School of Rock (2003)

I do believe this to be one of the best films of the early 2000s. Jack Black’s best film. The most unprofessional rock artist ends up in an elementary prep school eager for money as a substitute teacher. Dewey Finn (Jack Black) plays the desperate artist who just wants to make it as a singer and guitarist in a rock band. When his band fires him, he’s left in need for money for rent. However, an opportunity falls into his lap when his roommate is called in for a substitute teaching role, Dewey takes it upon himself to pretend to be Ned Schneebly and becomes the new teacher of a class at Horace Green Elementary Prep School.

Dewey soon discovers that what he holds dear (rock music) is a knowledge the children know nothing about. Instead, they pride themselves in the standard curriculum of Literacy and Mathematics, amongst all the rest. Dewey’s dream is to reach ‘The Battle of the Bands’, but when he is kicked out of his band, he turns his class into his new rock band – School of Rock!

‘School of Rock’ has comedy, music and is just a feel-good family film to be enjoyed by all. Jack Black makes this film as great as it is. His enthusiasm, his facial expressions, his over-the-top personality is comical to watch throughout. The kids are also super, with little Miranda Cosgrove making an appearance. You cannot watch this film without a smile on your face as the children take upon a class rock project while their new teacher screams and races around the classroom with excitement and joy at the students’ talents. Simple in its plot and simple in its execution – ‘School of Rock’ will always be an enjoyable film!

St Trinian’s (2007)

New girl, Annabelle Fritton (Talulah Riley), is sent to St Trinian’s boarding school for young girls where pupils and teachers apparently live in “blissful harmony”. Instead, it’s rather the opposite from any school anyone has ever seen; Annabelle is distraught to be left in a place where the students run wild and the teachers join in. Forced to do nothing but find a way to fit in, Annabelle is confronted with cliques, practical jokes, spying cameras and vicious hockey matches. Meanwhile, a new Minister for Education (Colin Firth) is determined to turn all the schools back to discipline and education-driven, starting with the naughtiest school in the country – St Trinian’s.

I love this film! When it first came out, I remember it being the film to see for all teenage girls. I used to be fascinated with the cliques of the school – the five groups named classically in the film as: Chavs, Posh Totty, Geeks, Emo, First Years. Even though there are a mass of cliques in this film, I love how this school represents a unity and all of them are friends and would do anything to defend their school. I used to obsess during the make-over scene, loving how different the creativity was to other films. But now, I just love every part of the film, it’s still great over a decade old.

‘St Trinian’s’ is a film with a great stardom. All the characters are excellent. Rupert Everett at the forefront, fabulous in his roles. Colin Firth who never falls in any role, in particular not this one either. Gemma Arterton as our head girl at St Trinian’s, one of my favourite characters. ‘Doctor Who’ Jodie Whittaker, as the receptionist who has some of the best lines in the show. The brilliant singer Paloma Faith and Juno Temple from ‘Wild Child’. Even Russell Brand and ‘Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey. Every character in ‘St Trinian’s’ is completely different and add their own comedy and creativity into the show which just makes it so enjoyable to watch.

Overall, this film is fantastic. I really love it and it shouldn’t be forgotten! The music is outstanding and plays a large impact on its success, even with Girls Aloud singing the fabulous St Trinian’s song at the end. The entire film is just fun and creative, with hectic madness, a bit of romance, and determination for all to succeed. These girls rebel, cheat and steal their way through their education. Even the credits are funny, with Headmistress Fritton and the Minister of Education singing ‘Love is in the Air’.

“Check out our battle cry, a song to terrify, no one can stand in our way. We are the best, so screw the rest, we do as we damn well please. Until the end, St Trinian’s, defenders of anarchy.”

Freaky Friday (2003)

I used to watch this film repeatedly. A comedy of Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan swapping bodies, it always made me laugh. And it still does… The main synopsis of the film is that mother and daughter (who don’t get along) end up swapping bodies, living as each other on an extremely important day for both of them. With the mother about to get married and the daughter in for a chance of her band hitting big, the body swap couldn’t come at a worse time for either of them.

Straight away from the beginning of the film, we learn that mother and daughter, Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Anna (Lindsay Lohan) do not see eye-to-eye. Tess lives her life in a lot of organisation and preparation; however, Anna is the complete opposite. Both believe their lives are easier than the other. Tess deals with day-to-day adult life with a career and soon to be husband, along with raising two children. Anna deals with high school life; a mix of bullies, teachers who will always disagree with her and her first real crush. You learn pretty quickly what the personalities of these characters are, which is very important for a film which includes a body swap.

I do believe that ‘Freaky Friday’ is a family classic. The body swap is brilliant. Tess becomes Anna, Anna becomes Tess. Jamie Lee Curtis transformed into the rebellious teen is never-a-miss comedy. Her snidey gimmicks and looks are hilarious as the family are in complete confusion about who their mum has turned into. Lindsay Lohan is also comical as the drastic performance turns from uprising teen to always in control mother. Her struggle to remember she is now the sister rather than the mother to Harry is fantastically funny as she accidentally calls him “honey”. His confusion is excellent to watch as he usually expects chaos and madness in a sibling rivalry.

‘Freaky Friday’ is a brilliant comedy. I will always remember the initial reaction from Anna as “I’m old” when she discovers she’s no longer in her body. And the classic solution of running into each other to fix the problem. The grandpa and Harry also have to get a mention, as their comedy has to make the audience smile – the gimmick of Harry copying his grandfather’s panic in an earthquake is enough really! This family comedy shouldn’t be one to be lost in history, it is funny and full of nostalgia back to 2003.

Instant Family (2019)

‘Instant Family’ follows the real-life story of a couple who, in a snap decision, decide to adopt from the foster-care system. The film follows a comical, fast-pace, enjoyable film of a new family. Initially, wanting to adopt a child, they end up fostering a teenager and two other younger siblings. The family fly through the ‘honeymoon phase’ as the new happy family, to crash and hit the realistic struggles these children have gone through and the hardship of entering a different family. The parents hit the realities and struggles of new parenthood and the worries of replacing parents they already have.

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I really enjoyed this film. The actors and actresses are all phenomenal. With Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne at the centre, they execute the plot line brilliantly. I also loved that it was a film that could go anywhere, I couldn’t predict what was going to happen and I was happy to go along with the rollercoaster. The whole film feels very realistic with understandable struggles. But not to worry, it also captures the comedy well and makes a heart-warming, sweet film. The movie got me giggling at quite a lot of moments. Wahlberg and Byrne bounce off each other in such an excellent comical way, they add a lot to the film. As do the social workers at the foster-care orientation and social support groups, particularly Karen (Octavia Spencer) who was a great character.

Instant Family

The children are brilliant in the film: Lizzy (Isabela Moner), Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz). Lizzy seems to be more of the centre of the film, the 15-year-old who has adapted to the mother of her two younger siblings. She is the one who finds it the hardest to adapt into a different family, feeling unloved and alone. Then, there’s Juan, an overly sensitive boy, who seems to spend most of the film worried or crying. However, he is the source of some comical moments and he is a great character to watch. Finally, Lita, the youngest of them all. Very stubborn and loud, Lita only wants to eat crisps and nothing else. Being the sole main reason of the film, they really add some genuine and real struggles for children and the realities of some foster children’s backgrounds.

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‘Instant Family’ is a thoroughly enjoyable film. As I said before, extremely fast-pace, I was a little confused at the beginning of who people were and where they are, but soon enough these sort of things don’t matter and I understand why time wasn’t spent on it to clarify. Instead, the film is about a new family and the adjustments they are having to make. In a loving, chaotic adventure a family try to join as one, but with rejections and difficulties along the way, you’ll enjoy the ride as a normal comical family appears.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

One of the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost classics, they have done so many films together, and this one has to be one of the best. And once again this is a different comedy to so many others, a horror comedy of a zombie apocalypse. But it’s brilliant, it’s cleverly done, hilarious and the relationship between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on screen is of course great!

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Simon Pegg plays Shaun, the plot revolving around him mainly. When his girlfriend of three years, Liz (Kate Ashfield) breaks up with him, he is destroyed. Shaun and his flat mate, Ed (Nick Frost), get drunk to try ignore his loss. However, in the morning, everything’s changed, not only is Shaun single, but “there’s a girl in the garden”, except she isn’t just a girl… An undead zombie apocalypse has taken toll, and they are everywhere. In a desperate flee to help everyone he can, Shaun makes a plan to save his mum and save Liz, however, that turns out it isn’t as nearly as easy as it sounds.

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The film is hilarious, the humour is executed perfectly. Who thought a zombie film could be that funny? It has to be done well, if not a spoof, but it’s done well to execute as a comedy of two hilarious actors. I would definitely recommend this film as the men struggle to defeat the zombies throwing vinyls at one slowly walking towards them. The film is full of chaos and hilarity as they fight to dramatic music and desperately escape the deathly zombies. It’s such an easy watch, and a good laugh. Reliable and comical, chaotic and disastrous. Just sit down with a cup a tea and have a giggle.

Step Brothers (2008)

Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly – it’s safe to say this is not a film of my humour. Apparently one of the top 100 films according to my new bucket film list poster, so I thought I’d give it a watch. I don’t think I’ll be watching it again. Sorry.

When Brennan’s mother marries Dale’s father, the family join together. A happily newly married couple and their forty-year-old sons who never moved out. Rivalry kicks up straight away as they declare hatred as the men fight and argue over having to live together. Their war comes to an end with a mutual hatred of another, but will that be enough to save a family who’s been through a lot? I have to admit, I completely understand their mutual hatred, as I had the same feeling straight away.

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The humour is classic Will Ferrell, rude and stupid. The whole film was just so stupid, there were escalations to the max, that were so unrelatable and crazy it was just bonkers. I guess this is obviously on purpose, but I just don’t seem to get it. Don’t get me wrong, I did laugh at some points, but other parts which were supposed to be funny, I was more baffled by the weirdness and randomness. The new step brothers ironically behave as young children, as that is what they are symbolising however have grown up but not in maturity. The whole irony is definitely a common thread of comedy in the film as the men act like you’ve not seen before. They strop and fight, sleepwalk and demand everything.

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The characters are played well obviously, it’s Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. I just didn’t love the concept of the film and couldn’t find the humour. But then again, many declare the film hilarious. I disagree. Maybe give it a watch if the stupid rude comedy if what you enjoy, because it hits the nail on the head with that category!

Psych: The Movie (2017)

When I eventually found this somewhere I could watch, I could not contain my excitement. I love ‘Psych’ the TV show, so much. I fell in love with the show and binge-watched it so quick. So when I got an email to say that I might be interested in watching ‘Psych: The Movie’ on Now TV, they couldn’t have been more wrong. Watched it straight away. If you haven’t seen the programme, a lot of this film may not make sense. You wouldn’t understand the character build up or some of the plot. It could be watched as a comedy mystery alone, but it’s so much better with the nostalgia of the television series. This film follows three years on from the last season of ‘Psych’ in 2014, building on things that have happened in those years of the programme or the three years in between that we have missed.

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Full of the nostalgia from the programme, the film brought all the favourites back. Starting with the beloved Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and Burton Guster, aka Gus (Dulé Hill). Their friendship fabulous as ever, hilarious and trusting. Then we have Juliet O’Hara (Maggie Lawson) returning, still in the loving relationship (one of my favourite TV relationships) with Shawn. Although, I do feel it was lacking slightly, but that can all be forgiven by the end. The Chief, Karen Vick (Kirsten Nelson), also makes a big return in the film as O’Hara’s boss like the series ended. Sadly, Carlton Lassiter (Timothy Omundson) doesn’t make the return I quite so hoped, meaning hardly any return. I did miss Lassiter and Shawn’s constant competitive bickering and arguing. There is also the return of many other characters, but I don’t want to ruin it all!

Psych: The Movie - 2017

Around the Christmas holidays, the whole gang are brought back together when a case becomes a bit too close to home, targeting one of them. Yes it is around the Christmas holidays, and there are a few Christmas trees and a few Christmas songs, however I wouldn’t say it’s a Christmas film! Because that means it only limits me to watching it in December… Besides, Christmas Day isn’t present in the film! It’s a comedy mystery through and through, just like the TV series.

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‘Psych: The Movie’ got me giggling throughout, whether it’s Shawn and Gus’ iconic friendship, where pretty much everything scares them, or maybe even Shawn’s false sense that he can do everything. We cannot forget Shawn’s brilliant ‘wait for iiiiit’ that has to repeat in the film. Additionally, will Gus find a true love in this film? With modern references, the film captures the old and new. It’s a film that is full of nostalgia from the television show, but also bringing in a new mystery to solve, intriguing and a little spooky at times. But all the while, fun with our Psych cast.