Humor is such a subjective thing, and it's easy to be ridiculous, or worse: boring. But 2020 has a number of films that look like they're destined to be comedic gold, or at least a great time at the theater. There are a couple reboots and sequels in here, and a number of comedy superstars are back in a big way, thanks to Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Coming 2 America, and some other revivals we have our eye on.
So far, the below movies look sincerely promising, especially since 2020 is going to be a...long year. We'll keep updating this list throughout the year, so you'll know exactly what to prioritize if you'd like a little more funny in your life.
Like a Boss
Release date: January 10, 2020
Starring: Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Salma Hayek, Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge
I'm really excited for this one, but I admit to being a little worried. Not for the cast: I love Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, and Salma Hayek more than I can possibly say. But the trailer just looks like...a whole lot. The NSFW trailer looks funnier, though, and I'll end up seeing it to support all my ladies in the film.
Release date: February 21, 2020
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Josh O'Connor, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Johnny Flynn, Miranda Hart
This will be a controversial statement among my fellow editors, but Emma is my favorite Jane Austen book (I know!!). It's so snarky and has a deliriously happy ending without letting its fallible heroine off the hook for her (often-terrible) behavior. Beyond the effervescent Anya Taylor-Joy, just look at how many incredible actors are in here. Bill Nighy, funny in everything! Josh O'Connor from The Crown! Miranda Hart, the best part of Spy! I'm watching this movie the day it comes out, dammit.
Release date: March 13, 2020
Starring: Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal, Ken Jeong
Generally, I like to gauge how funny a comedy is by its trailer (it's not a foolproof system, but hear me out). If the lines give me a couple chuckles, that's a good sign, and then I just go in hoping that the producers didn't stick all the funny bits in the trailer. So even though I hadn't heard of My Spy before seeing the trailer, a close look has me thinking that this is one of those "happy surprises," much like Melissa McCarthy's Spy in 2015. I also love, love Dave Bautista, so I'm going for that reason.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
Release date: May 22, 2020
Starring: Clancy Brown, Keanu Reeves, Awkwafina, Snoop Dog, Tom Kenny
I love SpongeBob, and not just for the gifs—the show and its sweet characters are an indelible part of my teen years (I maintain that you can still totally find it funny as an adult). The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was both critically loved and a box office hit, so the chances of a third movie were always good. I mean, Keanu Reeves, Awkwafina, and Snoop Dog will be in this! How can you not love it?
Release date: July 3, 2020
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Taika Waititi, Joe Keery
Ryan Reynold's always giving it 110 percent. This movie seems to "get" what makes him funny—he's so attractive that it's almost distracting, but the movie forces him in an ugly/schlubby/otherwise incongruous setup. In this case he's the timid Guy, forced into action star badassery through a comedy of errors. Taika Waititi is never not funny, and it's great to see Killing Eve badass Jodie Comer spread her wings on the purely comedic side.
Release date: July 10, 2020
Starring: Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Rudd, Annie Potts, Carrie Coon, Mckenna Grace
I might as well put this in the "most anticipated movies ever" category. After the last reboot was controversial, Hollywood's re-rebooting the series by staying much closer to the source material with a direct sequel. Director Jason Reitman also directed the satirical Thank You for Smoking and the sweet, snarky Juno. Plus, it's got Paul Rudd and some throwback casting, so fingers crossed for a fun, funny sci-fi joyride.
Coming 2 America
Release date: December 18, 2020
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan
Of all the potential remakes/sequels this coming year (see also Bill and Ted Face the Music and Bad Boys 3, among others) this is the one I'm probably the most hopeful about. Eddie Murphy's stellar performance on SNL recently proves that he's still bringing the energy in the right comedy vehicle. A lot of the original stars and writers are back, plus some new faces—director Craig Brewer also directed Murphy in the very funny Dolemite Is My Name, which sounds promising.
The French Dispatch
Release date: TBD 2020
Starring: Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Timothée Chalamet, Léa Seydoux, Saoirse Ronan, Owen Wilson
If you like Wes Anderson, his latest is coming in 2020 and promises to be just as Anderson-y as ever. I'm a fan of his quirky style, even when he's taking a risk with the material. In this case, we know that it's based on the book of the same name, it's about "an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city" and is drawn from stories written in The French Dispatch magazine. Oh and it has a whole bunch of his favorite stars in it. It sounds very on-brand for him, is what I'm saying.
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