The best comedies to watch on UK streaming
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It’s going to be a testing time over the coming weeks with many people staying home, but luckily UK streaming services have a huge range fantastic comedies to keep spirits high and funny bones stimulated.
Here are just some of the best you can watch to your heart’s content.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Now TV)
Stay classy, Planet Earth! Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) is San Diego’s best news anchor and with his new Team - Brick (Steve Carell), Brian (Paul Rudd) and Champ (David Koechner) - they aim to be the best of the best. But when they are rattled by the arrival of the formidable Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate), a battle of the sexes over live TV ensues.
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Endlessly quotable and stupendously silly, this one works 100% of the time and if you’ve never had the pleasure then now is the time to change all that.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (Now TV)
We have a love/hate relationship with transport in our fair country, but nothing compares to the journey advertising executive Neal Page (Steve Martin) has to endure one fateful Thanksgiving eve. Late for his plane that is subsequently delayed, he is sat next to arguably the world’s most annoying (but harmless) man, Del Griffith (John Candy), the world’s leading shower curtain ring salesman.
What follows is not just one of cinema’s greatest comedies but an enduring, touching tale of friendship from 80s comedy legend John Hughes (The Breakfast Club).
Wayne’s World & Wayne’s World 2 (Now TV)
Saturday Night Live has been a brilliantly breeding ground for some of the world’s top comedy actors over the years but still, to this very day, the most successful SNL “film” is the one about two friends from Aurora who have their own cable access show: Wayne’s World, featuring Wayne Campbell (Mike Myers) and Garth Algar (Dana Carvey) whose lives are about to turn upside down by a predatory TV producer (Rob Lowe) in part one and a predatory music producer (Christopher Walken) in part two.
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A staple of 90s pop culture, Wayne’s World gets funnier with every watch: the silliness, the characters, the music, the signature Bohemian Rhapsody sing-along. There isn’t a false note, and its a stone-cold classic.
Groundhog Day (Netflix)
“Ok campers, rise and shine…” Imagine living the same day over and over and over and over again? In the current climate, we may be experiencing our own version of Groundhog Day so why not break the cycle and spend some time with Bill Murray as he navigates his way through his own down in Punxsutawney.
Murray plays weatherman Phil Connors who, after covering the local celebrations, finds himself stuck in an infinite loop that only becoming a better and more thoughtful person can cure. Still one of the best romantic comedies ever committed to film.
Coming to America (Netflix)
With the sequel due to hit cinemas later this year, what better time than now to relive our first adventure across the world to America with Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy) in search of his bride. Coming at the peak of Murphy’s 80s heyday, Coming to America was a comedy like no other, tackling race, inequality, and class whilst also seeing Murphy and co-star Arsenio Hall play a multitude of different characters under Rick Baker’s superb make-up effects.
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Come for the culture clashes, stay for Randy Watson and Sexual Chocolate.
Mistress America (Netflix)
At Christmas, Greta Gerwig charmed audiences with her version of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women, continuing her hot streak of making some of the best comedies of recent times. One such effort was her 2015 re-teaming with director Noah Baumbach with this New York-set screwball comedy about a fish-out-of-water student Tracy (Lola Kirke) and her attempts to bond with her future sister-in-law Brooke (Gerwig). The mismatched pair come together with hilarious consequences around the bustling Big Apple that is eccentric, witty and charming in equal measure.
Booksmart (Amazon Prime Video)
Criminally underseen on its theatrical release last summer, Olivia Wilde’s superb directorial debut is one of the 21st century’s best modern coming-of-age comedies that feels infinitely fresh and timely. Soon to graduate, best friends Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) are known for “playing it safe” but, for one night, they intend to break their rules and finish school with a bang.
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Full of brilliant humour as well as being a compassionate, inclusive and graceful look at high-schoolers living in the modern world. An essential watch.
Paddington 2 (Amazon Prime Video)
Whenever there’s any doubt, any problems in the world, its time to grab some bread and marmalade and check in with the best Bear in the world: Paddington. Arrested and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit as he tries to get his Aunt Lucy, Paddington sets off - with the help of his family, the Brown’s - to try to find those responsible. In these uncertain times, this is the perfect antidote that will make your heart sing and smile last forever. And it features Hugh Grant finest – and funniest – performance to date.
Some Like It Hot (Amazon Prime Video)
A comedy classic that shows no signs of ageing, Billy Wilder’s madcap caper is one of cinema’s greatest joys and, frankly, what could be better right now than this? Trying to escape from a group of mafia gangsters after witnessing a murder, musicians Jerry (Jack Lemmon) and Joe (Tony Curtis) go undercover in drag to join the musical group The Society Syncopators but soon find themselves fighting for the affections the band’s singer Sugar (Marilyn Monroe). Hilarity and romance, as you can imagine, ensue.
10 Things I Hate About You (Disney+, from 24 March)
A modern interpretation of William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, 10 Things I Hate About You launched the careers of such young talents as Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Julia Stiles and at a time when teen comedies were all the rage, this one stood out like a beacon.
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It has all the hallmarks but 10 Things goes deeper and more honest about relationships, dating and high school and has a fresh, inventive spark that gives it its distinctive, enduring edge.
Mrs. Doubtfire (Disney+, from 24 March)
What we wouldn’t give to have the legendary Robin Williams around during this time to keep our spirits up but, thanks to his immeasurable depth of work, he still very much is and nothing says that more than his turn as Scottish housekeeper Euphegenia Doubtfire.
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After a messy divorce, actor Daniel Hillard (Williams) will do anything to see his children every day and devises a plan - with the help of make-up artist brother - to do just that. A warm, affectionate look at family and the effects of divorce that’s as heartfelt as it is wonderfully funny.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Disney+, from 24 March)
After smashing box-office records with 1985’s Back to the Future, director Robert Zemeckis took on his biggest challenge to date with 1988’s classic comedy which blended live-action with animation seamlessly and help forge a new, exciting chapter in movie making. Set in the 1940s where real people and animated characters live together, private detective Eddie Valliant (Bob Hoskins) tries to get Roger Rabbit -a toon - acquitted of murder.
A mix of Looney Tunes “looniness”, cabaret and vaudeville humour and some groundbreaking animation, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is still one of the best technical achievements Hollywood has ever seen.
Three Men & A Baby / Three Men and a Little Lady (Disney+, from 24 March)
Did you know Three Men & A Baby was directed by Spock himself, Leonard Nimoy? Well, now you do. Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Guttenberg star as three bachelors who take care of a young baby named Mary who arrives unannounced on their doorstep and who may, or may not, be one of theirs.
Fast forward to the sequel, Mary is now five and her mother Sylvia (Nancy Travis) is set to leave for London to appear in the West End, splitting up their unique family forever. One of the true heart-warmers of modern cinema and exceptionally funny, too.
Disney+ subscription | £49.99 a year for a limited time only
Disney+ will land in the UK on 24 March. There’s a monthly subscription fee of £5.99 a month, or an annual charge of £59.99. If you pre-order before 23 March, Disney is offering a year’s subscription for £49.99.