The 2004 film Saved! is primarily known for being a teen dramedy with compelling performances from Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin and Eva Amuri. However, in its subtle presentation, it is actually a parody of private schools, values, and rock bands within Christianity.
Some films can pull out the actor parity quite well, applying nuance in their execution over obvious and outrageous gags for shock value. Users of Reddit have spoken about which films were such seamless parodies that they were fooled over their exact genre.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
Streaming on Pluto TV
For most of This Is Spinal Tap, Redditor d2022m thought “Spinal Tap was a real band”. Rob Reiner’s 1984 directorial debut revolves around a fictional British hair metal band and their struggles and attempts to return to musical prominence.
A combination of zany humor, impressive casting, and 80s nostalgia has earned the satire cult classic status. This Is Spinal Tap became a landmark in the way of mockumentary film continuously refined by lead actors Christopher Guest and Michael McKean over the years. The film is also a nod to popular rock bands of the 1980s such as Motley Crüe and Poison.
Streaming on Paramount+
Reddit user avwgtiguy fels that Zoolander is an accurate parody, having “worked at a few fashion magazines and its pretty dead on”. A highly rewatachable 2000s comedy, Zoolander centers on the antics of male model Derek Zoolander, played by the film’s director Ben Stiller.
Through several comedic tropes and a glitzy appearance of couture and celebrity, Zoolander perfectly parodies the haute world of fashion. The movie proved to be ahead of its time, with Derek Zoolander’s “Blue Steel” gaze being the face of an entire generation, paving the way for selfie culture.
A Deadly Adoption (2015)
Unavailable To Stream
Reddit user ragputiand selected “The Lifetime movie, A Deadly Adoption“. Although a TV movie, A Deadly Adoption had audiences convinced that it was a legitimate drama over an actual parody.
In a thriller and family drama approach, A Deadly Adoption neatly pokes fun at the often cheesy and melodramatic tropes better ratings gold for Lifetime and Hallmark, all the while having a meaningful storyline. Having SNL alum’s Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig in the lead roles is a cherry on this campy parody sundae.
American Psycho (2000)
Streaming on HBOMax
“American Psycho” was Reddit user joe4656‘s selection for a film that is a veiled parody. The 2000 horror film is adapted from the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis book of the same title.
More commonly known as satire, it is through satirical methods that American Psycho is able to be a nuanced parody, with British actor Christian Bale’s flawless performance as Patrick Bateman perfecting the story. The film blends horror and black comedy all the while parodying slasher films, 80s living and the rise of yuppie culture.
Team America: World Police (2004)
Available To Rent On Amazon Prime Video
Reddit user wakka55 thinks that Team America: World Police is “an anthem to America’s badassery”. One of the 2000s’ best action comedies, Team America is the brainchild of South Park creators and comedic geniuses Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
As the story of Team America: World Police can border on obscene, the outrageous events pulled audiences into the story rather than deterring the attention elsewhere, tied together with its effects and humor. Stone and Parker bring the raunchy comedy of politics and celebrities to life through the use of adult puppets.
Streaming on STARZ
“Scream” was this Reddit user‘s choice for a seamless parody. The 1996 film was directed by horror king Wes Craven, proving to be an instant success and spawning a multiple-film franchise, as well as being the focus of television series on MTV and Paramount+.
In its execution of jump scares and body counts, Scream acts as a nuanced parody with elements of dark comedy. The film not only makes fun of 80s horror movies but manages to smoothly integrate melodramatic teen moments as well.
Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
Streaming on STARZ
Adapted from characters within the Archie Comics universe, Josie and the Pussycats is an underrated little gem. Reddit user marblerye6 thinks that “it took most people well over a decade to finally get it”.
Josie and the Pussycats is more than a comic book adaptation. Laced in pop culture, awesome songs, and wacky comedic timing, the movie has stood the test of time. With its vibrant colors and array of product placement, the film personified the Y2K aesthetic, pulling off the art of parody in the process.
Om Shanti Om (2007)
Streaming on Netflix
Om Shanti Om was Redditor Priority-Rich‘s pick for a parody that fooled audiences, loving how it “tastefully pokes fun at every classic Bollywood trope”. The 2007 musical marks the debut of Bollywood queen Deepika Padukone in a double role.
Directed by legendary choreographer Farah Khan, Om Shanti Om is a dazzling Bollywood dream. Combining supernatural, comedic, and romantic elements flesh out the film’s story while parodying the Hindi film industry with melodramatic moments and top Bollywood cameos. Through Manish Malhotra’s styling and fantastic musical numbers, Om Shanti Om is worthy of a Hollywood adaptation, alongside the parody rom-com I Hate Luv Storys.
Streaming on Netflix
Clueless is one of the best makeover movies, with Redditor _floydian_slip saying “it is really well written and not just a dumb teen girl movie”. The 1995 teen comedy is adapted from Jane Austen’s novel Emma, revolving around Beverly Hills princess Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone).
Similar to Josie and the Pussycats, Clueless is a love letter to the decade of its inception. Amy Heckerling seamlessly blended the grunge and glam that defined the 90s, topped off with Mona May’s fabulous costumes. The high school/rich girl stereotypes are tastefully parodied while supporting nuanced storylines and multidimensional characters.
Streaming on HBOMax
Reddit user Diogenes81 thinks Borat is a convincing parody, “considering they fooled so many people that participated in the show/doc”. The 2006 black comedy is the feature film debut of Sacha Baron Cohen’s character Borat Sagdiyevfrom his comedy sketch series Da Ali G Show.
Similar to This is Spinal Tap, Borat is a pioneer of the mockumentary genre. Not only were the participants in the movie bamboozled, but Borat continues to pull of the nature of parodying politics and pop culture in 2020’s Borat 2.
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