A collage featuring characters from 'Bottoms,' 'Barbie,' 'They Cloned Tyrone,' and 'Joy Ride'

The Movies That Genuinely Made Me LOL in 2023

Living in this bizarre timeline is exhausting, so sometimes you’ve just gotta sit back and have a good laugh! While 2023 offered up plenty of so-called comedies, many of those films missed the mark. The 10 comedy movies below are genuinely funny, and they’re the perfect antidote to reality … for at least 90 minutes or so.

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Barbie

In a scene from Barbie, Margot Robbie poses as a giant classic Barbie doll in a swimsuit, standing in a barren landscape, with small girls staring up at her.
(Warner Bros.)

We might as well call 2023 “The Year of Barbie.” Barbie was a mega-hit that set box office records worldwide and quickly became the highest-ever global success for a live-action movie from a female director. Greta Gerwig directed the film and co-wrote it with her (now-husband) Noah Baumbach. The movie starred Margot Robbie as Barbie, a real doll come to life … only to suffer an existential crisis. This movie has it all: glitz, glamour, laughs, a few big dance numbers, tons of heart, and sooo many pretty people to ogle.

Bottoms

Main of the main characters of 'Bottoms' in their class.
(MGM Pictures)

As a fan of the teen movie genre, Bottoms was one of those movies I immediately knew I’d be watching more than once. It is infinitely quotable, and memorable lines fly at the viewer so fast, it’s hard to catch them all on the first viewing. The movie is a buddy satire with roots in films like Heathers, Mean Girls, Booksmart, and Superbad. It stars Rachel Sennott, who co-wrote the script with director Emma Seligman, and Ayo Edebiri (The Bear) as virgin lesbian besties who plot to woo hot cheerleaders by starting an afterschool fight club.

Former NFL legend Marshawn Lynch is a surprising addition to the cast as a teacher going through a messy divorce. Speaking of football, the way this movie handles the fussy high school quarterback trope alone is worth the price of admission!

No Hard Feelings

Jennifer Lawrence and Andrew Barth Feldman in No Hard Feelings

(Sony Pictures Releasing)

The premise behind No Hard Feelings isn’t overly original. We saw the same plot—rich parents hiring a young woman to “date” their son and help him grow up—in Failure To Launch. The difference here is Jennifer Lawrence; she truly goes there in No Hard Feelings, and it’s delightful to see her throw herself fully into physical comedy like never before.

Lawrence stars as Maddie, a 32-year-old Uber driver in a tourist town on Long Island. Desperate for cash, she answers a Craigslist ad from a married couple (Laura Benanti and Matthew Broderick) and agrees to date their 19-year-old son Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) in exchange for a used car. Lots of zany “dates” play out, and Lawrence does everything from take a garden hose blast to the face to fighting a gang of teenagers while buck-naked. An all around good time!

Joy Ride

The girls sitting in a shed surrounded by farm animals in Joy Ride
(Lionsgate)

Hang onto your passports, because things get a little wild in Joy Ride! This female buddy comedy follows friends Audrey (Ashley Park), Lolo (Sherry Cola), Vanessa “Deadeye” (Stephanie Hsu) and Kat (Sabrina Wu) on a thrilling and hilarious adventure from Seattle to China and Korea to discover the roots of Audrey’s birth family. Along the way, they brush elbows (and a lot of other things) with NBA players, pretend to be a Kpop band bound for Korean Idol, and accidentally perform “WAP” on Instagram Live. This is one of those sex-fueled comedies that never stops delivering the laughs.

Theater Camp

Molly Gordon and Ben Platt star in Theater Camp
(Searchlight Pictures)

Theater kids are a different breed. (I should know; I was one!) If you ever did a themed summer camp or even just played Tree #4 in the school play, you’ll likely recognize the hilariously drole ensemble cast in Theater Camp. Amy Sedaris plays Joan Rubinsky, the co-founder and director of a theater camp in upstate New York called AdirondACTS. After Joan has a seizure during a production of Bye Bye Birdie, others in her orbit must step up to save the camp from foreclosure and irrelevance.

The Haunted Mansion

The five leads of Haunted Mansion stand on a staircase
(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

This is the second time Disney has tried to make a film based on its Haunted Mansion theme park attraction, and (no offense to Eddie Murphy) they finally got it right! This version is campy and filled with jokes, but there’s also a lot of heart, too. LaKeith Stanfield plays Ben, an astrophysicist who used to study ghosts with his wife, but loses interest when she suddenly dies. Years later, widowed Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and her son (Chase W. Dillon) moves into Gracey Manor, which proves to be super-duper haunted by 999 ghosts.

Other funny characters soon join the spooky fun, including Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Dan Levy, Jared Leto, and Jamie Lee Curtis as Madame Leota.

Bank of Dave

Joel Fry with hands in the air after winning in court in Bank of Dave
(Netflix)

Premiering early in 2023 on Netflix, Bank of Dave may not have registered on your radar. This little gem of a film transports us to the cozy working-class town of Burnley, England, where a real-life man named Dave Fishwick (Joel Fry) fought the law … and won. The “David vs. Goliath” story follows Dave, a self-made millionaire who lent out so much money to his neighbors that he decided to make it official and start a non-profit bank. Doing so wasn’t easy, so he had to hire a lawyer (Rory Kinnear) to go up against big wigs in the banking world (Hugh Bonneville). Phoebe Dynevor of Bridgerton also stars.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Abby Ryder Fortson as Margaret and Amari Alexis Price as Janie with friends in 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.'
(Lionsgate)

Just like the 1970 book by Judy Blume on which it’s based, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is a must for middle schoolers. It’s a coming-of-age comedy about Margaret (Abby Ryder Fortson), an 11-year-old facing a lot of changes: a big move to New Jersey, a new school and new friends, not to mention puberty. Overwhelmed by talk of first bras, kisses, parties, and menstruation, Margaret starts talking to God, with whom she also has a complicated relationship. This movie has heart (and laughs) to spare.

Polite Society

Ria and Lena in Polite Society
(Lionsgate)

Polite Society is so much fun, I wish I could watch it again for the first time! It’s a martial arts comedy starring Priya Kansara as Ria Khan, a Pakistani-British teenager who dreams of becoming a stunt performer. When her older sister Lena (Ritu Arya) is selected by a wealthy geneticist to be his wife, Ria launches an investigation to discover an insidious plot. Ria’s best friends Clara (Seraphina Beh) and Alba (Ella Bruccoleri) provide comic relief during fight-intensive scenes straight out of The Matrix.

They Cloned Tyrone

	 John Boyega, Teyonah Parris, and Jamie Foxx sit at a diner table in They Cloned Tyrone
(Netflix)

If you like conspiracy theories, here’s one that should scare your pants off while still bringing the laughs. John Boyega leads the cast of They Cloned Tyrone as Fontaine/Tyrone/a bunch of other clones who uncover a massive government conspiracy. Basically, they’re conducting experiments on Black people in underserved communities, all in the name of “peace” in America. Yikes! Co-stars like Teyonah Parris, Jamie Foxx, and David Alan Grier often steal the show.

There are a few honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the top 10: You Are So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah, Champions, Dumb Money, and yes … 80 For Brady. Don’t hate, just go with it! Your inner grandma (we all have one, don’t we?) will love it.

(featured image: MGM / Warner Bros. / Netflix / Lionsgate / Illustration by The Mary Sue)


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Author
Image of Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She writes about pop culture, entertainment, and web memes, and has published a book or a funny day-to-day desk calendar about web humor every year for a decade. When not writing, she's listening to audiobooks or watching streaming movies under a pile of her very loved (spoiled) pets.