August 14, 2005

My Ten Favorite R-Rated Comedies, 1984-2005

The release of Wedding Crashers prompted Entertainment Weekly to publish an article lamenting the demise of the R-rated comedy. In the eternal quest for wider audiences, many comedies which could or should be R-rated are toned down to PG-13 levels to hopefully draw in more ticketbuyers. But what's the point in earning a PG-13 if the quality of the movie is hurt as a result? One recent movie which should have been R-rated is Dude, Where's My Car? I found it very funny, but the sex and drug jokes were obviously toned down into PG-13 territory after shooting was completed, and it shows. When I saw Mother, Juggs, and Speed on DVD, it was obvious that all the foul language had been removed in "looping" in order to earn a PG rating.
Here then, in tribute to the R-rated comedy, is a list of my favorite R-rated comedies. To earn a spot on this list, not only does the movie have to be one of my favorite R-rated comedies, but it has to put that R certificate to good use:
  1. There's a symphony of foul language in Beverly Hills Cop (1984): Axel Foley:You know, you have a very big mouth, sir! Are you hiding something from me? Is that it? I bet you that is your Porsche that's parked front, isn't it? How would you like me to have the IRS come down here and crawl up your ass with a f***ing microscope? They'll do it! I've seen them do it! It's not a pretty sight! I want you to know something, pal! I want ALL of y'all to know something! I can have twenty five agents down here in fifteen minutes to march in here, snatch your bonds out from underneath you and you'd be out of business, PERMANENTLY, if I don't start getting some cooperation! Is that understood?
  2. Oh, the irony: Stand by Me (1986) features 11-year-olds talking the way real 11-year-olds do, yet the movie is rated R for language, so an actual 11-year old requires a parent or guardian to see the movie.
  3. A Fish Called Wanda (1988) makes the list for this exchange alone: Otto: You pompous, stuck-up, snot-nosed, English, giant, twerp, scumbag, f***-face, dickhead, ass****. Archie: How very interesting. You're a true vulgarian, aren't you? Otto: You are the vulgarian, you f***!
  4. Midnight Run (1988) is unwatchable on TV because of great lines like this:De Niro: I never took a payoff in my life and I'm not gonna start with someone like you. Grodin: Why not? De Niro: Because you're a f***ing criminal and you deserve to go where you're going and I'm gonna take you there and if hear any more s*** outta you I'm gonna f***ing bust your head and I'll put you back in that f***ing (train lavatory) and I'm gonna stick your head in the f***ing toilet bowl and I'm gonna make it stay there.
  5. Six words from Heathers (1989): "F*** me gently with a chainsaw." The Heathers could crush the whole "90210" cast with this dialog!
  6. Only an R rating grants you the artistic freedom to discuss necrophilia, snowballing, and hemaphrodite porn, as Kevin Smith & Co. do in Clerks.
  7. Let's just say that the phrase "federal pound you in the ass prison" was coined in the movie Office Space (1999)
  8. The movie South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999) is supposedly one of the most filthy movies of all time. Featuring 146 utterances of "f***" in less than 81 minutes, that's 1.8 "f***s" per minute!
  9. Wedding Crashers
  10. and
  11. The Forty-Year-Old Virgin
Update: I forgot Shaun of the Dead! Thanks to's more expansive list for jolting my memory.