The best comedy movies on NEON

NEON is home to a bunch of hilarious Hollywood classics, and even a few locally made laugh-riots: Katie Parker has handpicked the best of ’em for you below.

See also
* Best new movies & TV series on NEON
* All new streaming movies & series

The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)

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Making a comedy star of Steve Carrell in the same year the US version of The Office premiered, Judd Apatow’s directorial debut is among his most likeable films, with so much heart that the even the most adolescent moments are imbued with a sweetness and charm that can be hard to come by in the sex comedy. The story of a man’s bid to lose his V-card late in life, The 40 Year Old Virgin is nearly 20 years old and as fun and adorable as ever.

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Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret (2023)

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Based on Judy Blume’s classic 1970 comedy of the same name, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret is a coming-of-age comedy so heartwarming, life affirming, and joyful it could thaw the coldest of hearts. Following a formative period in the life of 11-year-old Margaret Simon as she adapts to the changes happening both outside and within her, Kelly Fremon Craig’s 2023 film understands and celebrates girlhood with an affection and humour that’s utterly infectious.

Asteroid City (2023)


Over his decades long career, Wes Anderson’s brand of whimsical yet affectless comedy has been carefully honed into an instantly recognisable signature style—this ensemble sci-fi comedy proving that practice makes perfect. Featuring a slew of stars, including Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johannson, Edward Norton, and so many more, it’s a wryly hilarious 1950’s period piece that’s among Anderson’s best.

Barbie (2023)


Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably caught wind of Greta Gerwig’s 2023 mega-hit, following the adventures of Mattel’s most famous plastic lady. Surprising naysayers everywhere with its clever, irreverent, and occasionally subversive sense of humour, Barbie more than earned the hype. From Gerwig’s pitch perfect satire of patriarchal structures to Ryan Gosling’s irresistibly hilarious performance of Oscar nominated song I’m Just Ken, this modern comedy classic never misses a beat.

Best In Show (2000)

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Christopher Guest’s 2000 mockumentary following the behind the scenes drama of the prestigious Mayflower Dog Show is easily one of the greatest comedies of our time, a cult classic and a favourite of pop star Ariana Grande who dressed as Jennifer Coolidge’s character for Halloween in 2022. With the kind of ensemble comedy cast dreams are made of and a relentlessly hilarious script, Best In Show is comedy royalty.

Eagle Vs Shark (2007)


Before he was known best for taking Marvel’s Thor movies to zany new places (and marrying Rita Ora) Taika Waititi was your go-to-guy for cringey Kiwi indie comedy. Eagle vs Shark, his feature length directorial debut, proves that he had star power long before being hijacked by Hollywood. Starring Jemaine Clement and Loren Horsley as the most awkward potential lovers cinema has ever seen, this whimsical romantic comedy is full of quirky humour.

Johnny English (2003)


The sort of comedy that was kind of made for watching with your parents, Rowan Atkinson’s spy spoof doesn’t exactly push the cinematic boat out. but despite being decidedly tame and very silly, it never fails to have me roaring with laughter (and entirely willing to go along with Natalie Imbruglia as a love interest for Mr. Bean). Pure buoyant fun with nothing weighing it down, this film is so dumb it’s genius.

Joyride (2021)


Looking for something a little more risqué? Adele Lim’s feature directorial debut, which follows a group of American-Chinese friends who travel to China for a business trip, quickly descends into a romp that fans of gross-out gags will adore. Crude, crass and featuring some incredibly funny set pieces, this raunchy comedy is also full of heart—and proves that female directors are more than capable of getting down and dirty with the best of them.

Love Actually (2003)

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Yes, it’s a Christmas movie. Yes, you’ve seen it 50,000 times. Yes, it’s often needlessly grim. But Love Actually, which in the 20 years since it came out has become all but sacred in the hearts of many, is still to this day a very funny comedy. At its best when following Bill Nighy’s washed up pop star making a last-ditch cash grab with a Christmas jingle, Love Actually perfects pithy English comedy to earn its cult status.

Mamma Mia! (2008)


Can Pierce Brosnan sing? No. Does that make him any less charming? Absolutely not. Schlocky, campy and absolutely irresistible, Mamma Mia! could melt even the most hardened cynic. Adapted from the iconic musical (assembled entirely out of the catalogue of everyone’s favourite Swedish pop group ABBA) a winning combo of cheesy comedy and gleefully zany performances of extremely catchy songs elevate this film to cult classic levels.

Men In Black (1997)


If the sight of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones side by side in suits and sunnies doesn’t immediately trigger the dulcet tones of “here come the men in black” in your mind, then wait not a moment longer to correct this obvious cognitive defect. As iconic today as it was on release in 1997, this slick, smart, super well executed sci-fi comedy showcases Smith’s prowess at the height of his career.

No Hard Feelings (2023)

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Many of us lament the dearth of sex comedies that once dominated the early 2000s box office: a call finally answered by 2023’s No Hard Feelings. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as a struggling slacker hired by a pair of overly anxious parents to deflower their socially awkward 19-year-old son (Andrew Barth Feldman) before he heads off to college. A rude, raunchy romp with all the sweetness of a romcom, No Hard Feelings is the answer to your sex comedy prayers.

Pork Pie (2017)


Starring Dean O’Gorman, James Rolleston and Ashleigh Cummings, Matt Murphy’s remake of the classic 1981 local comedy more than lives up to the fun and free-spirited joy of the original. Following a trio of accidental outlaws on the run across Aotearoa in a stolen yellow mini, this hilarious road trip caper perfectly captures the quintessential Kiwi sense of humour.

Renfield (2023)

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Horror-comedy can be hit and miss, but with a healthy mix of gags and gore, this film gets it right. Following Dracula’s long suffering henchman’s attempts to free himself of his narcissistic boss, this buoyant, bloody blast is anchored by stars Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult, putting an irreverent twist on the traditional vampire narrative.

Sharp Stick (2022)


With Gen Z now discovering the wonders of Lena Dunham’s seminal early-2000s TV series Girls, the polarising former wunderkind is finally receiving the appreciation she deservesand her sex comedy Sharp Stick proves she still has plenty more shockingly frank comedy up her sleeve. Exploring a young woman’s sexual awakening with her signature unapologetic realism, Dunham’s ability to find humour in all of life’s most awkward moments remains unmatched.

A Simple Favour (2018)

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On the surface yet another melodramatic domestic thriller, Paul Feig’s gleefully silly 2018 black comedy turns the usually somber genre on its head. Following a widowed mummy-blogger (Anna Kendrick) who becomes obsessed with the mysterious disappearance of a glamorous new friend (Blake Lively), the increasingly bonkers twists come thick and fast in this deliciously twisted and delightfully campy flick.

The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)

Flying mostly under the radar when it was released in 2018, this female-led spin on the spy spoof genre is an adrenaline-filled good time. Following the recent ex-girlfriend (Mila Kunis) of a CIA agent who, along with her best friend (Kate McKinnon), is pursued by assassins when he mysteriously goes missing, this wacky, silly and pretty violent flick is a fun and fast-paced action-comedy.

The Wedding Singer (1998)


Featuring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in what could easily be considered career highs for both, The Wedding Singer nails the art of the romantic comedy in quintessential 90s fashion. Pairing Sandler’s knack for zany humour with the kind of sexual tension and romantic chemistry that come along maybe once in a Hollywood lifetime, this film remains an irresistibly good time.

You Hurt My Feelings (2023)


Carrying on her tradition of gently interrogating the absurdity inherent in the niceties of modern middle class social life, Nicole Holofcener’s comedy-drama follows long married couple Beth (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Don (Tobias Menzies), whose happy union is marred when novelist Beth overhears Don confessing that he doesn’t enjoy her writing . Hard truths are navigated with warmth, empathy and wry humour in this pleasantly low-key comedy.

This guide is regularly updated to reflect changes in NEON’s catalogue. For a list of capsule reviews that have been removed from this page because they are no longer available on the platform, visit here