— After years where the biggest laugh comes when you see the concession prices, 2011 has actually been a decent year for movie comedies. Here are the highlights.
'Bridesmaids': Wiig wigs out at 33,000 feet
Premise: Kristen Wiig, as an unemployed, bad-luck-having baker, is saddled with the responsibility of organizing her best friend’s wedding and the indignity of being constantly upstaged by the bride-to-be’s new best friend.
Funniest Moment: Though the scatological bridal shop sequence has earned the most notoriety, it’s really the Wiig wigout on a plane to Las Vegas that showcases the funniest dialogue. When she’s finally shoved back from first class to her seat in coach, Wiig’s faux-drunken “comeback” to an exasperated flight attendant is just a precursor to a complete hallucination meltdown where she sees a butter-churning woman “in traditional colonial garb” before being taken down by an air marshal.
'Crazy, Stupid, Love': No New Balance
Premise: Julianne Moore asks frumpy husband Steve Carell for a divorce, just as lady-killer Ryan Gosling coaches Carell back into the dating game.
Funniest Moment: Gosling takes Carell shopping for clothes, insults and slaps to the face. In the best bit, he shreds New Balance shoes by ripping Carell with: “Are you in a fraternity? Are you Steve Jobs, the billionaire CEO of Apple Computers? No? Then you have no excuse to wear New Balance shoes. Ever.”
'Horrible Bosses': Hoovering it up
Premise: Three disgruntled-yet-bumbling buddies set out to assassinate their psychotic, sadistic, sexually aggressive employers.
Funniest Moment: Charlie Day and Jason Bateman accidentally dump a huge amount of evil boss Colin Farrell’s cocaine onto a filthy shag carpet. They Dustbuster it up, painstakingly picking out lint and cigarette butts, inhaling a cloud of coke. What follows is Day’s star-making mania, a speed-yelling high that’ll make you forget that the movie surrounding it is in the process of wimping out on its murder promises.
'Winnie The Pooh': Who's on first?
Premise: Eeyore loses his tail. Meanwhile, the animal pals think they’re being pursued by an unseen ogre.
Funniest Moment: A witty remix of the old Abbott and Costello “Who’s On First” routine begins with “Can you tie a knot?” It’s answered by “I cannot knot,” followed by a “Who’s there?” from Pooh. And on and on. Visual gags, logic fumbles and clever wordplay that’ll crack up kids and adults. Not every funny bit at the movies comes with an R rating.
'The Hangover Part II':
Premise: Hungover male friends piece together what happened the night before the wedding. Yes, exactly like the first movie.
Funniest Moment: Tough call, because virtually every scene in this sequel mirrors or amplifies gags from the original "Hangover." The wittiest moment involves Ed Helms, who's experienced a drunken night of "adult humiliation" at the hands of a Thai stripper, sings a parody of Billy Joel's 80s hit "Allentown" and refers to each horrible situation Zack Galifianakis's Alan has put them through. But the most inventive comedy bit involves that scene-stealing monkey smoking cigarettes. Monkeys make everything better.