When family drama, the chaos of work, or the hell that is holiday shopping gets you down, it is nice to know there are a handful of comedies arriving in theaters and streaming this fall and winter to put you in the holiday mood.
The hilarity offerings are wide-ranging, from the family variety, to the outrageously raunchy. Some will seem like a gift from Santa while others arrive like a lump of coal.
Mascots (October 13th):
“Mascotting is not unlike a marriage in that it’s about cooperation, it’s about listening. Even if people are screaming at you, you’re not allowed to talk.”
The latest in the series of Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries comes to Netflix (in a rare Thursday release) with a look at competitive mascots. Let’s hope this is more Best in Show than For Your Consideration.
Kevin Hart: What Now? (October 14th):
The actor/comedian performs his stand up at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.
While I’m not a huge fan of Hart’s, I have no doubt this one is going to kill it at the box office. His popularity has not waned despite his oversaturation in movies.
Keeping Up with the Joneses (October 21st):
A bored married couple (Zach Galifinakis and Isla Fisher) meet their new neighbors (Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot) and end up entangled in an international espionage plot.
It will be interesting to see Gal Gadot being more involved in a comedy outside her brief cameo in 2010’s Date Night. Outside of that, this action/comedy seems generically by the numbers. The PG-13 rating doesn’t help.
Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Medea Halloween (October 21st):
The Jesus loving, frying pan swinging, grandmother is back and this time she is battling killers, poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls, zombies, and misbehaving teens.
I genuinely can’t tell if Perry has lost it, or if he is a genius taking his Medea caricature to this level of insanity. This also may be the best Medea movie released.
Almost Christmas (November 11th):
After the death of their matriarch, an estranged family will gather for their first Thanksgiving dinner together.
Every typical family member Hollywood thinks we all have is present. The drunken loud mouth, the newly divorced daughter, a single family friend with a life-long crush for her to fall for, the philandering husband, and the odd man out. No holiday season is complete without one or two of these films making the rounds at the theaters.
The Edge of Seventeen (November 18th):
When Nadine’s (Hailee Steinfeld) only friend falls for her super popular twin brother, she feels lost and alone in a world she can’t understand.
This feels like one of those rare teen comedies that I can relate to as I was the lonely, awkward girl in high school. There has been a lot of good buzz about this one coming out of the Toronto Film Festival with it being compared to classics such as Sixteen Candles.
Bad Santa 2 (November 23rd):
Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) returns and re-partners up with Marcus (Tony Cox) this time to knock off a charity.
The sequel to the 2003 hit looks like more of the same, but that is fine. This is one of those rare cases where messing with the formula is a bad idea. The addition of Kathy Bates as Willie’s mother is a nice cherry on the sundae.
Office Christmas Party (December 9th):
To save his branch from being shut down by his CEO sister, Clay (T.J. Miller) throws a gigantic office Christmas party to land a big client. But things start to spin wildly out of control as the booze flows.
The cast which includes Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Munn, Rob Corddry, Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, and Courtney B. Vance has me drawn in this train wreck (but not in a bad way) of a movie.
Why Him (December 25th):
Overprotective father, Ned (Bryan Cranston) comes face to face with his worst nightmare. His daughter is dating a nice, but socially deaf billionaire, Laird (James Franco). Realizing this strange man is about to propose to his daughter, Ned does whatever he can to sabotage the relationship.
I’m a massive fan of Cranston, so there is a big chance I will be seeing this one in theaters, but can we all just agree we all know this one ends with Ned, after many humiliating attempts to end the relationship, finally liking Laird and blessing the marriage.
Table 19 (January 20th):
Eloise (Anna Kendrick) has been downsized from maid of honor to wedding guest after the best man breaks up with her via text message. To take the humiliation further, she is seated at the “random” table at the reception.
Fun and quirky, but full of those life lessons we can only learn once we are the outcast. This movie looks like so many more that came before, but the cast, which includes Craig Roberson, Lisa Kudrow, and Stephen Merchant, could make the tritefulness of this film better.
Bastards (January 27th):
Fraternal twin brothers (Ed Helms and Owen Wilson) embark on a journey to find out who their real father is after finding out their mother had been lying to them all this time.
One of the tent poles of comedies is the road trip. The protagonists have adventures and learn about themselves all while so much wackiness ensues. So far the first trailer doesn’t do this one any favors in the jokes department. Let’s hope the second one comes out swinging.
Fist Fight (February 17th):
When meek teacher Mr. Campbell (Charlie Day) gets the much bigger teacher Mr. Strickland (Ice Cube) fired, he is challenged to fight it out after school.
Directed by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator, Richie Keen, this could either be oddly genius like the show, or just as unfunny as the trailer makes it seem.
Are you excited for the fall and winter movie line ups? What comedies are you looking forward to this holiday season? Let me know in the comments section below.