10 Quirky Comedies: ‘Serial Mom’

“Serial Mom” (1994) – Life appears normal in the Baltimore suburbs, and so do the Sutphins.  Dad (Sam Waterston) is a successful dentist, Mom (Kathleen Turner) is a prideful homemaker, and their kids Misty (Ricki Lake) and Chip (Matthew Lillard) are well-adjusted teens, but yes, accompanied with their own sets of issues.  Well, there is one glaring difference between the Sutphins and most other families:  Mom is a serial killer. Director/writer John Waters throws a monkey wrench in the form of Kathleen Turner into a sea of manicured neighborhoods, flea…

10 Quirky Comedies: ‘Waking Ned Devine’

“Waking Ned Devine” (1998) –  In the little Irish town of Tullymore (population: 52), someone won the national lottery!  But who?  Jackie (Ian Bannen) did not strike gold, but he hopes that the lucky ticket holder will share some of the winnings with him!  Sure, why not?  In writer/director Kirk Jones’s wonderful charmer, Jackie recruits his best friend Michael (David Kelly) to help acquire a portion of the money, but they step into knotty complications. Jones bathes the screen with Ireland’s cultural riches (even though he filmed his movie on…

10 Quirky Comedies: ‘Toni Erdmann’

“Toni Erdmann” (2016) – “To a father growing old, nothing is dearer than a daughter.” – Euripides Winfried (Peter Simonischek) is a piano teacher.  With a rumpled wardrobe and a full mop of silver hair, this 60-something gives lessons in his home and plays the black and white keys for recitals at a local school.  During one particular number, the children mark themselves in zombie makeup and dedicate a song to an outgoing administrator.  The lyrics “here today, gone tomorrow” stand out during the piece, while Winfried – also caked in…

10 Quirky Comedies: ‘Damsel’

“Damsel” (2018) – In the movie business, when one says damsel, the words in distress usually follow.  Obviously, most unmarried women are not in distress, but Samuel (Robert Pattinson) believes that one particular damsel, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska), needs to be swept off her feet.  Directors David and Nathan Zellner’s (“Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter” (2014)) latest creation is a hilarious, offbeat surprise and the most unique western to arrive on the big screen in years. With classic genre themes like long stretches on horseback, beautiful skies and hazardous saloons, but also quirky…

10 Quirky Comedies: ‘Kitchen Stories’

“Kitchen Stories” (2003) – Director Bent Hamer’s oddball, playful import is as fresh as a breath of crisp Scandinavian air.  Just after WWII, Sweden’s Home Research Institute – a technological leader in improving home efficiencies – wishes to understand the kitchen habits of single Norwegian men. Who knows how they tick, right? This pits an elderly hermit named Isak (Joachim Calmeyer) against Folke (Tomas Norstrom), who has been assigned as his observer during a frigid winter in an isolated, snowy village.  The weather plays the role of a third character…

10 Quirky Comedies: ‘Quick Change’

“Quick Change” (1990) – Before lawmakers cleaned up New York City, crime ran high, some areas resembled third world countries and seedy peep shows in Times Square were commonplace.  Grimm (Bill Murray) works as a frustrated city planner, doesn’t like what he sees and longs to live somewhere else. “God, I hate this town,” he says…repeatedly. So why not rob a bank for $1,000,000 and leave the city for good? Due to the U.S. Federal Government properly insuring bank customers’ deposits up to a certain limit, no one “really” gets hurt…

10 Quirky Comedies: ‘The Great Buck Howard’

Halloween is in our rear-view mirror, and November is here!  That means the holidays are almost upon us, and while we are busy with year-end work schedules, planning Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixins and buying presents for December festivities, we could also use a good laugh! Art House Film Wire has you covered.  Over the next 10 workdays, we’ll feature 10 quirky comedies and each one is just about guaranteed to bring you a smile during a most stressful month.   Ready, set…let’s get started! “The Great Buck Howard” (2008)…