Dostoevsky once stated that sarcasm was the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded. Wilde, however, considered it the lowest form of wit-or was he just being sarcastic?
The Oxford Dictionary defines sarcasm as the use of irony to mock or convey contempt though, the online Urban Dictionary adds that people who are sarcastic usually annoy the hell out of everyone.
So what of sarcasm and the movies?
Well, as the following list will show, certain characters exude a rasping, ironic type of wit. Whats more, they are absolutely hilarious-fully-formed, multi-dimensional characters who leap of out the screen and treat the viewer to howling gags and hilarious witticisms.
Some may take umbrage with these selections and there are some characters who only use sarcasm as part of a wide repertoire of types of wit; the simple sarcastic reply sitting neatly alongside burlesque, blue, deadpan, droll, farcical, mordant, screwball and self-deprecating forms of humour. But the sarcasm is there.
Rather than isolate sarcasm as a comic trope entirely, the following selection should be seen as the funniest film characters who use a significant amount of sarcasm in their wider arsenal of derision and jest.