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10 Best Fish Out Of Water Comedies of 2023

10 Best Fish Out Of Water Comedies of 2023

Unfortunately, it seems that the era of big popular comedy movies is slowly fading away. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, we were blessed with a plethora of laugh-out-loud films that could easily be grouped into different themes: buddy cop escapades, hilarious parodies, and heartwarming romantic comedies. But fear not, there is one genre of comedy that has managed to withstand the test of time – the “fish out of water” tale.

These stories, my friends, are an absolute riot! They transport us to a world where characters find themselves in completely new and unfamiliar surroundings, setting the stage for some seriously hilarious cultural clashes. They shed light on the disparities between characters and challenge them to view the world through a fresh lens. And let’s not forget the countless moments that will have you rolling on the floor with laughter!

Join us on a wild and entertaining journey as we witness the greatest movies featuring characters experiencing the shock of a lifetime. Brace yourselves for the rollercoaster ride of emotions that comes with adapting to a whole new environment, whether it be a change in location or social status. So, grab your popcorn, sit back, and get ready to be thoroughly amused!

1. Coming to America

Coming to America
In 1988, a blockbuster movie called “Coming to America” took the box office by storm. The film features the talented Eddie Murphy in the lead role as Prince Akeem Joffer, the future king of Zamunda, a fictional African nation. Tired of being married off based on tradition, Akeem decides to venture to America in search of true love, hoping to find someone who appreciates him for who he truly is, rather than his royal heritage. Accompanied by his loyal friend Semmi (played by Arsenio Hall), Akeem heads to the bustling city of New York, ready to experience the everyday life he has never known.

Throughout the movie, Murphy and Hall skillfully portray Akeem’s transformation as he adjusts to the unfamiliar American culture and the absence of his privileged upbringing. Akeem lands a humble job at “McDowell’s,” a clever parody of the fast-food chain McDonald’s, and revels in the opportunity to learn about the ordinary existence that has eluded him. As fate would have it, Akeem falls head over heels for a woman named Lisa, portrayed by Shari Headley. Lisa, amazed by Akeem’s genuine personality, is deeply moved when she discovers that he was willing to give up his royal status for her.

In summary, “Coming to America” captivated audiences with its hilarious and heartwarming tale of Prince Akeem’s journey to find love and authenticity in the vibrant melting pot of New York City. Murphy and Hall’s chemistry shines as they bring to life the challenges and triumphs Akeem faces in his quest to create his own destiny.

2. Crocodile Dundee

Crocodile Dundee
In the first act of Crocodile Dundee, Michael Dundee (played by Paul Hogan) is shown to be completely at home in the vast Australian outback. He impresses everyone with his remarkable survival skills and extensive knowledge of the local wildlife. But little does he know that his ability to wrestle a wild crocodile won’t be of much use when he finds himself in the concrete jungle of New York City.

City life completely confuses Dundee, leaving him unable to grasp the local slang or comprehend the sheer size and complexity of the urban landscape. The movie capitalizes on this, generating plenty of laughter as Dundee unknowingly breaks social norms by striking up conversations with strangers on the street in a friendly manner. Moreover, he remains unfazed by common city fears such as muggings. As Dundee navigates through the idiosyncrasies of American city life with Sue Charlton (played by Linda Kozlowski) as his guide, their contrasting personalities and experiences lead to a charming love story.

3. Trading Places

Trading Places
Directed by John Landis, the hit comedy Trading Places starts off when the wealthy Duke brothers (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) witness street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) getting arrested on false charges by Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd). In response, the brothers make a bet to see who can adapt better to the other’s lifestyle, and thus, Winthorpe and Valentine switch places.

From this outrageous premise, hilarity ensues as both men struggle to navigate life at opposite ends of the financial spectrum. Valentine strives to find success as the managing director at Duke & Duke brokerage company, while Winthorpe is left to fend for himself on the unforgiving streets, facing hardships he’s never experienced before.

As the initial phase of their role reversal unfolds, the comedy escalates when Valentine and Winthorpe join forces to exact revenge on the conniving Dukes for orchestrating this absurd experiment. Despite their vastly different backgrounds, Winthorpe and Valentine form an unlikely friendship during their journey.

4. Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills Cop
In “Beverly Hills Cop,” Eddie Murphy takes on the role of Axel Foley, a detective based in Detroit. Unfortunately, his superiors are not too pleased with his tendency to go against the rules and conduct unauthorized operations. So, when Foley’s friend Mikey is murdered in Los Angeles, he is denied the opportunity to officially work on the case. But hey, that doesn’t stop him! Foley decides to take matters into his own hands and embarks on a “vacation” to Beverly Hills to conduct his investigation on the down-low.

One of the main sources of humor in the film comes from the stark contrast between Foley’s hometown and the luxurious world of Beverly Hills. He can’t help but comment on how fancy everything is, even going as far as joking that the back of LAPD police cars is cleaner than his own apartment. Of course, both his superiors back home and the local police force in Beverly Hills are far from thrilled about his unauthorized mission. However, Foley manages to convince one of the officers to cover for him by threatening to permanently stay in Beverly Hills and work as a private investigator. Suddenly, the lieutenant is more than willing to agree, just to ensure that Foley goes back home.

5. Encino Man

Encino Man
Encino Man kicks off with a typical high school comedy vibe, save for a quick intro featuring two cave people. Dave, played by Sean Astin, dreams of being more popular at school and is infatuated with Robyn (Megan Ward), who happens to be dating a jock that enjoys tormenting Dave and his best friend Stoney (Pauly Shore). But everything changes when Dave stumbles upon a frozen caveman, Brendan Fraser’s character, Link, in his backyard.

Without wasting a moment, Dave and Stoney decide to pass off Link as an exchange student, giving him the name “Link” and bringing him to school. Link, having been frozen for centuries, is completely clueless about human society. It’s an understatement to say he’s a fish out of water. He’s amazed by simple things like starting a fire with a lighter or the abundance of junk food. Surprisingly, though, he adapts remarkably well to life in sunny Southern California – so much so that many girls at school are eager to go out with him.

6. Hot Fuzz

Hot Fuzz
Fish out of water stories often involve a character who feels overwhelmed by their unfamiliar surroundings. However, Hot Fuzz takes a different approach. The movie centers around Sergeant Nick Angel (Simon Pegg), a highly trained combat and driving expert who gets transferred to a quiet, sleepy town. His fellow officers feel threatened by his skills and think he’s making them look bad.

Sergeant Angel finds himself unimpressed by the small village of Sandford and its police force. His partner, Danny (Nick Frost), seems to base his idea of policing on action movies, which only adds to the comedic aspect of the film. The humor lies in the contrast between the intense, skilled city cop and the quirky village environment. Instead of facing dangerous criminals, Angel ends up dealing with escaped swans and other minor incidents.

However, as the story progresses, Angel’s true value becomes apparent. When a series of homicides occurs in Sandford, his expertise proves to be invaluable. His outsider perspective allows him to uncover a conspiracy that the local police department has missed.

In summary, Hot Fuzz is a movie that combines humor and action. It explores the concept of a skilled cop feeling out of place in a small town, but ultimately becomes a thrilling story of crime-solving and conspiracy.

7. Rush Hour

Rush Hour
Rush Hour, released in 1998, is a fantastic comedy that combines the elements of a fish out of water and a buddy cop story. The movie stars Jackie Chan as Chief Inspector Lee, a cop from Hong Kong who heads to Los Angeles to assist in the search for his friend’s kidnapped daughter. He teams up with Detective James Carter, played by Chris Tucker, who isn’t thrilled about having a partner, especially one with whom he shares no common ground.

Despite their differences and conflicting opinions, they make an excellent odd-couple duo. Lee’s composed and highly skilled nature is balanced out by Carter’s quick-witted and knowledgeable approach to local matters. Their contrasting personalities result in plenty of laughter, and whenever the pace slows down, the movie spices things up with some unforgettable fight scenes.

8. Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde
Legally Blonde kicks off with a tough blow for our main character, Elle Woods (played by Reese Witherspoon). Instead of getting the marriage proposal she anticipated from her boyfriend Warner Huntington III (played by Matthew Davis), he unexpectedly breaks up with her, claiming she isn’t serious enough to fit into his future political aspirations. Determined to prove him wrong, Elle takes the LSAT and enrolls in Harvard Law School, hoping to win back his heart.

Elle’s passion for fashion and her vibrant Southern California personality make her stand out in the Ivy League environment, where many assume she’s not intelligent solely based on her appearance. Through sheer determination and hard work, Elle proves herself to be just as brilliant as her peers – if not even smarter. In fact, she impresses everyone when she plays a crucial role in winning a significant homicide defense case. Along the way, she also realizes that she doesn’t need Warner’s validation to feel worthy. Elle discovers a newfound passion for the law, all while rocking her signature pink outfits.

9. Doc Hollywood

Doc Hollywood
Doc Hollywood tells the tale of Ben Stone, a young plastic surgeon portrayed by Michael J. Fox. While en route to a job interview in Beverly Hills, Ben accidentally crashes his car in a small South Carolina town. Unfortunately, his misfortune doesn’t end there. The fence he damages happens to belong to a local judge who insists that Ben make amends by working at the town’s medical clinic as community service.

Stuck in Grady, SC, Ben gradually becomes acquainted with the locals and starts to settle into the rhythm of life there. He engages in conversations with the townspeople and even earns the respect of the older local doctor, who initially doubted his abilities. Ben’s quick thinking saves the doctor’s life during a heart attack scare. Although it’s not the glamorous existence Ben had envisioned, he finds himself growing attached to his newfound friends. When the time comes for him to head back to Los Angeles, he realizes that he genuinely misses the people of Grady.

In a heartwarming twist, Ben decides to leave his old dreams behind and return to Grady, fully embracing his role as a valued member of the community. This unexpected detour turns out to be a life-changing experience for him.

10. Splash

Splash is a movie that takes the concept of a fish out of water story quite literally. It revolves around the journey of Allen Bauer (played by Tom Hanks) who encounters a mermaid (portrayed by Daryl Hannah) and is saved from drowning by her. Initially, Allen is uncertain about whether the experience is real. However, things take an interesting turn when the mermaid tracks him down in New York and Allen finds himself responsible for her well-being on land.

On land, the mermaid is able to walk on two legs but struggles with speaking human language. Her initial attempts at communication result in a dolphin-like squeak that can shatter glass. In need of an English name, she settles on the nickname “Madison” and explains that she can only stay on land for six days before losing her ability to return to her underwater home. As Allen develops feelings for Madison, he must protect her from scientists who are eager to study her. Additionally, he must navigate the challenges of being in a relationship with someone from a completely different world.

In the end, Allen finds himself becoming the “fish out of water” when he decides to follow Madison back to her underwater kingdom, leaving behind his life on land.

Emma Isabella
Emma Isabella
Emma is a regular contributor to WhatsNewNetflix. She likes delving into the world of Netflix TV shows as well as studying films, especially comedies.


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