One of the best things to come out of the 80s was the comedy thriller “Midnight Run,” starring acting legends Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin. The film follows bounty hunter Jack Walsh (played by DeNiro), who has to track down an ex-mob member (played by Grodin) and bring him back into custody for a very large sum of money.
DeNiro has to put up with Grodin’s unbearably whiny and crazy character while he is transporting him back to California all the way from New York, but that’s not all of it. He also has to be on the lookout for a lunatic mob boss and the FBI, who are also after Grodin.
The Odd Couple
Directed by Gene Saks, this 1968 comedy classic is truly a treasure for any lover of comedy or films in general. Starring real-life buddies Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau, these two end up sharing an apartment after having marriage problems with their respective wives. Matthau is a rude, messy person, while Lemon is an OCD clean freak, and their chemistry onscreen is to die for.
For nearly two hours, you’ll tear up with laughter just seeing what these two get up to while trying to make things work in their semi-bachelor apartment. The film is a nice preamble to their hit “Grumpy Old Men” film series from the early 90s.
The Man With Two Brains
Since the early 80s, Steve Martin established himself as an iconic comedy actor with a career that has continued to climb the success ladder at full speed. One of these early movies that made the actor’s career was “The Man With Two Brains”, released in 1983.
The film follows Michael (played by Steve Martin), a brain surgeon who has recently lost his wife and decides to remarry a gold-digger named Dolores (played by Kathleen Turner). But chaos ensues when Martin falls in love with a bottled brain he finds in Vienna. You can only imagine what craziness ensues with a plot like this one and Steve Martin playing the lead role.
The Cable Guy
Another masterful performance by comedy genius Jim Carey, “The Cable Guy,” will make you laugh and put you on edge in almost equal amounts. Carrey plays an absolutely insane cable guy who manages to weasel his way into a customer’s life and slowly destroy it. The customer, played by Matthew Broderick, is happy to have the cable guy as a friend, at first, but he slowly starts to suspect something is seriously wrong.
Directed by Ben Stiller and produced by Judd Apatow, 1996’s “The Cable Guy” features Leslie Mann, Jack Black, Carrey, and Broderick in hilariously funny and unsettling, performances that will make you bowl over with laughter and cringe at the same time.
Actor and writer Jon Favreau tried his hand at a screenplay based on his real-life friendship with fellow actor Vince Vaughn, and he succeeded in all respects. “Swingers” features both actors playing themselves and how their very different personalities somehow manage to create a perfect balance.
The film was made with a budget of $200,000, and it made over $4 million at the box office. More importantly, it launched the careers of Ron Livingston, Heather Graham, Favreau, Vaughn, and even the director, Doug Liman. It’s a light, highly enjoyable comedy with a great script and interesting conversations about life that we all have at one point or another.