Comedy plays an important role in our daily lives for a simple reason: We need to laugh. More importantly, it’s fun to laugh! Laughter is our collective way of remembering that life doesn’t have to be a neverending series of hardship and heartache. The good times can be very rewarding, and a lot more enjoyable. Comedy films are built on the idea of letting audiences laugh at (and with) the main characters on the screen. In a way, those characters are representations of ourselves … except funnier. They offer viewers an escape that can sometimes be invaluable. And if you’re looking for comedies, Hulu is a good place to be. This streaming service has some of Hollywood’s best, along with a few Hulu original comedy films. To find the right picks for you, here are the best comedies on Hulu right now.
Hulu’s biggest breakout original film of 2021 is Vacation Friends, a comedy that already has a sequel in the works. Lil Rel Howery and Yvonne Orji star as Marcus Parker and Emily Conway, a couple whose vacation plans are waylaid by a series of mishaps. Soon after befriending another couple, Ron (John Cena) and Kyla (Meredith Hagner), Marcus and Emily enjoy some good times before ultimately parting ways with their new friends. However, Ron and Kyla re-enter their lives shortly before Marcus and Emily are about to be wed. While Marcus and Emily reluctantly allow the other couple to join them, misunderstandings and mayhem ensue on their way to the altar.
Rotten Tomatoes: 60%
Stars: Lil Rel Howery, John Cena, Yvonne Orji, Meredith Hagner, Robert Wisdom
Director: Clay Tarver
Runtime: 103 minutes
Mike Judge wrote and directed Office Space, a late ‘90s comedy that still remains a biting satire of office culture. Ron Livingston stars as Peter Gibbons, an apathetic programmer at Initech who suddenly finds his star in the company on the rise thanks to some hypnotherapy and his newly discovered self-confidence. Peter also finds love with a waitress, Joanna (Jennifer Aniston), as well as a promotion at work. But when Peter’s buddies, Michael Bolton (David Herman) and Samir Nagheenanajar (Ajay Naidu), are laid off, the trio hatch a scheme to get back at their employer. What they don’t realize is that the hapless office drone, Milton Waddams (Stephen Root), may have plans of own.
Rotten Tomatoes: 80%
Stars: Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Stephen Root, Gary Cole, David Herman
Director: Mike Judge
Runtime: 88 minutes
How far would you go for fame in the age of social media? In Tragedy Girls, McKayla Hooper (Alexandra Shipp) and Sadie Cunningham (Brianna Hildebrand) are the co-writers and co-owners of a true-crime blog that is hurting for followers. So much so that the girls actually catch a serial killer, Lowell Orson Lehmann (Kevin Durand), and decide to continue the killings themselves just to drive up their readership. Unfortunately for the duo, their initial kills don’t attract the kind of attention that they want. They also find themselves going up against local firefighter, Albert “Big Al” Hill (Craig Robinson), as well as Sheriff Blane Welch (Timothy V. Murphy). And when things get tough, these girls come out stabbing.
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Stars: Alexandra Shipp, Brianna Hildebrand, Josh Hutcherson, Craig Robinson, Kevin Durand
Director: Tyler MacIntyre
Runtime: 98 minutes
In Villains, Maika Monroe and Bill Skarsgård headline the film as Jules and Mickey, a wannabe modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. However, the duo finds their amorality challenged when they discover a young girl, Sweetiepie (Blake Baumgartner), chained in a basement. The homeowners, George (Jeffrey Donovan) and his wife, Gloria (Kyra Sedgwick), try to bribe Mickey and Jules into forgetting what they saw. When they refuse, the battle of wills between the two couples becomes increasingly heated in this offbeat black comedy.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Bill Skarsgård, Maika Monroe, Blake Baumgartner, Jeffrey Donovan, Kyra Sedgwick
Director: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Runtime: 88 minutes
Thirty years after their excellent adventure, Bill and Ted (Keanu Reeves and Alex Winters) are back to save the world once again! When the ruler for the future tells Bill and Ted they must compose a new song to save life on Earth, the Wyld Stallyns reunite for the good of humankind. But … they’re still kinda lazy. So instead of writing it, they decide to travel through time to steal it from their older selves. Meanwhile, their daughters devise their own musical scheme to help their fathers on the adventure.
Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winters, Samara Weaving
Director: Dean Parisot
Runtime: 91 minutes
This provocative comedy about being Black in a white world centers around a college campus culture war. When the staff of a humor magazine stages an offensive Halloween party, the school is torn asunder into a mosaic of infuriated backlash, well-intentioned handwringing, and whataboutism that elegantly showcases the disappointing and frustrating spinning-in-place of the fight for social justice in America. It’s a heavy topic discussed with a light stroke and caustic satire.
Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Stars: Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner
Director: Justin Simien
Runtime: 106 minutes
Anne Hathaway is a giant monster in Colossal. That’s not an exaggeration. Hathaway plays Gloria, a woman who is really hitting a rough patch in her life. Gloria moves back to her hometown and works in a bar despite struggling with alcoholism. Somehow, during her blackout periods, Gloria manifests a giant monster in South Korea. Once she accepts that this is really happening, Gloria realizes that she can control the monster, especially if she cleans up her life. Unfortunately for Gloria, she’s not the only one manifesting monsters on the other side of the world. And her life is only going to get more complicated.
Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Runtime: 110 minutes
Jim Carrey delivers one of his best performances as Steven Russell, a man’s man who becomes a cop, gets married, and starts a family, as is expected of him. But after a terrible car accident, he realizes it’s finally time to come out of the closet and be true to himself. So he moves to Florida and finances a lavish lifestyle with bad checks and credit cards before winding up in prison. There, he meets Phillip (Ewan McGregor), a quiet inmate who quickly becomes the love of Steven’s life. Determined to build the perfect life with Phillip, Steven immediately embarks on another crime spree.
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann
Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Runtime: 98 minutes
From writer-director Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers), The Beach Bum stars Matthew McConaughey as Moondog, a drug-and-alcohol-loving poet and beach squatter occupying the sands of the Florida Keys. Moondog’s one goal in life is to finish his novel, a literary homage to his daughter (Stefania LaVie Owen). While those around him think Moondog peaked long ago, the nomadic wanderer seeks to prove otherwise. He’ll just have to let go of his beer and bud long enough to issue a coherent statement. Harmony Korine has a penchant for the bizarre, a cinematic touchstone that is completely on display in his latest feature, albeit toned down from other films in the auteur’s catalog.
Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher
Director: Harmony Korine
Runtime: 95 minutes
Nyles (Andy Samberg) isn’t having the greatest day. At his friends’ wedding, the man finds his girlfriend cheating on him. Retreating into the desert with the drunken maid of honor, Sarah (Cristin Milioti), Nyles is pierced by a crossbow arrow. Reeling from the pain, he crawls to a strange aura inside a nearby cave. Sarah follows, only to discover that the brilliant lights are a mysterious vortex that traps those who enter in an endless time loop. As Nyles and Sarah are forced to relive the same November day over and over, the two form a bond that begins platonically but eventually becomes something more. An elevated time-travel comedy, Palm Springs is more than just a Groundhog Day homage, adding existentialist ponderings and R-rated hijinks to the time-loop flick formula.
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Stars: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons
Director: Max Barbakow
Runtime: 90 minutes
Big Time Adolescence premiered at Sundance in 2019, where Hulu picked it up and rebranded it as a Hulu Original in 2020. Griffin Gluck stars as Mo, a teenager with an unusual best friend in this coming-of-age comedy. Mo has a promising future ahead of him, but he has one big problem: He worships his college-dropout, drug-dealing older best friend Zeke (Pete Davidson). While Mo’s hard-working dad tries to steer him onto the right path, he’s not the kind of guy to force his son to stop seeing his best friend, creating a precarious balancing act of maturity. Davidson gives a refreshingly clever performance in this comedy and has a great rapport with Gluck.
Rotten Tomatoes: 85%
Stars: Pete Davidson, Griffin Gluck, Jon Cryer
Director: Jason Orley
Runtime: 90 minutes
Sweeping the Academy Awards and giving director Bong Joon-ho some serious clout in Hollywood, this black comedy is almost universally liked by anyone who watches it. Set in South Korea, it tells the tale of a poor family who concocts a clever plan to work for a wealthy family, each by recommending one another for different jobs within the home, even though they aren’t the least bit qualified. The film took home four Oscars, including those for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film. If nothing else, it’s worth checking out just to see what all the fuss is about.
Rotten Tomatoes: 99%
Stars: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Runtime: 132 minutes
If you’re looking for a feel-good martial arts flick, this isn’t the movie for you. If anything, The Art of Self-Defense is the anti-Karate Kid. Jesse Eisenberg headlines this darkly comedic story as an accountant named Casey Davies. After getting assaulted by a gang, Casey joins a local karate dojo under the instruction of Sensei (Alessandro Nivola). He also befriends Anna (Imogen Poots), the only female student in Sensei’s dojo. Casey gradually comes under Sensei’s wing, and he embraces his inner toxic masculinity … with devastating results on his personal life. All of Casey’s new instincts are wrong, and they lead him to some wild places.
Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots
Director: Riley Stearns
Runtime: 104 minutes
Marking the directorial debut for Boots Riley, this absurdist black comedy features elements of sci-fi and magic. The film follows Cassius (Lakeith Stanfield), a young, Black telemarketer who fakes an accent to make him sound white in an effort to do better at his job. Riley drew from his own experience of having worked as a telemarketer in his youth and finding success in doing the same thing. In the film, however, as Cassius enjoys greater success, he uncovers a corporate conspiracy and faces a crisis of conscience: What’s more important, making money and being successful or speaking out against the dirty dealings of the company for which he works?
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Stars: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler
Director: Boots Riley
Runtime: 112 minutes
Christian Bale stars as former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in this satirical comedy-drama about Cheney’s journey to the White House. Released on Christmas Day, views were split about the film, which received eight Academy Award nominations. While some pundits criticized the film, making it one of the worst-reviewed films to ever be nominated in the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards, others applauded Bale’s transformation and the film’s ability to present truths in a humorous way. It’s one of those films you just need to watch to decide for yourself.
Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell
Director: Adam McKay
Runtime: 132 minutes
One of the most acclaimed comedies of 2019, Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut provides an unflinching, hilarious look at coming-of-age from a female perspective. Molly Davison (Beanie Feldstein in a Golden Globe-nominated performance) and Amy Antsler (Kaitlyn Dever) are determined to finally party and have the night of their lives as their high-school careers come to a close and their paths diverge ahead of college. The jokes come often and come packed with social commentary and witticisms, and despite being geared toward a younger audience, there are elements any film fan can enjoy. It’s essentially the flip side of Superbad, and proves Wilde is just as proficient behind the camera as in front of it.
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Stars: Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever
Director: Olivia Wilde
Runtime: 102 minutes
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