Sometimes you just need a good laugh, and a cozy night in spent with a stack of movies that will make you laugh is often the absolute best way to get one. According to evolutionary psychologist Robert Dunbar, Ph.D., laughing actually triggers an increase in endorphins in our bodies, meaning laughing literally has the power to make us feel good. So a solid comedy really could be just the cure for a rough week or a stressful day at the office.
But then there's the question of what to watch. There's always the classic staples, like Mean Girls or Wedding Crashers. Everyone knows they're hilarious — and you've probably already seen them 100 times. That's why I actually recommend these hilarious movies that are usually dismissed because of poor ratings or reviews. These are the ones that never get any love from the critics, but will still always make you laugh. In my opinion, the only thing you need to judge if a movie is awesome or not is if it makes you laugh. And these definitely will.
So without further ado, here's a list of movies that might not be making it into any critic's pick lists, but that are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.
1. Just Friends
OK, I challenge anyone not to burst out laughing when they see Ryan Reynolds lip-syncing to an All-4-One song in the opening scene of this movie. I'm laughing right now just thinking about it.
2. The House Bunny
While this movie only has a 42 percent critic's score on Rotten Tomatoes, every single member of my family was laughing out loud when we saw it in theaters. Anna Faris seriously nails it as the kind-hearted ex-Playboy bunny just trying to find a place in this world. Not to mention there are supporting performances by Kat Dennings, Colin Hanks, and Oscar-nominee Emma Stone.
3. 17 Again
It seems a ton of people missed 2007's 17 Again, and it's a shame, because Zac Efron was pitch perfect. The best part, IMHO? When Zefron (playing a 40-year-old man who has woken up in his 17-year-old body) awkwardly tries to give his teenage daughter a sex talk when she has no idea who he really is.
4. Wet Hot American Summer
If a movie ever proved that the power is with the people, it's 2001's Wet Hot American Summer. This cult-favorite was absolutely panned by critics when it was first released, and has since grown to legendary comedic proportions. Even now, after popular demand led to an entire Netflix series, its critic score on Rotten Tomatoes is a lowly 32 percent.
5. Saving Silverman
Even though Roger Ebert gave this one a huge thumbs down, Saving Silverman is not-so-secretly one of my all-time favorite movies. It has hilarious performances by Steve Zahn, Jason Biggs, Amanda Pete, and the scene-stealing comedic tornado that is Jack Black; not to mention, there is a totally ridiculous but amazing ending that heavily features the one and only Neil Diamond.
6. The Hot Chick
Before Rachel McAdams was starring in movies like Mean Girls and The Notebook, she was playing Rob Schneider in the movie The Hot Chick (you'll see). This hilarious and oddly kind-hearted Happy-Madison Production deserves so much more than its measly 21 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
7. She's The Man
Say what you will about Amanda Bynes, but there is simply no denying that she was totally and completely hilarious as Viola/Sebastian in the Shakespeare-inspired She's The Man. Don't listen to the haters. This movie will make you laugh. End of story.
8. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Watching this movie is like stepping into a comforting, hilarious embrace from childhood. The fact that it has less than 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and was given an F by Entertainment Weekly literally boggles the mind. Did they even watch it?!
Who doesn't love Molly Shannon as the tree-kissing, arm-pit smelling underdog Mary Katherine Gallagher? Well, it seems like most movie reviewers, actually. Entertainment Weekly gave it a D, claiming it "barely boasts enough funny material to fill four minutes." Well I still know several people who replicated the choreographed Superstar dance at their proms. So there.
10. Empire Records
Empire Records isn't just hilarious — it's also extremely smart and even moving at times. It also has a huge critics versus viewer discrepancy on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics giving it a lowly 24 percent, while actual viewers rate it at 84 percent. The people have spoken: Empire Records is a modern-day classic.
11. Scary Movie 3
OK, I'm not saying that this movie deserves an Oscar. I'm not even saying it deserves more than its 36 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. I'm just saying you're going to get at least a few belly laughs when you watch it, and isn't that the point? Also, fun fact: This is the fourth movie Anna Faris has appeared in on this list. That probably merits some kind of award in and of itself.
So the next time you're in the mood for some laughter, consider watching one of these totally underrated, yet totally hilarious movies. And it's OK, you don't have to tell anyone.
Images: The House Bunny/Columbia Pictures; Giphy (10)