• Jason Farr

20 Comedy Movies to Watch this 4th of July!

Updated: Jul 5

Whether you're looking for Americana classics or political satire, there are plenty of comedies that fit the 4th of July mood! Here are 20 movies to watch and where you can find them.

Americana Classics

These movies fit the right vibe if you're nostalgic for American culture or want "slice of life" representations of how some folks are livin'.


American Graffiti

For his second directorial outing, George Lucas made this coming-of-age film set in the Summer of '62. It follows teenagers on the last night of their Summer vacation and stars Ron Howard, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, and Richard Dreyfuss. This film has stood the test of time among critics and film lovers. Available for rent on Amazon Prime.


An American Tail

This animated film from 1991 is a true story about how mice came to America. Okay, no it's not, but it is about the journey a mouse named Fievel took migrating to America with his family at the turn of the 20th century. This is a wholesome one for the whole family.

Available to stream on Starz and for rent on Amazon Prime.


Girls Trip

Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish star in this movie about a group of old friends who have lost touch so they decide to take a trip to New Orleans together. Hijinks ensue. The film, which made Haddish a major star, is certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Available for rent on Amazon Prime.




Wet Hot American Summer

This absolutely bonkers send up of teen movies from 2001 immediately garnered a cult following. The film, written and directed by and starring staples of the sketch crew The State, is set on the last day of Summer camp. To say the movie is about “camp counselors trying to get things done on the final day of camp,” would not prepare you for what this movie is.

Available for rent on Amazon Prime.


Grown Ups

Adam Sander and his crew offer their take on adulthood about a group of friends exposing their kids to things that aren’t devices and video games. It stars Sandler’s SNL buddies David Spade, Rob Schneider, and Chris Rock along with Salma Hayek and Kevin James.

Available to stream on Netflix and Freeform and for rent on Amazon Prime.



Barbershop 2

The second movie in the Barbershop franchise may not be quite as good as its predecessor, but it is set in the Summer and includes people having a BBQ – so 4th vibes! This slice of life comedy represents the awesome barbershop culture of America. It stars Ice Cube (who also wrote the film), Cedric the Entertainer, Eve, and a bunch of familiar faces.

Available to stream on TBS and TNT and for rent on Amazon Prime.


A League of Their Own

You can't have Americana without baseball. But what you can't have, apparently, is crying in baseball. At least that's what we learn from our first baseball movie entry which is about a women's baseball league. It stars Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, and Tom Hanks.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime, AMC/AMC+, and Fubo.



Bull Durham

If you're in the mood for a baseball movie, romantic comedy, and want a dose of Southern charm then look no further than Bull Durham. Set in North Carolina, this movie is fictional tale about a real life minor league team, the Durham Bulls. It stars Kevin Costner (in one of his several baseball films), Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime, Showtime, Criterion Channel, and Hoopla.


Major League

This straight forward baseball comedy led by Tom Berenger, still hits. No pun intended! It has several solid moments from Wesley Snipes, Corbin Bernsen, Charlie Sheen, Dennis "You're in Good Hands" Haysbert, and it made "Juuuust a bit outside" such a big catchphrase it's been repeated by real life sportscasters ever since.

Available to stream on Fubo and for rent on Amazon Prime.


The Sandlot

Any list of baseball movies that doesn't include this '90's classic is incomplete. Like American Graffiti, it's set in the summer of '62 and tells the coming-of-age story of a group of neighborhood kids. The blending of nostalgia for America's pastime with the innocence of adolescence makes for a very rewatchable feel-good movie.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime, Disney+, Fubo, and Tubi.


Military

The perfect, comedic solution if you'd like to see a military movie but want to trade in the fireworks for laughs.


Stripes

Bill Murray, in one of his early lead roles, solidified his career and partnership with both Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman with this war comedy. It follows Murray's slacker character who, left with no other options for housing or employment, enlists in the Army and talks his buddy (Ramis) to join, too. It also stars John Candy, Sean Young, and P.J. Soles. Totally.

Available to stream on Amazon Prime, AMC, IFC, Philo, and FuboTV.


Team America: World Police

How does one neatly describe a satirical comedy made by South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone that stars puppets and was given an NC-17 rating 9 times before the final edit? This movie is wild. It's about a counter-terrorist police force and parodies everything and everyone, from politics to celebrities to "'Merica!" sentimentality.

Available to stream on Fubo and Showtime, and for rent on Amazon Prime.


Political/Political Satire

It's impossible to do a list like this without some political humor and satire. These movies roast American politics and still leave us inspired.


Dave

Kevin Kline is Dave, a man who just so happens to look exactly like the President of the United States, who just so happens to be in a situation that needs covering up with a doppelganger. White House staffers convince Dave to impersonate the president. It also stars Sigourney Weaver (queen), Ving Rhames, and Ben Kinglsey. Available to stream on Hoopla and for rent on Amazon Prime.


Head of State

Making his directorial debut, Chris Rock (who also co-wrote the movie) stars as an unexpectedly popular presidential candidate who throws a wrench in a political scheme he was never intended to know or defeat. Bernie Mac co-stars in the movie as Rock's brother and you'll recognize plenty of other faces in it as well.

Available to stream on Paramount+, Epix, and PopcornFlix.

The American President

A pre-cursor to West Wing, Aaron Sorkin delivers a presidential spin on the romantic comedy genre with this film from 1995. It stars Michael Douglas as a widowed POTUS who is running for reelection. He falls for a lobbyist, and who could blame him? The lobbyist was played by Annette Bening - an absolute queen. The film also stars Michael J. Fox, Richard Dreyfuss, Samantha Mathis, and future West Wing president, Martin Sheen.

Available to stream on Starz and for rent on Amazon Prime.


Dick

Michelle Williams and Kirsten Dunst star in this satirical comedy about high schoolers who get lost in the White House while on a tour then become advisers to Richard "Dick" Nixon. They advise him on Watergate and we all know how that went. Playing Dick is Dan Hedaya, and you'll also spot a pre-major fame Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds.

Available to stream on Hulu and for rent on Amazon Prime.


My Fellow Americans

Jack Lemmon and James Garner star in what was originally going to be another Lemon/Walter Matthau film about two political rivals who have beaten each other for the presidency. They both get ensnared in a devious plot of bribery, dirty dealings, and assassination attempts. Also starring in the film are Dan Aykroyd, Sela Ward, and Bradford Whitley (so many West Wingers and SNLers show up on this list).

Available to stream on Cinemax Go and for rent on Amazon Prime.


Vice

After scoring an Oscar win with The Big Short, Adam McKay took another stab at Oscar gold with a satirical jab at former Vice President, Dick Cheney. It follows the life of Cheney, played remarkably by Christian Bale. It also starred Sam Rockwell, Amy Adams, and Steve Carell. This is the most intense out of all the movies on the list and is less of a celebration of America and more of a, "Damn. Really?" of America.

Available to stream on Netflix and for rent on Amazon Prime.


Mars Attacks!

Every single star working in the 90s was in this Tim Burton movie about Martians coming to Earth to take it over. Jack Nicholson plays the president, Lisa Marie plays a beautiful Martian, and Sarah Jessica Parker's head pulls off a significant performance. Burton gave more than a wink to 1950's B-movies as a way to pay homage to the subject of his previous film, Ed Wood.

Available for rent on Amazon Prime.


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart make an incredibly winning combination. In this1939 black-and-white, Jimmy Stewart plays the titular Mr. Smith, who is picked to be a U.S. Senator by a corrupt governor who hopes to manipulate the naïve Smith. This earnest and inspiring film was erroneously attacked as being anti-American and pro-Communist, but it's remembered as a classic.

Available for rent on Amazon Prime.



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