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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Destress with comedy films

(From left) Irving Bacon, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy and Rosalind Russell in the 1940’s film “His Girl Friday.” Destress from college with this ridiculously witty film. (Wikimedia Commons)

With the stress of school increasing, it’s important to take the time to unwind and give your brain a rest. Here are three great comedy films to watch as you relax and decompress after a long day.

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”

This 2008 breakup comedy, written by and starring Jason Segel is infinitely rewatchable. The film masterfully blends the warmth of the classic Nora Ephron rom-coms, the chaos of 1940s screwball comedies and the raunchy humor of producer Judd Apatow’s previous hits like “Knocked Up” and “The 40 Year Old Virgin.”

The comedy follows television composer Peter (Segel) as he flees to Hawaii to mourn his breakup, only to find his ex-girlfriend (Kristen Bell) and her new lover, chaotic rockstar Aldous Snow (Russell Brand), are staying at the same resort. 

Not only will the hilarious brilliance of Segel’s screenplay provide you with some much needed stress-relief, the film’s luxurious Hawaii setting also offers a tropical sense of escapism.

“His Girl Friday”

Going back in time to the aforementioned heyday of screwball comedies, Howard Hawks’ 1940 classic “His Girl Friday” is a tour de force of energetic pacing and endlessly witty dialogue. Starring Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell and Ralph Bellamy, the film follows ex-spouse journalists (Grant and Russell) as they scramble to cover an impending death row execution.

Clocking in at just 92 minutes, “His Girl Friday” is the perfect movie to watch if you want to escape into the warm, idealized nostalgia of Hollywood’s golden age.


With quotable lines like “Don’t call me Shirley” and “Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue,” few films have had as much of a lasting impact on pop culture as “Airplane!” While the film satirizes the mostly forgotten “disaster” films that were popular at the time, its one-liner packed screenplay makes it a timeless classic. 

“Airplane!” would pave the way for future films in the spoof genre, like the “Scary Movie” franchise, but the film’s ceaselessly hilarious dialogue puts it in a league of its own. With it’s all-star cast featuring Robert Hays, Julie Haggerty, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “Airplane!” is the perfect movie for when you just want to shut your brain off and laugh. 

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