European Comedy Films

Europe gets better as many think. The true sickness of Europe is its pessimism“.

Klaus Kinkel, former Vice Chancellor of Germany.

Of course one country’s sense of humour has a lot to do with its culture and history – and for the sake of our European cultural diversity, this should remain so. But if you look closer, you will see that many films made it beyond their national borders and that we still share a common sense of humour. Think about Welcome to the Sticks or Italian for beginners for instance. It is worth noting that all countries have their favourite angle and sense of humour when it comes to comedy films. Southern European countries will have for instance more comedy films exploring their sexualities, while in the North, you can expect more stories related to social and societal challenges. Watch some trailers below, we bet you’ll want to watch a bunch of them afterwards – as some of them are really funny.


Goodnight Irene
dir. Paolo Marinou-Blanco
6,9/10 IMDB – Trailer

Two solitary men embark on a journey to find a missing woman, driven by friendship, a desire for freedom, and a wish to taste life to the fullest. In the process, they develop a deep bond of friendship that neither of them could have ever anticipated.


Chef’s Special
Fuera de carta, dir. Nacho García Velilla
6,2/10 IMDB – Trailer

The movie centers on homosexuality and the decision to come out. It focuses on men who have had relationships with women to hide their own sexuality. The film also deals with the theme of single parents. It was a huge success in the Spanish box office, earning almost 1 million euros in its first weekend.


Welcome to the Sticks
Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis, dir. Dany Boon
7,1/10 IMDB – Trailer

Philippe Abrams, a post office administrator, lives a comfortable life in a charming town in the South of France. One day, he is caught red-handed while trying to scam an inspector. He is consequently banished to the distant unheard of town of Bergues, in the Far North of France… The film has broken nearly every French box office records…


Mr. Bjarnfreðarson
Bjarnfreðarson, dir. Ragnar Bragason
7,3/10 IMDB – Trailer

In Mr. Bjarnfreðarson, Georg is a son, a father and a communist megalomaniac with a chronic compulsion to control his environment, yet at the same time unable to control his own life. In other words, an inspiring protagonist with exciting possibilities.


Inside I’m Dancing
Rory O’Shea Was Here, dir. Damien O’Donnell
7,9/10 IMDB – Trailer

When the kinetic Rory moves into his room in the Carrigmore Residential Home for the Disabled, his effect on the home is immediate. Most telling is his friendship with Michael, a young man with cerebral palsy and nearly unintelligible speech. Somehow, Rory understands Michael, and encourages him to experience life outside home.

United Kingdom

In the Loop
dir. Armando Iannucci
7,5/10 IMDB – Trailer

The US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war. But not everyone agrees that war is a good thing. The US General Miller doesn’t think so and neither does the British Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster. But, after Simon accidentally backs military action on TV, he suddenly has a lot of friends in Washington.


Kitchen stories
Salmer fra kjøkkenet, dir. Bent Hamer
7,3/10 IMDB – Trailer

Swedish efficiency researchers come to Norway for a study of Norwegian men, to optimize their use of their kitchen. But the scientific job of observing an old cantakerous single man’s kitchen habits is complicated by his growing friendship with him.


Kopps, dir. Josef Fares
6,8/10 IMDB – Trailer

The film follows the police unit of a small fictional Swedish village, Högboträsk. When the small town police station is threatened with shutting down because of too little crime, the police realise that something has to be done…


Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Rare Exports, dir. Jalmari Helander
6,7/10 IMDB – Trailer

In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 metres deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up! This Christmas, everyone will believe in Santa Claus. This Finnish film won numerous awards such as the Locarno International Film Festival’s Variety Piazza Grande Award.


Italian for Beginners
Italiensk for begyndere, dir. Lone Scherfig
7,1/10 IMDB – Trailer

Several lonely hearts in a semi-provincial suburb of a town in Denmark use a beginner’s course in Italian as the platform to meet the romance of their lives. When the teacher suffers a heart attack during class and ends up dying, the six classmates hold the class anyway and eventually take a vacation to Italy.


Undercover Kitty
Minoes, dir. Vincent Bal
7,0/10 IMDB – Trailer

One night, a cat named Minoes stumbles upon a can of chemical liquid that had been dropped by a truck, and after drinking it transforms into a human woman. As a human, she maintains her feline traits such as her fear of dogs, meowing on the roof with other cats, catching mice, purring, and eating raw fish.


dir. Olivier Van Hofstaat
6,9/10 IMDB – Trailer

Claudy Faucan is manager of a slaughterhouse in Belgium and an amateur photographer. After a photoshoot with beautiful Natacha, an extrovert sexy woman, he embarks on a journey of strange encounters. The title Dikkenek comes from the Flemish words dikke and nek for fat neck and literally means a big mouth.


Manitou’s shoe 
Der Schuh des Manitu, dir. Michael “Bully” Herbig
6,6/10 IMDB – Trailer

The German parody of western films borrows from the parodies of Mel Brooks like Robin Hood: Men in Tights or Blazing Saddles. Its humour consists largely of blatant anachronisms, derision and inconsistencies. In the German version, Abahachi, Ranger and Winnetouch all speak with a rather strong Bavarian accent.


Contact high
dir. Michael Glawogger
6,5/10 IMDB – Trailer

‘Contact high’ defines the phenomenon that occurs in people who come into contact with someone who is under the influence of drugs. Their closeness causes the psychological state of the person who is high to be transferred to their neighbour. The title is explicit!


Loose Cannons
Mine Vaganti, dir. Ferzan Özpetek
7,2/10 IMDB – Trailer

Tommaso returns home to Salento after his university studies. He is finally ready to face his family and reveal his great secret: he is homosexual. But when he summons up his courage, his brother beats him to it with his own revelations and it is he who becomes the black sheep of the family.


I Served the King of England 
Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále, dir. Jiri Menzel and Istvan Szabo
7,4/10 IMDB – Trailer

Jan Dítě has been released from a Czech prison just before the very end of his 15-year sentence and is settling in a town near the border between Czechoslovakia and Germany. Jan begins his career as a frankfurter vendor at a railroad station, and quickly learns the power of money and the influence it exerts over people.


Big Respect
Velký respekt, dir. Viktor Csudai
6/10 IMDB – Trailer

The story of two hapless friends down on their luck begins. One day Mike is attacked by two gangsters who steal his bike. Peter is left by his girlfriend, because she assumes he’s gay. The two friends make a deal: Mike helps Peter to become a proper manlike guy, and Peter in turn teaches Mike how to understand women.


The Wedding
Wesele, dir. Wojciech Smarzowski
7,7/10 IMDB – Trailer

The happiest day of their lives turns into a nightmare for newlywed. Father-of-the bride Wiesaw Wojnar has one goal: to give his daughter the most memorable wedding in the village. ‘The Wedding’ is a fast-paced, laugh-out-loud which took the Polish box-office by storm.


Zero 2
dir. Emilis Velyvis
7,8/10 IMDB – Trailer

When the under-worlds of crime and show-biz collide, hit-men buddies Max and Sylvester are suddenly thrown in the midst of bizarre events and soap-like drama. Faced with the onslaught of sleazy intrigues and silicon boobs, friends must still complete their task – retrieve a missing shipment of drugs.


Finding Elvis
Kur pazudis Elvis, dir. Una Celma
5,2/10 IMDB – Trailer

Three boys and two girls, from different social backgrounds are attracted to adventure and mystery. What do they have in common? Their parents are fairly dysfunctional. One day, their teacher tells them that Elvis, a fellow-pupil, will be absent for a long time. He and his mother have disappeared. Where is he?


Revolution of Pigs
Sigade revolutsioon, dir. René Reinumägi and Jaak Kilmi
6/10 IMDB – Trailer

The revolution is brewing. Set in the summer of 1986, hundreds of teenagers have gathered in the woods for Estonian student summer camp—three days full of adventures, falling in love and partying. But, when the teens are forced to comply with rules of proper behavior, camp in a totalitarian system isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


Belarusian Waltz
dir. Andrzej Fidyk
6,4/10 IMDB – Trailer

Belarusian Waltz is on the incredible personal story of the performance artist Alexander Pushkin, who is one of very few who is not scared. Facing grave consequences he organizes public stunts that mock president Lukashenko. Through his art and sense of humour we take a deep dive into the soul of the Belarusian people.


The Orange Sky
Помаранчеве Небо, dir. Oleksandr Kyryenko
6,4/10 IMDB – Trailer

The film is about a love story between two greatly different young people. The heroine, Ivanna is a young girl with ambitiously nationalistic beliefs in the power of democracy. She expresses her patriotism by voicing, often protesting in the favor of revolutionary ideals. Mark, the protagonist, on the other hand is the son of a government official.


12:08 East of Bucharest
A fost sau n-a fost?, dir. Corneliu Porumboiu
7,4/10 IMDB – Trailer

The film is set in the city of Vaslui, and centers on a group of characters who revisit the Romanian Revolution of 1989 which brought an end to the communist regime. The full English title refers to the time of day at which Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu fled following the revolution, 12:08 pm on December 22, 1989.


Mázli, dir. Tamás Keményffy
6/10 IMDB – Trailer

Ogyarmat is a small Hungarian village on the Austrian border. The people there are gloomy, as the future is not bright. One day, oil gushes forth and with it hope… but also dissension and the start of an incredible unruliness.


Cheese and Jam
Kajmak in marmelada, dir. Branko Djuric

6/10 IMDB – Trailer

After Špela leaves Božo because of his laziness and lack of will to find a job and moves back to her parents, he asks his friend Goran for help and gets a job as a Mickey Mouse impersonator at a local fair. A chance meeting with Špela leaves her less than impressed due to the simplicity of the job


72 Days
Sedamdeset i dva dana, dir. Danilo Šerbedžija
7/10 IMDB – Trailer

The American pension of Grandpa Đurađ is paid to his widow Neđa and is the only source of income for the Paripović family. When Neđa suddenly dies their very existence is threatened and the head of the family devises a cunning plan.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Gori vatra, dir. Pjer Žalica
7,3/10 IMDB – Trailer

The plot takes place in the small town of Tešanj, two years after the Bosnian War. The town is overridden by corruption, prostitution and organized crime. It is announced that U.S. president Bill Clinton will pay a visit to the town. Everything in the town must be in order, including the faked brotherhood between Bosniaks and Serbs.


The Parade
Parada, dir. Srđan Dragojević
7,3/10 IMDB – Trailer

A group of gay activists try to organize a pride parade in Belgrade. Organizing such a parade is no easy task in Serbia as evidenced by the violence at the 2001 parade attempt. Now, almost a decade later, situation is not much better – nationalist and right wing groups pose just as much threat and the police refuses to secure the event.

North Macedonia

Punk’s Not Dead
Панкот не е мртов, dir. Vladimir Blazevski
7,5/10 IMDB – Trailer

Protagonists of this black-comedy are punks who deliberately remained at the margins in muddy times of Macedonian transition. The routine of their outsider’s survival is disturbed by an offer to make a reunion of their one-time cult punk band and play at some bizarre “multi-cultural-happening”, which is to prove the false image of North Macedonia.


Tirana Year Zero
Tirana, année zéro, dir. Fatmir Koçi
6/10 IMDB – Trailer

The movie tells the story of a young couple in post-communist Albania, at a time when many Albanians left the country in search for a better life abroad. The protagonist of the movie is Nik, who lives in Tirana, along with his mother and father. He is in love with a beautiful girl named Klara, who wants to move to Paris to be a model.


Lora from Morning Till Evening
ЛОРА ОТ СУТРИН ДО ВЕЧЕР,   dir. Dimitar Kotzev
4,1/10 IMDB – Trailer

Protagonist, thirty year old Lora is confronted with an old mystery which changes the course of her everyday life. A day that starts just like any other is turned upside down by the arrival of two packages containing two mysterious dices.


Super Demetrios
dir. Georgios Papaioannou
6,6/10 IMDB – Trailer

In a surreal, parallel universe, Thessaloniki has its very own superhero: Super Demetrios. Posing as Dimitris Christoforidis, journalist for the Golden Jerusalem magazine, he fights for truth, justice and the Greco-Christian ideal. In the dark of the night, the city’s worst nightmare returns : Captain F.ROM is back!


dir. Yılmaz Erdoğan
6,6/10 IMDB – Trailer

The story is based on the childhood memories of the writer-director Yılmaz Erdoğan of the arrival of the first television to Hakkâri, a small village in Southeastern Turkey in the 70’s.

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