Best in class

It might be irreverent to say it in this movie awards season, and I might just be a minority of one, but I wish they’d bring back the American Comedy Awards.

Everything that can be said about Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards has been said, by those far more in the know than I. To prove how out of touch I am, my favorite movies (drama and comedy) of the last two years didn’t receive significant mention; this is shaping up to be the third. Gran Torino in 2008 and Pirate Radio in 2009 went un-hyped. This year, one of my faves, Get Low, which featured one of Robert Duvall’s best acting performances to date, hasn’t really even been mentioned. Maybe Oscar will take notice.

What really baffles me about the Golden Globes is the make-up of their “Musical or Comedy” category and, specifically, why The Kids Are All Right was deemed a comedy. I watched it yesterday and didn’t laugh once, and wondered if there was simply a shortage of comedies and musicals and it just got stuffed in there for balance. I liked the movie well enough, and agreed that both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore deserved nominations for their acting, but can’t for the life of me understand the comedy designation.

Comedies don’t typically get serious nods during award season anyway. They’re often too raunchy for serious consideration. It seems that good comedies are rarer each year. Perhaps, rather than lump them in awkwardly with movies like The Kids Are Alright, comedies should have awards all their own. The question is: are there enough good ones?

I’d think that anyone with a bit of smarts and a working funny bone would enjoy two hours in a theater laughing until the tears flow—without toilet jokes,  off-color ethnic jabs or in-your-face genital humor.

In 2001, the year in which the American Comedy Awards were last held, Best in Show, perhaps the best of director Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries, took Funniest Motion Picture, Funniest Supporting Actor (Fred Willard) and Funniest Supporting Actress (Catherine O’Hara). It’s hard to find better comedy than that.

Word has it that MTV and Comedy Central are starting new comedy awards to air this April. I hear many comedic greats are involved, including Phil Rosenthal of Everybody Loves Raymond. This gives me hope that a void will be filled.

Otherwise, with no serious award to strive for, what’s the incentive to make a good comedy any more, except to entertain a country and a world in desperate need of intelligent humor?

2 Comments

Filed under Movies, Television and Radio

2 responses to “Best in class

  1. Thank you for this. I agree about The Kids Are Alright. My grown daughters won’t watch most comedies with us. They’re uncomfortable with the raunchiness and crudity. Thank goodness for Pixar and Disney.

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