Good comedy movies are entertaining and make you laugh. They can be adult or fun for the whole family. The can be filmed very intricately with new camera techniques are very plainly. The one thing they all have in common is fine writing. Fine writing engages the audience, giving them something they can relate to. Better movies take an age old idea and make it fresh or create a new idea. Some movies, like Woody Allen's movies are more quirky than funny. Other movies, like Steve Martin's movies make you laugh so hard you can hardly hear the dialog.

Family comedy:

The original Shrek movie turned fairy tales upside down. Based on a book by William Stieg, it was not exactly a "fresh" idea. The filming and animation was cutting edge. Big names signed on to do the voices. The soundtrack was hip and appealing. This movie was very very funny, and yet you could take a five year old to it without worrying. The second Shrek movie had a little more sexual innuendo. People tell me kids know so much more these days it didn't matter. I think it's nice to give kids a respite from everything sexualized.

Teen comedy:

Many "family" comedies directed at teen age boys follow the same plot line: a group of average looking geeky guys fantasize about a hot chick. Through a series of events mostly replete with potty humor, they land a really hot chick. "Superbad" "Milk Money," and "Weird Science" all followed this formula. IF there's a moral to the story, it's that hot chicks like men (boys) who can make them laugh. There was one movie, "16 Candles" in which Molly Ringwald plays the opposite side. She's not ugly by any stretch of the imagination, she's merely geeky and she lands the boy with a Porsche.

Stupid Funny

Steve Martin's "Bowfinger" "The Jerk" or the movie "Idiocracy" all fall in the genre of stupid funny. These movies will have you rolling on the floor if you don't try to analyze them too much or worry about what is going to happen next. What makes them clever is how they don't totally rely on sex jokes. A lot of Adam Sandler's later movies were attempting to be "stupid funny" and got bogged down into tasteless and stale humor with the dull fixation on sex.

Inadvertently Funny

Sometimes movies that aren't even trying to be funny end up ridiculously funny. I felt Carman's movie "The Champion" about washed up boxer saving his local community center fell into this category. First off Carman plays a strong Christian man, so there isn't any hint of premarital sex in this movie. However, he meets a beautiful, just beautiful single mom with a rascal kid and marries her within the two or three month time period of the movie. (Like that's the way to choose your life partner?) Along the way are several non-issues that are always solved in a couple of seconds: Carman! You can't box again you'll die! Of course he'll box, of course he'll win and of course of course he won't die! This movie really had me howling with glee.

Quirky Funny:

It may be politically incorrect these days to drink and banter as much as the Thin Man and his wife in this series from the black and white days - these movies are funny! Back before special effects were available (the movie itself was an effect) more money was poured into clever writing. The good news is any of these old black and white movies are available through NetFlix.