Many times, we get home after a long day of running around, and all we want is a plan to help us slow down. For those kinds of days, there's nothing better than to grab a bite, curl up on the couch, and watch a good movie to avoid reality for a little while. With the diversity of movies on TV and streaming platforms, options are endless and can be customized to suit everyone's needs. While some people prefer to get lost in tangled love stories in which characters end up living happily ever after, others lean towards action movies full of thrilling moments. However, there is one film genre that tends to work well for most people: comedy.
Comedy movies are a great choice to watch on those days when all we want to do is relax and stop worrying about stuff, and it's also a genre that offers a wide variety of options with performances by some of the biggest stars in the industry. However, comedies tend to push the boundaries quite a bit, which ends up resulting in many of them being labeled as R-rated, either because of some of the scenes they show or their characters' lines.
Making a funny and witty R-rated comedy is not an easy task, and there have been very few filmmakers capable of turning their production into a masterpiece rather than a tacky film. This sub-genre has coined a number of films that turned into comedy classics and, although it had its glory days long ago, it would appear that, step by step, R-rated comedies are regaining popularity with films such as No Hard Feelings, Jennifer Lawrence's latest film that was released last Month, and the upcoming Joy Ride. In honor of this amazing sub-genre, here's a look at the best R-rated comedies of all time.
10 Wedding Crashers
In 2005, Wedding Crashers became one of the highest-grossing R-rated comedies in history, earning critical acclaim that served to redeem the sub-genre after several years without significant releases. This David Dobkin film stars Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn as Jeremy and John, two friends and divorce mediators who are experts at crashing strangers' weddings using fake identities. Their main goal? To get girls, have fun and drink for free.
However, the friends' adventures and their bond are put in jeopardy after the inevitable happens at one of these events: one of them falls in love. Joining Wilson and Vaughn in this comedy classic are Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher, Christopher Walken, and Bradley Cooper.
9 Good Boys
Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen are the filmmakers responsible for writing the masterpiece film Superbad. Many years later, they jumped into the role of producers for Good Boys, an R-rated comedy that marked Gene Stupnitsky's directorial debut. This 2019 film features Max, Lucas, and Thor, three naive sixth-graders who are not particularly popular at school. Faced with the possibility of attending a party to which his crush is going, Max decides to use his father's drone to spy on his teenage neighbor to learn how to kiss.
However, after he accidentally breaks this device, he and his friends are left with no other choice but to set out on a mission to replace it before his father finds out, something that won't be as simple as it seems. Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon head the cast of this amusing coming of age film that, besides earning great reviews, became a box office hit.
8 Girls Trip
Growing up, we build friendships that keep us company throughout different stages of our lives. However, many of these relationships end up fading at some point, no matter how close our bonds may have been. That's exactly what happened to Ryan, Sasha, Lisa and Dina, four women who were great friends in college but ended up drifting apart. But after a long time, one of them tries to reunite the group by inviting them to the Essence Festival in New Orleans, on a trip where they will not only rekindle their bond, but also live wild adventures that will be life-changing for many of them.
Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish, and Jada Pinkett Smith star in Girls Trip, a 2017 comedy directed by Malcolm D. Lee from a script by Kenya Barris and Tracy Oliver. This production became a blockbuster and was widely acclaimed by critics. Among all its accolades, Girls Trip scored seven Black Reel Awards nominations, with Haddish taking home two awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Outstanding Breakthrough Performance.
7 The Hangover
Most audiences have probably made a few bad decisions on a wild night out. That's why the 2009 premiere of the comedy The Hangover proved so successful: not only did people burst out laughing at Todd Phillips' film, but they also related, to a lesser extent, to the characters' crazy adventures. With Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis as the main stars, The Hangover features a group of friends who travel to Las Vegas for the bachelor party of one of them, willing to spend a few nights to remember. However, following a night that spirals out of control, three of these friends wake up in the most bizarre situation with no recollection of the previous night's events only to discover that the groom-to-be has vanished.
Exhausted and still with a hangover, these men must go back in their tracks to figure out what happened the night before and where their friend is before this trip totally ruins his wedding. Justin Bartha, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong and Jeffrey Tambor round out the cast of this popular production that became one of the highest-grossing R-rated comedies ever, and kicked off a franchise that was followed by two sequels, in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
6 Knocked Up
Alison and Ben are complete opposites: while she has an up-and-coming career as a TV reporter, he spends his days looking for ways to make a living without working too hard and hanging out with his friends. However, after a wild night that leads to Alison getting pregnant, the two must find a way to look past their differences to embark together on the bumpy yet fulfilling journey to becoming a family.
That's the premise of Knocked Up, the 2007 comedy written, directed, and produced by Judd Apatow. Katherine Heigl and Seth Rogen lead the cast of this blockbuster, joined by Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel and Jay Baruchel. As a result of Knocked Up's popularity, Apatow went on to helm This is 40, the 2012 sequel that centers on Rudd and Mann's characters.
2009 marked the release of Zombieland, a production that brought back zombie movies and, at the same time, became the highest-grossing zombie movie up to that moment earning $102 million worldwide. This film, which marked Ruben Fleischer's directorial debut, stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, and Bill Murray, and it scored two Saturn Award nominations, among many other accolades.
Zombieland is set in a world that has been struck by a virus that turned most of the population into zombies. Faced with this new scenario, four survivors hit the road trying to find a safe place to stay uninfected. Following this production's popularity, a sequel titled Zombieland: Double Tap was released ten years later, earning similar reviews as the original film but performing even better at the box office.
Deadpool is a superhero film like no other that not only became one of the highest-grossing R-rated productions in history, but also landed Ryan Reynolds the most memorable character of his career. This 2016 film that serves as a spin-off of X-Men marked Tim Miller's directorial debut by introducing the story of Wade Wilson, a mercenary who undergoes an alleged treatment to cure his cancer that is actually an evil scientist's experiment leaving him with most of his body badly burned. However, as a result of the experiment Wade also develops special abilities, so he embraces the identity of Deadpool and spends his days hunting down the people who ruined his life to make them pay.
This movie had an overwhelming success and rave reviews, helping to establish Deadpool as one of Marvel's most cherished characters. Its positive reception led to the development of a sequel, which was released in 2018, and a third film that is due for release in 2024.
The 2007 film Superbad ranks easily among the best coming of age comedies of all time. This Judd Apatow production directed by Greg Mottola was the brainchild of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, both of whom drew inspiration from their teenage days to write the script. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera headline the cast as Seth and Evan, two teenagers who are extremely unpopular at school and with girls.
Before graduating from high school, they receive an invitation to one of the popular girls' parties, which is the perfect place to turn their reputation around and finally hook up with girls. That's why they offer to buy booze for the event, but this mission will not be as simple as they hope, and it will lead them to very dangerous situations. Supporting the main characters in this comedic masterpiece are Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bill Hader, Seth Rogen, Emma Stone, Martha MacIsaac and Joe Lo Truglio.
Given that its cast features some of the most popular women comedians of recent times, it's no wonder that Bridesmaids has emerged as an award-winning blockbuster loved by audiences. This Paul Feig film, which has Judd Apatow once again serving as producer, was written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, both of whom received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Wiig also stars as Annie, a 30-year-old who is going through a very rough patch in her life. When she finds out that her best friend Lillian is getting married, she sets out on a mission to be the best maid of honor she can be, even though she has no idea how to do it. However, the arrival of her friend's bridesmaids will make things very difficult for her, causing the whole event to spiral out of control.
Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendy McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, and Melissa McCarthy are some of the stars that join Wiig in this production. Bridesmaids was released in 2011 and became a box office hit that grossed over $306 million worldwide.
1 The 40-Year-Old Virgin
Leading this ranking is The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the film that gave Steve Carell the boost he needed to become one of the biggest names in the industry. This movie, which marked Judd Apatow's feature film directorial debut, also stars Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen and Catherine Keener, and it not only offers the typical buddy comedy fun, but also a gentle perspective on issues that affect our society. Besides serving as the lead actor, Carell co-wrote the film alongside Apatow.
The 40-Year-Old Virgin follows Andy, a man who has devoted his life to working and expanding his action figure collection. After several failed attempts to have sex, Andy simply stopped trying, and thus reached the age of 40 as a virgin. When his co-workers find out his secret, they set out on a quest to help him get laid, but along the way Andy meets a woman who arouses his deepest feelings.
Just like Wedding Crashers, The 40-Year-Old Virgin hit theaters in 2005 to bring the R-rated comedy sub-genre back to the mainstream, becoming a hit with audiences and grossing over $177 million worldwide.