Over at The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Feinberg has opened up the floor to wondering which films will be campaigning in the “Comedy/Musical” category at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.
Obviously the majority of the films that make the cut aren’t actually comedies, let alone musicals, but it’s not like the esteemed Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) still utilizes the category so they can include the likes of fan favorites such as We’re the Millers, This is the End or The Heat. Hell, Feinberg doesn’t even mention critical favorites The Way, Way Back or The Kings of Summer, which a case could be made for… not a strong case, but a case. Instead he takes a direct look at obvious dramas that could be wedged into the category with a crowbar.
Of the films he lists that I’ve seen and challenge anyone convince me they are a comedy are August: Osage County, Before Midnight, Blue Jasmine, Frances Ha and Nebraska. I’ll just barely cede Philomena and am satisfied conceding Inside Llewyn Davis as a musical.
Then he adds unseen films to the list of possibilities including American Hustle (huh?), The Monuments Men (I can see this), Saving Mr. Banks (come on), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (does quirky count as comedy if it’s not Wes Anderson?) and The Wolf of Wall Street, which is clearly being sold as a black comedy, so that makes sense.
Of course, we must remember we’re talking about an organization that considered The Kids Are All Right, My Week with Marilyn, Hyde Park on Hudson and Hope Springs comedies in recent years. Admittedly, the category isn’t always a situation where category fraud is in place, it’s largely a problem with the limits of calling a film either a drama or a comedy/musical.
Instead of “Comedy/Musical” just call it “Everything Else”. Because I don’t see how films such as Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds, The King’s Speech or even The Departed aren’t also comedies based on the usage of the descriptor. I know I laughed a lot more in those films than I did in say Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Tourist, Red and It’s Complicated. So just call it “Everything Else” and get on with it.