Men and women consistently rank "sense of humor" in the top 3 traits they want to share with a mate. What better way to test the water than with a great movie comedy? From Groundhog Day to Tootsie we run down the 20 best ways to share your perfect idea of funny. (Movie synopses provided by Netflix)
When you’re done looking at our list take a moment to comment below with the comedies that best sum up your sense of humor.
1. The Big Lebowski (1998) The writing-directing Coen brothers serve up their signature brand of offbeat comedy here. L.A. slacker "The Dude" (Jeff Bridges) suffers the indignity of having the favorite rug in his house peed upon by two thugs. (They’ve mistaken him for a millionaire whose wife owes on some bad bets.) From there, the plot contorts more than a rubberized freak at a circus sideshow. But it’s all good fun.
2. Groundhog Day (1993) In this offbeat comedy from director Harold Ramis, self-centered TV weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) is sent to Punxsutawney, Pa., to cover the groundhog’s annual appearance. Loathing the event, Connors unleashes his bitterness on his producer (Andie MacDowell) and cameraman (Chris Elliott). The next day, however, Connors finds he’s doomed to repeat Groundhog Day — again and again — until he learns that his actions can affect the outcome.
3. This is Spinal Tap (1984) This satire about a fictional heavy metal group named Spinal Tap spoofs nearly every facet of rock ‘n’ roll — from vacuous modern songwriting to half-baked album promos to pyrotechnic concerts. Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer portray the washed-up, aging British rockers whose tresses and egos outstrip their talent. Chronicling the band’s evolution and its calamitous comeback tour is filmmaker Marty DiBergi (Rob Reiner).
4. Raising Arizona (1987) Edwina "Ed" McDonnough (Holly Hunter) is an ex-cop; her husband, H.I.(Nicolas Cage), is an ex-con. Blissfully content as newlyweds, the pair is devastated when they learn they can’t have children. Not to worry: They reckon they’ll just "borrow" one of furniture magnate Nathan Arizona’s (Trey Wilson) new quintuplets. Featuring oodles of idiosyncratic humor, this kidnapping farce from Joel and Ethan Coen is a deft nod to classic screwball comedy.
5. Election (1999) Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) appears to have the election for student council president sewn up until one of her teachers, Mr. McAllister (Matthew Broderick), rounds up a worthy opponent. McAllister convinces Paul (Chris Klein), a popular and naÃ¯ve varsity football player whose injury has put him on the sidelines for the season, to take up politics. But Tracy is desperate to win the election and turns the halls into a political war zone.
6. Annie Hall (1977) Listen closely and you can actually hear the stress hormones pumping through the bodies of the characters in Annie Hall. Woody Allen’s real, funny ode to love among twitchy city dwellers scooped up Oscars for Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Actress (Diane Keaton) and Best Screenplay. And don’t miss cameos of not-yet-stars Jeff Goldblum, Shelley Duvall and Sigourney Weaver.
7. Office Space (1999) In a film that takes plenty of jabs at the nihilism of corporate life, Ron Livingston plays office drone Peter Gibbons, who conspires with his cubicle cohorts to embezzle money from their soulless employers. With help and hindrance from those around him — including the eminently quotable workplace nerd Milton Waddams (Stephen Root) — and the affection of waitress Joanna (Jennifer Aniston), Gibbons may just find his sanity – and his revenge.
8. Shaun of the Dead (2004) Thirty-something slacker Shaun (Simon Pegg) has no clue what to do with his life or with his relationship with girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield). But when the unthinkable happens and zombies begin to roam the streets of London terrorizing residents, including his beloved and his mother, Shaun realizes he must act quickly to save Liz from danger and keep their relationship from spiraling out of his hands forever. But is it too late for heroics?
9. Napoleon Dynamite (2004) This indie favorite follows Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder), a quirky, ninja-loving teenager growing up in the far reaches of Idaho. Napoleon’s life gets complicated when his shady Uncle Rico (John Gries) shows up, a shy girl (Tina Majorino) starts showing him some attention and his best friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez) decides to run for school president. Nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004.
10. Caddyshack (1980) All hell breaks loose when a wisecracking, parvenu land developer (Rodney Dangerfield) wants to covert a swanky country club into a condominium community. Chevy Chase costars as a suitably droll, well-heeled slacker who uses Zen philosophy in his golf game, while psychotic greenskeeper Bill Murray launches an all-out war against a relentless gopher. Ted Knight (as a dyspeptic club bigwig) plays straight man.
11. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006) Fans of the HBO comedy series "Da Ali G Show" will be delighted to join one of their favorite characters — the Kazakhstani reporter Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen, in a Golden Globe-winning role) — as he travels to America to report on the "greatest country in the world." Camera in tow, the boorish journalist sets off on his cross-country road trip, but his original purpose is soon subsumed by a much greater quest — finding and marrying actress Pamela Anderson.
12. Little Miss Sunshine (2006) Convinced little Olive (Abigail Breslin) is beauty queen material, parents Richard (Greg Kinnear) and Sheryl (Toni Collette) and the rest of the family embark on a life-altering road trip to a pageant in this madcap comedy. Struggling motivational speaker Richard pushes Olive to win, while her silent brother (Paul Dano), depressed uncle (Steve Carell) and nursing-home reject grandpa (Alan Arkin, in an Oscar-winning role) add their own quirks to the mix.
13. Tootsie (1982) Few out-of-work actors go as far as Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) does to bag a part. He transforms himself into everything he isn’t: sweet, employed and … a woman! When his alter ego, Dorothy Michaels, gets cast in a soap opera, Michael has reason to celebrate. But he also has a problem: He’s fallen for co-star Jessica Lange, who doesn’t know Michael is male!
14. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) In director Stanley Kubrick’s blackly comedic send-up of the nuclear age, deranged American general Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) leads an attack against the Russians that sets the stage for Armageddon. In a series of virtuoso comic performances, Peter Sellers plays an impotent U.S. president, a harried British captain and an ex-Nazi bomb maker. George C. Scott and Slim Pickens also appear in this classic Oscar-nominated satire.
15. Blazing Saddles (1974) Politically incorrect and relentlessly funny, Mel Brooks’s take on Hollywood Westerns follows the tortured trail of freed slave Cleavon, who’s elected sheriff of the racist town of Rock Ridge. He must foil a land-grabbing governor (Brooks) with help from a washed-up, pot-smoking gunslinger (Gene Wilder).
16. Airplane! (1980) In this joke-a-second parody of disaster movies, traumatized former combat pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) is forced to land a passenger plane when food poisoning strikes the crew. In some clever casting, leading dramatic actors Peter Graves, Robert Stack and Leslie Nielsen never betray that they’re in on the joke. Multiple viewings are required to catch every gag.
17. A Fish Called Wanda (1988) A crooked foursome commits the heist of the century and is about to get away … until the London police arrest one of them. Can the three on the lam (Michael Palin, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline) persuade their comrade’s lawyer (John Cleese) to reveal the stolen loot’s location? Laugh-out-loud funny, A Fish Called Wanda explores the notion of "honor" among thieves.
18. There’s Something About Mary (1998) The Farrelly brothers nail the laughs in this hugely popular comedy about a hugely popular girl. Mary (Cameron Diaz) is the ideal girlfriend of every guy she meets, especially frustrated high school suitor Ted (Ben Stiller). But he’s got plenty of competition from Matt Dillon and other unexpected rivals. This special edition disc includes the original theatrical version and a new extended version with 15 minutes of extra footage.
19. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978) Knowledge is good, but swilling kegs of beer is more fun! Just ask the guys at the Delta House fraternity. Often imitated, but seldom equaled, Animal House spawned a generation of gonzo comedies and launched John Belushi’s film career. Dean Wormer (John Vernon) puts the titular frat on double-secret probation, and it’s up to Bluto, Flounder, Pinto and the rest of the brothers to get even. This edition includes retrospective featurettes and more.
20. The Jerk (1979) After discovering he’s not really black like the rest of his family, likable dimwit Navin Johnson (Steve Martin) runs off into a hilarious adventure that takes him from rags to riches and back to rags again, but in the end all that really matters to Navin is his true love (Bernadette Peters). The slaphappy jerk strikes it rich, but life in the fast lane isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and a lawsuit eventually leaves Navin destitute and alone. What are your favorite spy movies? Share your thoughts below!