Starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, this romantic-fantasy-comedy is about a conceited weatherman named Phil Connors who goes to cover Groundhog Day. After coping with the day once, Phil wakes up and goes through it again realizing he is in a time loop. At first since there are no consequences Phil memorizes every occurrence, takes advantage of situations, and romances any woman he wants. However, over time the novelty wears off and it soon gives way to monotony. He even starts committing elaborate suicides to get out of each day. However, as he continues to fall for his producer, Phil begins to change and decides to use all he knows for good. After one day he is the most loved man in town and surprisingly enough he finally is free. The concept of this film is certainly interesting and it brings up hilarious and thought-provoking situations. Phil Connors begins as a self-serving jerk, hits rock bottom, and finally finds redemption in showing kindness for others. And the best part is he no longer has to listen to I Got You Babe!
Starring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, with Kareem Abdul Jabbar, this is a funny if not quirky parody and comedy. The story opens with the break up of a former pilot who is scared of flying, and his flight attendant girlfriend. She leaves on her flight and he also boards unbeknownst to her. In the air many passengers get food poisoning, but it also affects the pilot and co pilot. After a doctor diagnoses everyone, the attendant messages the control tower and is instructed to activate the autopilot. But someone needs to land the plane so the fearful Ted is called upon to face his fear. Despite the anxiety and some engine trouble, his former commanding officer is able to talk him down. After these events, the couple is back together once more. Airplane has memorable lines, sight gags, puns, and a plot that parodies other films. It takes a normally dramatic and serious situation and makes it utterly hilarious. I think it works so well because the gags infiltrate the story in every instance creating this tongue-in-cheek humor.
Starring Peter Sellers, the film revolves around a gardener named Chance who gains all his social skills from watching television. When his unknown elderly employer dies Chance is forced out of the only world he knows and he just begins to aimlessly walk through Washington D.C. In a freak accident, he is hit by a limo taking a parking space. In a miscommunication he finds himself going to the residence of an influential couple to get medical attention with them thinking his name is Chauncey Gardiner. He quickly gains their admiration because he has such a calm demeanor and Chauncey quickly becomes a respected confident of the sickly Ben Rand. Chauncey even finds himself meeting the president and giving him sagely advice about garden work which is interpreted as an allegory for the economy. The pithy statement finds itself in the president’s speech and there is a buzz about this mysterious figure named Chauncey Gardiner. This new found fame leads to Chauncey ending up on television for an interview and the American public is captivated by his simplistic wisdom. As Ben begins to slowly die, Eve becomes even closer to Chauncey in her grief. At Ben’s funeral, the president gives a speech and those carrying the coffin decide Chauncey should be the potential candidate for president. At the same time Chauncey is walking nearby in a forest by a lake and then in a final dreamlike moment he literally walks on water off into the distance. I think Peter Sellers should be lauded for his performance because he could be comedic and then play it straight like in this film. He is like a cross between Harvey and Forrest Gump with a love of T.V. I must say though that the bloopers at the end take away from the illusion that is created by the film as a whole.
Directed by Mel Brooks and starring Gene Wilder with Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, and Teri Garr, this comedy films parodies old horror films like the original Frankenstein. However, it also functions as a drama in its own right much like the original Frankenstein films. Wilder is a professor and the grandson of Victor Frankenstein. The thing is, he wants nothing to do with his infamous relative, even going so far as pronouncing his name differently. However, when he inherits the family estate he must face his ancestry head on. There temptation takes over and he begins to build a creature of his very own, with horrifyingly funny results. This film has memorable moments including “Putting on the Ritz” and the Inspector’s arm. I still cannot believe that Feldman’s eyes get that big either! Wow. Wilder plays well off his Creature and Garr and Cloris Leachman both have important roles in Mel Brooks’ comedy.
Starring a cast including Peter Sellers, Elke Sommers, Herbert Lom, and George Sanders, this comedy-mystery opens with several bustling individuals in a mansion, followed by a gunshot. A pretty maid who was found with the gun is assumed to be guilty, but the bumbling Inspector Clouseau thinks otherwise. He has run ins with his crazy boss, his man servant Kato, and the police, while he clumsily tires to solve the case. Everything seems to point to Maria after more murders. However, Clouseau spends time with her and it becomes evident to us that a black-gloved man is after him. In the melodramatic, chaotic final scene, Clouseau attempts to name the murderer, and the case is solved, no thanks to him. This second installment of the Pink Panther had some funny moments and the slapstick was very good.