10 Best Foreign-Language Comedies

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The term “comedy” is presumably derived from κωμῳδία, a classical Greek compound word meaning “to enjoy music and stories.“The etymology sums up the essence of this extremely popular genre. Comedy exists to regularly amuse, entertain and inspire audiences. Comedies in English have primarily Greek, Roman, Italian and Elizabethan roots, but the 19th and 20th centuries saw a rapid influx .of non-traditional styles such as surrealism, slapstick and wacky humor.


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However, the Anglosphere does not have the sole right to this art form. The history of comedy in ancient India and China dates back thousands of years, with the genre evolving along radically different lines. In fact, some of the funniest movies ever made don’t have a single word in English.

10/10 Siu Lam Juk Kau is a delightful mix of transcendent spirituality and team sports

Language: Cantonese

Directed by and starring Stephen Chow, shaolin football it is an impeccable combination of two seemingly disparate elements: transcendent spirituality and team sports. The protagonist Sing promotes the ancient art of Shaolin kung fu by integrating it into football, a more modern pop culture vehicle. The film broke all records at the Hong Kong box office, earning local and international critical acclaim alike.

Despite its title, shaolin football It has nothing to do with the real sport: soccer balls rise and fly at speeds that exceed the escape velocity of the Earth, while the players perform almost impossible stunts during each game. Roger Ebert called shaolin footballtop nonsense”, citing the film’s hyperbolic slapstick and Quidditch atmosphere.

9/10 La Cage Aux Folles deftly employs comic irony without diving too deeply into satire

French language

Adapted from the play of the same name by Jean Poiret, the cage of madness examines the relationship between queer nonconformity and conservative politics through an absurd lens. This offbeat film draws heavily on Susan Sontag’s groundbreaking essay, Notes on “Camp”but he shrewdly avoids diving into the murky undercurrents of pure satire.

the cage of madness is rich in comic irony, employing this often misunderstood narrative element to amazing perfection. It received three Academy Award nominations and won Best Foreign Language Film at the 37th Golden Globes. the cage of madness it was later redone in the bird cagean equally popular English film starring Nathan Lane and Robin Williams.

8/10 Avvai Shanmugi Sets the Framework for Slapstick Comedy in Kollywood

Language: Tamil

For all intents and purposes, Avvai Shanmugi considered a 1993 remake Mrs. Doubtfire. Protagonist Pandian struggles to maintain his shaky marriage by disguising himself as an elderly nanny. Posing as the titular character, he spends several happy weeks reuniting with his beloved daughter.

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Avvai ShanmugiThe story of might be similar to the original plot, but this Tamil movie is packed with a unique and hilarious compilation of puns, tributes, and jokes. Avvai Shanmugi ultimately setting the stage for slapstick comedy in Kollywood. Kamal Haasan’s captivating performance earned him almost universal praise from critics and viewers alike.

7/10 Mei Ren Yu explores a variety of complex concepts from capitalism to environmentalism

Mandarin language

Mei Ren Yu It may not be as groundbreaking as Kung Fu Hustle, actor-director Stephen Chow’s magnum opus, but this refreshingly quirky film grossed over $500 million at the worldwide box office. Also know as The mermaidthe farcical tone of this film underscores its surprisingly positive message.

The mermaid it refuses to limit itself to a single genre, exploring a range of complex concepts from capitalism and environmentalism to the ill effects of unbridled technological development. writing for The New York TimesGlenn Kenny rightly praised the film for pushing the limits of “ordinary fantasy romantic comedies.”

6/10 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Style Signature of Established Director Pedro Almodóvar

Spanish Language

by Pedro Almodóvar Women at the edge of a nervous attack can be freely translated to Women at the edge of a nervous attack. It narrates the nervous journey of the protagonist Pepa Marcos, both physically and psychologically. Pepa’s pilgrimage of self-discovery has no permanent end, but that is the goal of this masterfully crafted film.

Women at the edge of a nervous attack catapulted the Spanish director to international fame, not forgetting the nominations for Best Foreign Language Film at the 61st Academy Awards and the 45th Golden Globes. Almodóvar’s signature style, an elegant cocktail of parody and melodrama, was achieved for the first time with this film.

5/10 Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amélie Poulain is considered one of the best films of the 20th century.

French language

amelia is possibly one of the most famous foreign language films in the English-speaking world. Filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet, then known for his sci-fi and post-apocalyptic movies, took a fundamentally different route while directing Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain.

Audrey Tatou’s titular leading lady openly celebrates her eccentric personality. Despite amelia It was nominated for five Oscars, unfortunately it didn’t win a single award. That said, both contemporary and retrospective critics list it among the best films of the 20th century.

4/10 The Intouchables Takes A Poignant Approach To Its Sensitive Subject

French language

Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache wrote and directed The Untouchables, a French drama film starring Omar Sy and François Cluzet. He garnered numerous César nominations, winning for Best Actor. According to the critics consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, The Intouchables”gets by thanks to its strong cast and remarkably responsive direction.”

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Compared, the independentAnthony Quinn’s criticized it as “a third rate buddy movie that barely understands its own condescension.” Despite the very different opinions, The Untouchables he takes a poignant, occasionally poignant, approach to his sensitive subject matter.

3/10 Camera O Tomeru Na! Switch seamlessly between cinematic bureaucracy and delicious irony

Japanese language

Camera or Tomeru na!either A cut of the dead, is an intricately crafted Japanese language meta-comedy. Director Shin’ichiro Ueda effectively transformed the zombie genre into something else entirely, seamlessly alternating between cinematic bureaucracy and delicious irony.

Audiences are getting deeper and deeper into A cut of the dead, which reveals more and more about the filmmaking process without sacrificing a single ounce of humor. In a review for VarietyRichard Kuipers praised the film”irresistibly high spirits“And called him”three movies for the price of one.” A cut of the dead it takes a while to get going, slowly building its narrative momentum until it reaches the point of no return.

2/10 Männer Wie Wir analyzes homophobia in football without sacrificing a shred of humor

German language

Homophobia is rampant in the sports industry, especially in association football. Previous NBA player John Amaechi criticized soccer’s toxic culture, stating that its anti-gay climate would continue to prevent players from “playing their best game”. Director Sherry Hormann dissects the prevailing fanaticism in Manner wie wirwhich means “Men like us” in German.

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On the other hand, the title in English, boys and ballsit’s a deliciously cheeky double entendre. Manner wie wirThe technically formulated plot of does not prevent it from conveying its hopeful message: that football, or any other game, has no intrinsic connection to the player’s sexual identity.

1/10 Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is one of Bollywood’s most sophisticated black comedies

Language: Hindi

by kundan shah Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro it works on multiple intersecting levels. On the surface, it can be read as a wacky comedy, but the film’s somber humor eventually comes to fruition, like peeling the layers off a satirical onion. With incredible performances from Om Puri, Satish Shah, Pankaj Kapur, Neena Gupta and Naseeruddin Shah, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro is widely recognized as one of Bollywood’s most sophisticated black comedies.

This film is an insightful analysis of bureaucratic dishonesty and corruption, with a particular focus on urban India during the 1980s. Interestingly, the subplot involving D’Mello’s dead body bears several similarities to Weekend at Bernie’swhich was released six years later Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro.

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