Colin Firth and Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones: The Edge of ReasonBRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON

I have a friend who does a bit based on a seminal Laverne & Shirley gag. In nearly every episode of that sitcom, one of the titular characters would say, "There's no way this situation could get worse!" or "What's that smell?" and Lenny and Squiggy would cluelessly burst through Laverne's and Shirley's door; if someone around us says something like "That's the ugliest thing I've ever seen!" my friend will mime a door opening and exclaim, with perfect greaser-nerd cadence, "Hello!" That gag is pure sitcom-honed irony - that is, obvious irony - and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, the follow-up to 2001's Bridget Jones's Diary, is like a continuous loop of that Lenny and Squiggy routine.

President George W. Bush in Fahrenheit 9/11FAHRENHEIT 9/11

I have several friends, including professed liberals, who can't stand Michael Moore, and it's not hard to see why: Even if you're on-board with Moore's politics, his glibness, bullying tactics, self-promotion, relentless simplifying, and anything-for-a-laugh gags can get in the way of his Bigger Picture, to the point where his methods overcome his message.

Tom Hanks in Cast AwayCAST AWAY

In Cast Away, Robert Zemeckis' most fully satisfying work in ages, Tom Hanks stars as Chuck Noland, a FedEx engineer for whom the world can't move fast enough; he's obsessed with time-saving, whether it be with associates in Moscow or friends at home. Before boarding a plane for a business conference, he even goes so far as to give his girlfriend (Helen Hunt) a wrapped engagement ring, instructing her to open it when he returns. (He saves lead-in time on its actual presentation.) But somewhere over the Pacific, the plane crashes (in one of cinema's most terrifying airplane disasters), and Chuck is washed up on a deserted island with little hope of escape or rescue; suddenly, he has all the time in the world, and the film, which had previously been lightning quick, slows down to a crawl.