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Life is hard, so couldn't we all use a mental vacation every now and then? Let these comedy movies currently streaming on Hulu take you away! From the silly shenanigans of Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, to the cringe-worthy laughs of Ingrid Goes West, we've got your comedy needs covered from coast to coast.
<i>Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar</i> (2021)
After losing their jobs, lifelong friends Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig) decide to finally leave the Midwest and visit the beachside town of Vista Del Mar for their very first vacation. When they meet undercover spy Edgar (Jamie Dornan) at the hotel bar, they end up embroiled in a madcap adventure that pits the duo against killer mosquitos and a deranged super villain (also Kristin Wiig). Musical numbers, a talking crab, and a helpful water spirit are just a few of the absurd elements in this over-the-top comedy from the Oscar-nominated writers behind Bridesmaids (once again, Wiig and Mumolo).
A goofy farce in the style of films like The Naked Gun, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is a joyous live-action cartoon. This endlessly quotable film is full of ludicrous left turns and rapid-fire punchlines, but underneath all the slapstick lies a warm and fuzzy center. As director Josh Greenbaum told EW, "As silly and funny as Barb and Star are as characters, at their core is a really beautiful, sweet friendship... And that mirrors Kristen and Annie's friendship."
Now grab your bestie and fix yourself a bowl of hot dog soup!
Alternate viewing: If you loved Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, you might also enjoy Top Secret! (1984), streaming on HBO Max.
<i>Palm Springs</i> (2020)
Nyles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) are stuck at a Palm Springs wedding that will literally never end. While Nyles is resigned to his fate, Sarah — the maid of honor — is desperate to escape this desert hell. Directed by Max Barbakow with a script from Andy Siara, Palm Springs adds a trippy time loop twist to the rom-com genre.
This existential comedy — which broke Sundance sales records by 69 cents (nice) — uses its sci-fi hook to explore what it really means to forgive yourself and let go of the past. Then there's the standout performance from J.K Simmons as deranged wedding guest Roy, who manages to be inspiring, terrifying, and hilarious all at once. Still, it's the budding romance between Milioti and Samberg that will make you want to revisit Palm Springs again and again.
Alternate viewing: If you loved Palm Springs, you might also enjoy Groundhog Day (1993), streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
<i>Band Aid</i> (2017)
First-time director Zoe Lister-Jones is the writer and star of this musical romp about Anna and Ben (Adam Pally), a couple who decide to turn their nonstop arguments into songs. With their quirky neighbor Dave (Fred Armisen) on drums, they form a band aptly called the Dirty Dishes in an unconventional last-ditch effort to save their marriage.
With their sketch comedy and sitcom-honed skills, Band Aid's lead players harmoniously blend drama and comedy without ever losing the laughs, while Lister-Jones' deft direction hits all the right notes. The couple's musical fights are honest, humorous, and (surprisingly) catchy. If the Dirty Dishes' performances feel authentic, that's because the trio recorded the film's tracks live during shooting.
Alternate viewing: If you loved Band Aid, you might also enjoy Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012), streaming on Starz.
<i>Forgetting Sarah Marshall</i> (2008)
After five years together, composer Peter (Jason Segel) is dumped by his girlfriend, famed actress Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). Devastated and desperate to heal, he takes a solo trip to Hawaii only to find that Sarah and her new rock star boyfriend (Russell Brand) are vacationing at the same resort. However, a new friendship with hotel concierge Rachel (Mila Kunis) might be just what he needs to forget about his ex.
Despite its title, Forgetting Sarah Marshall has one of the more memorable opening scenes in a mainstream comedy thanks to Peter's post breakup full-frontal moment — something even director Nicholas Stoller didn't think they would pull off. Nudity aside, this raunchy flick from producer Judd Apatow is packed with plenty of genuine emotions familiar to anyone who's ever experienced heartbreak. And if you still need convincing, we have three words for you: Dracula puppet musical.
Alternate viewing: If you loved Forgetting Sarah Marshall, you might also enjoy 500 Days of Summer (2009), streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Paramount+.
<i>My Best Friend's Wedding</i> (1997)
College sweethearts-turned-best friends Jules (Julia Roberts) and Michael (Dermot Mulroney) promised if they were still single when they turned 28, they would marry each other. Three weeks before her fateful birthday, Michael shocks Jules by announcing his engagement to a bubbly college student named Kimmy (Cameron Diaz). With the help of her friend George (Rupert Everett), Jules vows to do whatever it takes to "steal the bride's fella" and win back the man she loves.
My Best Friend's Wedding is a subversive, classic rom-com that casts America's Sweetheart as a lovable villain. Roberts pratfalls, plots, and schemes all while making the viewer root for her — even if they don't think she should get the guy. Despite its anti-heroine's antics, the film still maintains an effervescent quality, as displayed during the iconic "Say a Little Prayer" sing-along. In fact, that scene wasn't even originally in the script.
Alternate viewing: If you loved My Best Friend's Wedding, you might also enjoy Bridesmaids (2011), streaming on Hulu.
The night before their high school graduation, overachieving best friends Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) realize the one thing they failed to do: have fun. The obvious solution is to crash a party at Molly's secret crush Nick's (Mason Gooding) house — the only problem is they don't know where he lives. Throughout this one wild night, they'll cram in every experience they missed over the last four years as they search for the ultimate senior year blowout.
Olivia Wilde, in her directorial debut, crafts a coming-of-age film that isn't just about wacky high school shenanigans. As EW's Leah Greenblatt said in her review, "Booksmart is its own distinctly female (and feminist) creation: a sweetly ramshackle tale of friendship and self-discovery, with a side of light pharmaceuticals." Speaking of pharmaceuticals... come to the party for the chemistry between the leads, stay for the Barbie-inspired acid trip.
Alternate viewing: If you loved Booksmart, you might also enjoy Lady Bird (2017), streaming on Hulu (with Showtime add-on).
<i>The Other Guys</i> (2010)
Pencil-pusher Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell), and hotheaded screwup Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), are the type of detectives who never see much action beyond their desks. But after investigating a seemingly mundane permit violation, they are thrust into the middle of a massive cover-up that puts them in the crosshairs of danger. These hilariously mismatched partners must crack the case — without cracking each other's skulls — if they want to prove themselves in this buddy cop comedy from director Adam Mckay (Anchorman, Don't Look Up).
A tongue-in-cheek send-up of the buddy-cop action movie genre, The Other Guys both leans into and skewers the tropes of those films. EW critic Owen Gleiberman said in his review, it's "almost a recognizably gritty genre picture, complete with bullet spray, Sidney Lumet gunmetal lighting, and a Wall Street villain (Steve Coogan) who embodies the sins of our time... aimed at all of us out there who long for excitement yet cling to safety because we're more desk jockey than supercop ourselves."
Alternate viewing: If you loved The Other Guys, you might also enjoy The Heat (2013), available for rent on Apple TV +.
<i>Postcards From the Edge</i> (1990)
Actress Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep) is fresh out of rehab and ready for a comeback. There's only one problem: Her studio's insurance insists she must live with her mother, eccentric Hollywood star Doris Mann (Shirley MacLaine). If she's going to remain sober, Suzanne will have to use every bit of her sardonic sense of humor to navigate the pitfalls of family, career, and substance abuse in this dark comedy from director Mike Nichols.
Written by the late Carrie Fisher — and based on her best-selling novel of the same name — the film is laced with her acerbic wit and masterful ear for dialogue. Although many people have assumed Postcards is a thinly veiled memoir about her relationship with her mother Debbie Reynolds, Fisher insisted it was fiction. As she told EW writer Margot Dougherty in 1990, "I wrote about a mother actress and a daughter actress... I'm not shocked that people think it's about me and my mother. It's easier for them to think I have no imagination for language, just a tape recorder with endless batteries." Regardless of its inspiration's origins, the film remains a poignant portrait of addiction and human connection.
Alternate viewing: If you loved Postcards From the Edge, you might also enjoy Silver Linings Playbook (2012), streaming on Netflix.
<i>Ingrid Goes West</i> (2017)
Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) becomes obsessed with social media influencer Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen) and uses the money she inherited from her late mother to move to California and worm her way into the Instagrammer's life. She succeeds, but the lines of reality begin to blur as Ingrid falls deeper into the digital facade. When Taylor's brother Nicky (Made for Love's Billy Magnussen) enters the picture, Ingrid's carefully curated life (and her real life) begin to #unravel.
A black comedy from director Matt Spicer and co-writer David Branson Smith, Ingrid Goes West has a lot to say about the dangers of social media and the effect it can have on our mental health — a topic which has become even more relevant since its release in 2017. Spicer told EW's Devan Coggan, "We wanted to show through Ingrid's eyes that initial thing of going down a deep rabbit hole into someone's Instagram, and you think, 'Oh my God, this is this perfect person.' But then, you see behind the curtain, and maybe the way they're portraying themselves in life isn't the reality of it."
Alternate viewing: If you loved Ingrid Goes West, you might also enjoy Young Adult (2011), streaming on HBO Max.