And a very few which manage to pull it off, and remain funny to virtually everyone, over a period of several years.
This John Cleese vehicle from the mid 1980s manages to fit into the latter category - it is simply such a very well crafted traditional comedy, that it is impossible not to be touched.
Here we see Cleese very much in Basil Fawlty mode, as an aspiring head-teacher for whom things just don't run smooth when it really matters.
The other classic elements of British Farce are there - major misunderstandings, people getting undresses, well-intentioned old ladies who say the wrong things at the wrong times, and of course Geoffrey Palmer as a straight man.
And just a touch of poignant surrealism in the way the final minute leading into the credits is played out, to offset the traditional production values.
It's straightforward, and unchallenging, and probably the best film about lateness ever made. High praise indeed, for something so mainstream.
I didn't find this to be all that funny.
Perhaps the closest John Cleese has come to portraying Basil Fawlty on the big screen, as a perfectionist headteacher on his way to a conference of his peers in this farcical comedy.
Things, of course, go from bad to worse, as he manages to miss his train (due to another of those "Left? Right!" misunderstandings), and as Cleeses character slowly crumbles under the pressure of making it on time.
Then it's a race against time to get to Norwich. As this comedy picks up pace it becomes very enjoyable....and there are a lot of mad old woman who should never have been released from the hospital. 163 miles later....
Sounds instantlty forgettable, yet it works really well.
'stimpsons supporters club?'