Make me laugh: 5 worldwide comedies you don’t want to miss at SIFF

Be watching hilarious global comedies at SIFF this year. (Courtesy photo)
Be watching hilarious global comedies at SIFF this year. (Courtesy photo)

The 25-day Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) will be opening and closing with big comedies this year, as well as filling a number of nights with hilarity and whimsical entertainment.

It fits perfectly with SIFF’s goal of providing exposure to different cultures.

This year’s film festival, starting today (5/14) and running through the June 7th, aims to create “experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world” in order to “foster a community that is more informed, aware, and alive.”

“Humor has both very universal and incredibly specific aspects — it’s a bridge between different cultures or a window onto unfamiliar ones,” wrote Beth Barrett, SIFF’s Director of Programming, in an email. “When we can laugh about things together, we can connect and understand each other better.”

So, without further ado, here’s your official list of five of the funniest international flicks you can’t miss at this year’s film festival:

1) Temporary Family

Playing May 20th and 22nd, this Hong Kong comedy centers around a real estate agent who invests money in a luxury flat with three strangers in order to convince his girlfriend to finally marry him. Of course, with such a foolproof plan, nothing stands in the way of him tying the knot.

2) The Farewell Party

Playing May 15th and 21st, Barret describes this film as both “hilarious and provocative.” A perhaps darker-themed comedy, The Farewell Party revolves around a group of Israelis in a retirement home who develop a self-euthanasia machine to help a friend, but encounter trouble when it gains popularity.

3) Meet the Patels

Playing May 29th and 30th, this film bridges the cultures of India and Western matchmaking in a comedy about an Indian-American man who has given up on dating and allows his parents to arrange something for him. Certainly everything will work out perfectly . . .

4) Seoul Searching

Playing May 15th, 16th, and 20th, this film is a “John Hughes-style comedy in South Korea,” says Barrett.  It explores cultural identity at a Korean teen summer camp in that memorable 80’s-high-school-flick lens.

5) Where I Am King

Playing May 19th, 23rd, and 27th, this bittersweet Filipino comedy revolves around a man on the edge of bankruptcy who returns to Manila with his grandkids in hopes of toughening them up, but finds out the reality doesn’t quite match up with his memories.

While these five may standout, the festival will feature a vast list of others that can fit any taste — from the Wallace and Gromit British humor of Shaun the Sheep to the American slapstick of SIFF’s May 14th opener, Spy.

“With the huge range of comedies playing during our 25-day festival, it’s hard to pick favorites,” Barrett writes.