50 Greatest Comedies of the 21st Century

From rom-coms to raunch-coms, 'Anchorman' to 'Wet Hot American Summer' – the funniest movies of the new millennium so far

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'Adaptation' (2002)
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34. 'Adaptation' (2002)

An "adaptation" of New Yorker writer Susan Orlean's book about a true life Floridian flower thief, one starring Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Nicolas Cage, doesn't naturally suggest comedy ... except for the fact that it was written by the era's great meta-fictional gag man, Charlie Kaufman. The neurotic genius turned an ill-fitting gig into a hilariously self-incriminating vivisection of the movie business, with Cage playing both Charlie and his less scrupulous brother (fictional but credited as a co-writer, because of course), absolutely straight – and still getting laughs through fidelity to Kaufman's rapid-fire self-owning. It proved that an aggressively smart, formally disorienting movie could still let everyone in on the joke. EH

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