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5 upcoming comedies you have to see in 2023

A great comedy can soothe the soul. Even as theatrical comedy movies seem to be rarer and rarer, there are still a few films every year that can make you laugh so hard you’ll forget whatever it is you were grumbling about when you walked into the theater. 2022 had some great comedies, and a few that may even have been among the best movies of the year.

It remains to be seen whether 2023 can repeat that feat, but there are certainly a number of titles coming down the pike that have us excited. These are our five most anticipated comedies of 2023, including at least one that features Nicolas Cage wearing some pretty major fake teeth.

Cocaine Bear (February 24) (2023)

Cocaine Bear (February 24)
Genre Comedy, Thriller, Crime
Stars Keri Russell, O'Shea Jackson Jr., Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Directed by Elizabeth Banks

Certainly the biggest out-and-out comedy to make this list, Cocaine Bear is the kind of movie that could either be a delight or a disaster. If you’re eagerly anticipating it, though, you’re not alone.

The movie is about exactly what it sounds like it’s about. A bear snorts a bunch of cocaine and starts doing terrible things to the people around him. While this incident is loosely based on a true story, it seems safe to say based on the trailer that director Elizabeth Banks has made a few adaptation choices to make it work on the big screen.

Cocaine Bear | Official Trailer [HD]

Beau Is Afraid (April 21) (2023)

Beau Is Afraid (April 21)
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Stars Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Ryan, Nathan Lane
Directed by Ari Aster

Ari Aster is not exactly known for his comic chops, but if the first trailer for Beau is Afraid is to be believed, the movie will be an attempt to merge Aster’s horror sensibilities with some more existential subject matter.

The film, which could be as long as four hours, has been described as a “nightmare comedy.” It may not be the ideal movie if all you want to do is have a good laugh and learn a lesson, but Beau is Afraid will likely have enough laughs to make its existential dread feel at least sort of manageable.

Renfield (April 14) (2023)

Renfield (April 14)
Genre Comedy, Horror, Action
Stars Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina
Directed by Chris McKay

Nicolas Cage as Dracula. Need we say more? Renfield is a comedic take on the abuse being hurled at Dracula’s number-one sidekick, and it features Nicholas Hoult in the central role.

Given the talent that has been assembled here, it seems almost impossible that Renfield will not have plenty to delight anyone looking for a good time at the movies. Cage has been known to give incredibly large performances, but Dracula is a role that definitely calls for plenty of ham, so it should be a perfect fit.

Renfield | Official Trailer

Haunted Mansion (August 11) (2023)

Haunted Mansion (August 11)
Genre Family, Comedy, Horror
Stars Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, Lakeith Stanfield
Directed by Justin Simien

The Haunted Mansion is widely known as one of the beloved rides in Disney World, but the previous attempt to bring the ride to the big screen didn’t turn out so well. Disney has never let past failures stop it before, though, which is why we’re getting another Haunted Mansion movie in 2023.

The movie could be terrible, but it comes loaded with a truly star-studded cast including Dan Levy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Owen Wilson, Tiffany Haddish, and Danny DeVito. Add in Rosario Dawson and LaKeith Stanfield in the lead roles, and it starts to seem like Haunted Mansion might actually be good.

Barbie (July 21) (2023)

Barbie (July 21)
Genre Comedy
Stars Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell
Directed by Greta Gerwig

Barbie is not just one of the most anticipated comedies of the year, it’s one of the most anticipated movies, period. Greta Gerwig’s take on the famous Hasbro toy features an all-star cast headlined by Margo Robbie and Ryan Gosling, and the first trailer for the film gave us a sense of the irreverent tone that Gerwig is bringing to the material.

How funny will Barbie be? Given how little we know about the project, it’s difficult to say. What seems clear, though, is that it’s going to be one of the most audacious summer blockbusters in recent memory, and hopefully one of the best as well.

Barbie | Teaser Trailer

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Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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