Download the funniest film screenplays here for free
We’re headed back to the inspiration station for another weekly installment of the best screenplays available to download for free. As we always say, the simplest way to learn about the craft is from the work of other screenwriters.
There are endless sources of inspiration that can be found by studying and analysing the traits and stylistic techniques of your favorite artists, helping you to fine-tune your script and discover new ways to make it stand out from the crowd.
We’ve compiled a list of some of Hollywood’s humorous classics so you can take your own personal masterclass to brush up on how to bring the funnies. Without further ado, let’s dig in!
Screenplay by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig
Whether you love this film or you loathe it, there’s no denying funny gals Annie Mumolo (Bad Moms) & Kristen Wiig (The Skeleton Twins) broke new ground with their raunchy gag fest that presents female characters who indulge in humor that was previously saved for the dudes.
But what really cuts this screenplay above the rest is the way it interweaves light comedy, wicked mischief, and heartfelt moments with a lead character who is both vulnerable and strong, culminating in a movie that is as funny as it is tender.
Mean Girls (2004)
Screenplay by Tina Fey
Tina Fey’s (30 Rock) groundbreaking snarky teen comedy about female high school social cliques and the damaging effects they can have on girls is as relevant and funny now as it was back then, held together with illuminating performances from Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) and Lindsay Lohan (The Parent Trap).
Fey’s screenplay is a masterclass in how to be smart, funny, and unique with your writing, coining such iconic quotes as “you can’t sit with us” and (dare we say it) “I can’t help it if I’ve got a heavy flow and a wide-set vagina.” When the world is still throwing out lines from your script ten years later, you know you’ve made a classic.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
Screenplay by John Hughes
While Planes, Trains & Automobiles is by no means director John Hughes’s (The Breakfast Club) most celebrated flick, there’s a lot to be learned from the screenplay of this hilarious Steve Martin (The Jerk) / John Candy (Uncle Buck) double duo hit. As Script Reader Pro put it, “Essential reading if you’re writing a comedy road trip movie, or any comedy for that matter.”
Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor
Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man), Thomas Haden Church (Tombstone), and Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) star in this middle-aged road movie about two guys who take a long trip through California’s wine country before one of them ties the knot.
A great example of how to convert a novel into a big-screen comedy, Alexander Payne (Nebraska) & Jim Taylor’s (Election) adaptation takes essential moments from the book and incorporates dangerous levels of snark to create a wickedly dark comedy full of middle-aged angst.
Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
Screenplay by Zach Helm
In this gloriously unique story starring Will Ferrell (Anchorman) as a man whose life becomes entangled (literally) within the narrative of a writer’s tragedy novel, Zach Helm (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium) cleverly crafts a book within a screenplay that manages to be tender, tragic, heartfelt, and hilarious, all in one.
Per Empire, “It might be Charlie Kaufman-lite, but this is a great date movie for the discerning — smart, ingenious, and heartwarming.”
There’s Something About Mary (1998)
Screenplay by Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, John J. Strauss, and Ed Decter
In the case of the Farrelly brothers’ peak 90s hit, it appears four heads were better than one to helm the screenplay for the laugh-a-minute romcom. One of the things many budding comedy writers forget to do is add set pieces to their screenplays, noted Script Writer Pro.
“From Ted (Ben Stiller) picking Mary (Cameron Diaz) up for prom, to getting arrested for cruising, read this script and learn how to elevate a simple situation into a big comedic set piece.”