Friday, January 15, 2016

The Golden Globes and Comedy: What's Up With That?

Is "The Martian" really 2015's funniest movie? We sure as hell don't think so.

At the Golden Globes a few night ago, we saw numerous nominations for films in the comedy/musical category that were simply not comedies. This is not the first year this has happened, either: remember when "The Tourist" got  best comedy nods just a few years ago? People lost their minds. Just because a film contains a witty remark or two, or a couple laughs here and there doesn't make it a comedy. It seems now, the comedy category has become a place for overflow, films that didn't quite make the cut in the drama categories, but apparently deserved to be put elsewhere regardless of their actual genres. Dramatic films or performances that weren't quite good enough to make the drama category overflow to the comedic category and take potential awards away from films that already never get recognition at most major award ceremonies. Comedies are notoriously absent from the Oscars, according to, though this wasn't always the case.

There seems to be two groups of people online: those who think "The Martian" is not a comedy, and those who are dead wrong. Despite having a perpetually optimistic, witty protagonist, the fan and critic favorite sci-fi survival flick may have made big time bucks in 2015, but it's still not a comedy. "Joy" has hardly any humor at all and is a dramatic biopic about a woman who invented a mop, yet it was still nominated as a comedy. Cartoonishly villainous characters don't make a movie funny, and smart-ass retorts from the real life actress playing a part in this movie don't count towards the film's overall humor. "The Big Short" is a dramatic film about the housing crisis, and while there is definitely some dark humor to be found here, it's still not really a comedy.

Spoiler alert: Jennifer Lawrence won a Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy/musical this past weekend, and Matt Damon and his space movie won both the best actor in a comedy/musical trophy and the award for best motion picture musical or comedy, passing up actual funny pictures like the surprising "Spy," starring Melissa McCarthy, and "Trainwreck," starring Jennifer Lawrence's real life bestie Amy Schumer. Both "Joy" and "The Martian" were meant to be inspirational dramas. To dub a dramatic film like "The Martian" "humorous," or to showcase performances like those from Lawrence and Damon as comedic is not only insulting to the comedy genre and comedic actors, but it should be an insult to the film itself and the actors meaning to deliver dramatic performances within them. If the best a drama can do is make you laugh, then it wholly failed in its purpose. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "drama" as: "a play, movie, or television production with a serious tone or subject." Boom.

2015 had a huge amount of great films, many of which were not recognized at award shows like the Golden Globes. We understand how hard it is to pick only a couple of movies each year to fill an exclusive list of the best of the best. It's tough when there are new films coming out every week. But, when push comes to shove, movies should be placed properly where they fit in genre-specific awards shows and shouldn't be relegated to simply overflow...we hate to say it, but that means your movie just wasn't good enough to make the final cut elsewhere. In short, go to hell, Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Your awards don't mean dick, especially since there have been several accusations throughout the last decade that you are bribed by stars and studios (<--- read this article at to see what we mean).

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