Comedy is what Billy Crystal seems to be made for and it’s what has sustained him for the length of his career to this point. While some people don’t care for his brand of comedy many have loved it for years and continue to love seeing him light up the screen, be it big or small. Along with his strong New Yorker accent he also has a great deal of material that seems kind of snide at times and deprecating at others no matter if the humor is turned inward or focused on someone else. The whole point of his humor though is that it’s not apologetic and it does serve to entertain in a way that is kind of a ‘take it or leave it’ mentality. Some people like this, others don’t. But in an era where thick skin is becoming less and less prominent he’s one of those old-school comics that is far more popular with those of us that grew up with this kind of comedy than those that didn’t. He’s a great comedian though, without reservation.
Here are a few of his best movies.
5. Memories of Me
Abbie and his father Abe simply don’t get along for reasons that only the two of them understand. While Abbie is a successful doctor Abe is a film extra that acts as though he’s a big shot and continually frustrates his on. Abbie’s love interest however, Lisa, does what she can in order to get Abe and Abbie to finally reconnect, which is in effect like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. The two men are so different that just getting them to speak to one another is like expecting water to refuse to boil over a burning stove. One way or another they simply grate on each other in some way and just can’t stand each other for a long period of time.
4. Running Scared
When two cops have such a stellar record as Ray and Danny you’d think a mistake here and there would be able to be overlooked. But then again this is the police force and such mistakes aren’t easy to forgive, so when they’re sent on vacation they decide to think about retiring. Upon returning and being forced to train their replacements however they eventually have to go after a drug dealer that they originally busted and end up saving the lives of their replacements. Ultimately they decide not to retire since the police force seems to be where they belong and is better than doing nothing with their days.
3. Analyze This
Who would have thought that a mob boss would have the kind of stress that requires him to see a psychiatrist? That’s exactly what happens though and as you can guess the psychiatrist in question wants nothing to do with his new client, though he doesn’t have much of a choice he discovers. As he delves further and further into the mobster’s problems and life however he’s also sucked into the life by proxy and unfortunately this means that his life eventually becomes just as dangerous as the mobster’s. When he has to take the mobster’s place during a big meeting however it only gets more dangerous, and hilarious.
2. City Slickers
A lot of people go on vacation and put their feet up as they lay by the pool or go climb a mountain or perhaps go to a theme park. Three friends decide to go and rope cattle in an attempt to learn what it’s like to be real cowboys and end up discovering that it’s not as glamorous as it seems in the movies. From getting on the wrong side of the guy that will be leading them into the wilderness to being elbows deep in a cow giving birth Mitch and the guys come to find that cattle ranching is a serious and very dangerous job as well. It doesn’t help that two of the men leading them are less than trustworthy, but eventually things turn out just fine.
1. When Harry Met Sally
Harry is adamant about how men and women can’t be friends while Sally seems to think otherwise. It’s not exactly true but it could be if one is hung up enough about it when talking about how men and women can or can’t be friends. The idea that someone can get so worked up about the idea of wanting to sleep with every woman he talks to is a bit ludicrous but it’s convincing enough in this movie since that’s the main point of course. Harry is so serious about the idea of not being able to be friends with a woman that kind of sabotages a few attempts to be happy until he finally comes to realize that Sally is the woman for him.
Billy Crystal is a guy that you don’t take seriously but laugh at because he’s poking fun at serious ideas.