pesci showed his comedic chops and Marisa Tomei became a bonafide star and Best Supporting Actress Winner in this film. The problem is no one can agree whether the “two youts” scene or the “biological clock” scene was the laugh out loud favorite. What’s your vote?
Look Who’s Talking (1989) – This hysterically funny film stars John Travolta, Kirstie Ally and Bruce Willis as the voice of their baby, Mikey. The film was written and directed by Amy Heckerling who got the idea for the film when her husband pretended to be the voice of their own new baby. This film spawned two pretty good sequels and many recent talking baby ads. We defy you not to smile when Mikey and Dad dance to “Walking on Sunshine.”
Three Men and a Baby (1987) – Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck are more cute guys with a baby. They star as three womanizing bachelors forced to take care of a baby girl while they figure out which of them is her father. Directed by Leonard Nimoy. It’s a great “men are inept” film for moms getting some sorely needed rest.
Some Like It Hot (1959) – Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe star in this classic directed by Billy Wilder (It made both the AFI and Yahoo lists). Lemmon and Curtis play two guys running from the mob disguised as members of a women’s only band. Curtis’ Joe is in love with Marilyn Monroe’s character. But the funniest scenes are Jack Lemmon as Jerry in drag being relentlessly pursued by Joe E. Brown as Osgood Fielding.
Tootsie (1982) – Yes it’s another cross-dressing movie. But it’s a classic that has a lot to say about how women are treated by men everyday. Dustin Hoffman is terrific as Michael the desperate out of work actor who poses as a woman to get a job. We love it when Michael’s agent played perfectly by the late Sydney Pollack meets Dorothy Michaels for the first time.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) – This is a little, very funny film, that defied the odds and became a blockbuster. Written by and starring Nia Vardalos as a young Greek woman who falls in love with a hunky “not Greek” guy. It’s a funny film about families. Michael Constantine is great as the Greek dad who believes Windex cures everything. But Second City vet Andrea Martin steals the film playing Aunt Voula.
Four Weddings and A Funeral (1994) – Hugh Grant (he is so young here!), Andie MacDowall and Kristin Scott Thomas star in this classic about a group of British friends and the life changing events they attend. The “awful wedded wife” scene with Rowan Atkinson is hysterical!
So next time you are sick, grab the chicken soup and one of these films. Let us know which movie and which scenes made you feel better. And, please help us add to the list with some picks of your own. Spread the laughs and consider it a community service!