The 8 Best "Guilty Pleasure" Comedies of All-Time

Before I give you my list, I want to make it clear that I don't use a term like "guilty pleasure" lightly.

Clarification #1: I don't feel embarrassed to admit I'd rather watch Patrick Swayze' Roadhouse over Ang Lee' Brokeback Mountain. It doesn't humiliate me to disclose I'd watch Evil Dead II over Hotel Rwanda any day of the week. Liking dumbass movies isn't anything to feel guilty about, damn it. I'm zen enough with my taste in films (or lack thereof) to come clean that I get more pleasure out of the Die Hard trilogy than Schindler' List.

Clarification #2: When I throw around a term like "guilty pleasure comedy," I don't mean watching it on TBS if there' nothing else on. I mean that you went out to a Best Buy and put money down on a counter in front of other human beings and bought the fucking thing. These are movies you need to hide behind the toilet when you have friends over. If you have a girlfriend or wife, these are movies which you've made a pact with her on: should anyone ask, these are her movies. Her movies that you hate.

With that out of the way: my list of the most embarrassing comedies to get caught owning, that are actually really good.


8
Cabin Boy
GUILT ALERT LEVEL: BLUE

WHY IT'S A GUILTY PLEASURE
Regardless of Cabin Boy' content, its ridiculous nautical premise and unfathomable marquee billing of Chris Elliott make it just sort of... look dumb. It' the film equivalent of the comfortable pants you wouldn't be caught dead wearing to a party.

WHY IT'S SECRETLY AWESOME
Because it' funny. Chris Elliott subverts his leading man role into the wussiest mewling sissy you've ever seen. You're not rooting for his character to win so much as enjoying him getting nailed in the crotch with an anchor for the eleventh time. (I don't remember if this actually happens, though you have to admit, it sounds plausible.) It' good damn fun.

DEGREE OF EMBARRASSMENT IF CAUGHT WITH IT
Minimal. Owning a DVD with as questionable value as Cabin Boy is a mainstay of anyone' collection. Even that snooty cinephile you try to avoid who' always namedropping Ingmar Bergman probably has a copy of Hot Shots: Part Deux tucked away at the back of his DVD shelf. We're all allowed a few stinkers. With the lone exception of G.I. Jane, which you shouldn't own, ever, for any reason.


7
Multiplicity
GUILT ALERT LEVEL: GREEN

WHY IT'S A GUILTY PLEASURE
Technically, it' a romantic comedy. Plus it stars charisma vacuum Michael Keaton and almost-entirely-composed-of-teeth-and-gums Andie MacDowell, despite the fact that filmmakers should know better by now. Most insidiously, the film' message is that spending more time doing what your wife wants is, in the end, more important than your own hopes and dreams.

WHY IT'S SECRETLY AWESOME
It' written and directed by Harold Ramis, the guy who wrote Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, which alone should cut the movie some slack. Also, much like Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, Multiplicity' got a cool high concept premise to bounce the laughs off of. And as a mitigating factor to it starring Michael Keaton, note that it also stars Michael Keaton acting like he' retarded. Not for an Oscar nom, either. For laughs.

DEGREE OF EMBARRASSMENT IF CAUGHT WITH IT
You'll live. It' not an offensively bad film-if people've put any thought into Multiplicity at all, the worst prejudice against it is that it' bland and forgettable. It's the sort of film you'd rent if you had your parents visiting and didn't want anything to offend. You could probably get away with "My grandmother bought it for me as a gift" if pressed.


6
Last Action Hero
GUILT ALERT LEVEL: GREEN

WHY IT'S A GUILTY PLEASURE
If you haven't seen it, SPOILER ALERT: it' not very good.

WHY IT'S SECRETLY AWESOME
The opening minute of Last Action Hero casts Arnold Schwarzenegger as Hamlet. Arnold Schwarzenegger. As Hamlet. It is one of the ten most awesome things you will see in your entire life. The rest of the movie I could care less about. Sadly, YouTube only had the Spanish version available. I apologize in advance:



DEGREE OF EMBARRASSMENT IF CAUGHT WITH IT
This depends on how many other, superior Schwarzenegger movies you own. If you've got Last Action Hero sandwiched in between sweet films like Terminator 2 and Predator on your DVD shelf, don't sweat it. If you've got Last Action Hero sandwiched in between The Last Boy Scout and Hudson Hawk on your DVD shelf, you're clearly some kind of fucking idiot. Your friends won't say anything — but they will never take your movie opinions seriously again.


5
Stuart Saves His Family
GUILT ALERT LEVEL: GREEN

WHY IT'S A GUILTY PLEASURE
Good God, where to start? It' a mid-90' SNL movie, so Strike One. It' a mid-90' SNL movie based around one of SNL' least popular characters ever. Strike Two. Plus it' a comedy about a family baring their souls and weeping openly while in therapy. Swwwwwing and a miss.

WHY IT'S SECRETLY AWESOME
Stuart Saves His Family is really dark, with lots of cruel humor at the expense of its protagonists. Harold Ramis, the film's director (see Multiplicity) and writer Al Franken aren't under the illusion that anybody likes the annoying Stuart Smalley. The film is essentially one big funny joke at his expense.

DEGREE OF EMBARRASSMENT IF CAUGHT WITH IT
Medium to high. This is a good comedy that' got chips stacked against it for all the reasons just mentioned. It looks like it should suck, it sounds like it should suck; therefore, in the court of public opinion, it blows. Trying to convince a friend that it doesn't would be like trying to convince a friend it wouldn't be weird if you gave him an enema.


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THE FOUR GUILTIEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME

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