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The 25 best comedies on Netflix (March 2019)

5. Hot Fuzz (2007)

Region: UK, US

The movie: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star as mismatched coppers Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman, who do battle with evil swans and shady businessmen in a quaint English village. Sound a bit unusual? Well, this is the second part of the Cornetto Trilogy - that began with Shaun of the Dead - so it's no surprise that this tale of small-town England feasts on the tropes of genre movies and spins them on their heads. 

Why it's worth a watch: The great thing is, director Edgar Wright doesn't try to get clever and wink at the audience. This is a straight-up action comedy. It's satire, it's homage, and it's just plain brilliant. Angel and Butterman's love of Point Break also gives us one of the most beautifully-shot rural car chases based on a Californian surf actioner. Winning stuff that will have you chortling heartily.

4. The Breakfast Club (1985)

Region: UK, US

The movie: A brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Those five stereotypes depicted in The Breakfast Club are the reason this John Hughes classic remains a teen comedy staple. Why? Because all the problems that teenagers faced in 1984 still exist today, and they remain just as funny. With a simple yet great premise that’s ripe for teen hjinks - a Saturday morning detention for five high schoolers from different cliques - there’s nothing quite like it. The energy and humour of the cast, all rising stars at the time of filming, only adds to the appeal.

Why it's worth watching: Arguably Hughes’ finest entry into the teen canon is still damn funny flick to boot. It still holds up even with the dated haircuts, soundtrack, and slang. Breathe deep and get a big hit of nostalgia.

3. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Region: UK

The movie: A classic that zings with charm three decades later. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal play opposites attract in one of the all-time greatest romantic comedies. Told over the course of several decades, it begins in 1977 with recent college graduates Harry (Crystal) and Sally (Ryan) sharing a cab to New York City, during which they enter a debate on whether men and women can ever be just friends. 

Why it’s worth a watch: Thirty years on it remains the gold standard of romantic comedies. Nora Ephron’s deft script started the trend of witty sidekicks and crackling dialogue between potential mates, that’s been endlessly replicated ever since. It even introduced the concept of “high maintenance.” Watch out for killer supporting turns from Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby as the cynical best friends. 

2. National Lampoon's Animal House (1980)

Region: US

The movie: The original frat house comedy. Harold Ramis, Chris Miller, Douglas Kenney, and Ivan Reitman penned this mash of flat-out stupidity and hair-brained genius based on their own collegiate experiences. Oodles of modern R-rated comedies owe a lot to Animal House, which follows freshman Larry and Kent, as their attempts to pledge a high-brow fraternity fail, leading them to join the Deltas, led by John Belushi’s Bluto and his gaggle of misbehaving mates. 

Why it’s worth a watch: Crude, lewd, and bawdy as hell, bringing low-brow drunkenly into the mainstream, director John Landis takes the slobbish and makes them comedic heroes, through one-liners and gags galore that land effortlessly thanks to its superb cast of comedy up-and-comers. 

1. Groundhog Day (1993)

Region: US

The movie: Reliving every day over and over again would be hell for anyone. For disgruntled weatherman Phil Connors, it’s worse. Much, much worse. Why? Because he’s stuck in Punxsutawney, a small Pennsylvania town, waiting to see whether the groundhog will cast a shadow. Things continue to spiral out of control when he soon learns that he can’t even kill himself - see: one of cinema’s darkest comedic montages - and is forced to relive the same 24 hours over and over again.  

Why it’s worth a watch: It’s a knock-out comedy that’s equal parts laugh-out-loud hysterical and stroke-your-chin profound. Director Harold Ramis and screenwriter Danny Rubin squeeze true joy out of a situation that brings Connors nothing but misery, until he realises what he must do to set his life back on track. Interestingly enough, it has little to do with romance, in one of the movie’s many, many fun twists. 

Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.