Chris Rock is back this week with a new movie called Top Five, where he plays a stand-up comedian and movie star who decides to try his hand at a drama to prove that he is more than just a joke. The film isn’t just starring Chris Rock though, as he called in a ton of other stand-up comedians and actors to join him in the effort.
Names in Top Five include Jerry Seinfeld, Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Adam Sandler, Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, and J.B. Smoove. With this movie including a who’s who of stand-up comedian actors, the staff of Renegade Cinema sat down and talked about their favorite movies starring stand-up comedians and why they made their list.
I Think I Love My Wife
Caliber Winfield: This movie not only stars Chris Rock, but he was a co-writer, as well as the director. It’s a criminally underrated film about a man with a great life, who’s having deep marital problems due to the fact his wife won’t have sex with him. As this is going on, an old friend from his past, played by Kerry Washington, comes back into his life and stirs things up for both the good & and the bad.
Beyond being just funny, it also has fantastic moments of drama, along with welcomed moments of well-done sentiment. It really draws you in, with Chris having no problem playing the leading man, as Kerry Washington & Steve Buscemi kick complete ass in their supporting roles. It’s honestly one of the best films you’ve probably never heard of.
Derek Johns – Before I start, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I despise what Adam Sandler has become with his shameless product placements, lazy fart and crotch jokes, and his general pandering to the lowest common denominator. That being said, I still love watching his work from the 90s, and none more so than the underrated Happy Gilmore. There are so many insane moments to choose from to illustrate my point but frankly, there’s only one I need which is of course watching Bob Barker beat the living tar out of Sandler (and all the more satisfying to watch after sitting through Grown Ups).
The Wedding Singer
Derek Ciapala: It’s one of those films that draws every type of viewer. It’s funny, yet romantic. Weird, yet full of little 80’s Easter eggs that keep you engaged. It’s my favorite Adam Sandler movie.
Ruby Le Rouge: The older I get, the more I appreciate the talent of Bill Murray. It was hard to pick a single movie of his because he has so many awesome ones to choose from. I loved Groundhog Day, and almost went with that, but then I remembered Rushmore, not only starring him, but also a flick by Wes Andersen, one of my favorite Directors. It took me a while to appreciate Jason Schwartzman (until seeing the show Bored to Death with Zach Galifianakis & Ted Samson, sadly canceled way too soon.), but this movie was perfect in casting these two actors against each other. The Life Aquatic also has a lot of rewatch value for me, as well as The Royal Tenenbaums, it’s easy to see why Murray is a favorite regular in Andersen’s films. He’s an adept and diverse actor and funny to boot.
Bethany Lewis: I’m gonna be a little different and say Revengers Tragedy. It’s a Jacobian tragedy about revenge that’s set in post-apocalyptic Liverpool and starring Eddie Izzard. While it I’d most certainly a tragedy in the true sense, there is something so tongue-in-cheek, over the top, and darkly comedic about it that you also know it’s a comedy.
Beverly Hills Cop
Shawn S. Lealos – Before The Hangover, Beverly Hills Cop was the most-successful R-rated comedy of all time, and for good reason. Eddie Murphy had already blown the world away, both on the stage (Delirious and Raw), on TV (Saturday Night Live) and in theaters (48 Hours). However, when he took on the role of Axl Foley in Beverly Hills Cop, he took things to another level. There is nothing about this movie that I don’t love. It is sad to see how Murphy flushed his career down the toilet with stupid comedies for the next two decades, though.