Houseguest (1995)

It’s a beautiful thing to watch someone in their element, i.e. the shared enjoyment—even between strangers—of someone’s creativity channeled into a well-crafted project. The most complex humor seems effortless, which it may be in that moment, but is resultant of much practice. If a plot is strong enough to withstand a few deviations from its script, an actor with true improv ability will elevate the believability of his character by using natural true-to-life spontaneity to generate chemistry with his costars. This quick-on-their-feet cast collectively sets the essential stage that allows its lead to shine in this hilarious case of mistaken identity.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

So much talent, so little time. One of the numerous highlights of this movie is its timing. Unlike many modern comedies, the actors serve the story, rather than use it to showcase their immature antics, which are only funny when given an equally outrageous context. In this setting, two con artists attempt to outwit each other but both end up getting played. Who gets the last laugh when real-life masters of comedy use their impersonation skills as their characters execute a plot to dupe a wealthy heiress out of her fortune?

Charade (1963)

It’s as if Hitchcock went to Paris. He didn’t but a script full of twists and turns brought to life by two of the most elegant lead actors ever to grace the screen, supported by high-quality talent is bound to yield mystery, action, suspense, humor and romance. What’s not to like?

Roxanne (1987)

Writer, comedian and actor, Steve Martin adapted literary classic “Cyrano de Bergerac” into a feature film. With equal parts humor, drama and romance—in nearly every hue—the brainy and beautiful, Roxanne falls for one half of two different firemen: the airheaded but handsome, Chris who speaks through the poetry of big-nosed romantic, C. D. who coaches him through each encounter in order to win Roxanne’s heart. First things get tricky then downright messy as the charade wears thin.