This is the only pure comedy I have on my list, and I find that it's rare for a comedy to make a lasting impression on me. I think this is because since a comedy's primary intention is to make you laugh, any purpose, meaning, or message isn't as important and tends to be a weaker aspect of the film. There is nothing wrong with this of course, but it is a big reason why I rarely give a five star rating to a comedy. Holy Grail deserves five stars though. I first saw this movie over a decade ago and like many young dorks I ended up quoting way too much of it way too often. But it's easy to see why the movie is so quotable. Besides being genuinely funny, Holy Grail is really just a bunch of skits put together to tell a story. In fact, nearly every scene in the film could exist on its own as a comedy skit, and funny skits are easily quotable. So line after line of Holy Grail gets passed around by geeky people everywhere, to the point where even if you haven't seen the movie you have probably heard a line from it. It's overexposure has diminished the film's impact a bit, but I just saw it again a few months ago and it still makes me laugh. It was probably the 20th time I have seen it. And when I consider that I wouldn't care to watch most comedy films twice, that's really saying something.
But why do I consider this my favorite comedy? First, the film devotes itself to comedy and nothing else. Remember how I mentioned earlier that in comedies the message tends to suffer? Well there is no message here, no lesson for you to learn. It's just funny. Also, I think that because the film is really just one skit after the other it gives each scene more humorous opportunities than most films. Holy Grail never feels like the story is the priority. Instead, it flows like Monty Python were writing one skit after the other. So the story never gets in the way of the humor, but goes where the humor needs it to go. I think this is a major reason why it's my favorite comedy.
I won't get into individual parts of the film, because I could type forever about coconuts and black knights and killer bunnies, but I will say that I love how as soon as the credits start the humor does as well. Also, I love how we find out early on that the film is really taking place in present day. Oh, the absurdity! I will also say that I'm not really a huge Monty Python fan in general. Don't get me wrong, some of their skits are hilarious, but sometimes they can be hit or miss with me. I was also a bit disappointed with Life of Brian. That film felt far more story based, and I rarely found myself laughing. I have sadly still never seen Meaning of Life though. Gonna go put that on my to-do list.