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Sunday, March 4, 2012

An Original Comedic Debate

What was the best comedy of the year? First, you'd have to specify what kind of comedy. For instance, Midnight in Paris was a lighter-than-air, witty comedy (a sensational one, at that), and Horrible Bosses was a "raunchy", inappropriate comedy (a hilarious one, at that). For the sake of this post, I'll ask you to direct your thoughts toward the latter kind, as that is the genre I'll be referring to.
So, I ask you again: What was the best comedy of the year? My answer to this would be just what I mentioned above, Horrible Bosses. The dark comedy had all the elements to make it an enjoyably funny picture: an outstanding cast, as well as casting job, an interesting if not original plot, and the ideal humor and joke timing. What I mean by the last reason is that the writers did not stretch a funny joke into a long, no-longer-funny one. Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day are the perfect comic trio--seriously, I've never been in such a situation where I find all three guys hilarious and genuinely good actors. They have such a great chemistry, and it is believable that they're friends in real life, also. (I like to have that image in my mind, that all actors truly get together in reality to have a friendly cup of coffee, or even a nice, long lunch.) The villains of the film are equally amazing, if not more. Kevin Spacey, as the egotistical psycho, was expectantly great, though I wished to see someone who hasn't mastered this role before (Swimming with the Sharks). Colin Farrell is truly disgusting as the complete douche bag who takes over after his father passes away (defining quote: "You can fire Professor Xavier. He's roaming around all day in his special little secret chair. I know he's up to something.") Jennifer Aniston is, by far, the most surprising and entertaining part of the movie, playing a sexually violent dentist, which is so uncharacteristic of the actress. And that she pulled it off, well I might add, is even more impressive. The plot: all three friends scheme to kill one another's boss. Overall, an incredibly refreshing, hilarious movie. Many people have called this movie "completely unoriginal". Now, I ask those people, what other movie has there been a plot such as this, where friends plan to murder each other's bosses. Maybe wish they were dead, but never actually confront a contract killer for guidance and go through with it. (I am not insinuating that they killed their bosses, that's for you to find out with this enormously funny film.)

Well, that's my choice for funniest comedy of the year. Most people would merely nod, saying they thought it was okay, but nothing compared to the "true best comedy of last year". Which movie am I hinting at? Bridesmaids. The movie that was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The movie that is considered to be female comic actresses' entrance to real comedies. Believe me, there are many female actresses who are funny, and they are participating in movies all the time. The public just doesn't notice them, evidently. Plus, the whole "female-driven comedy" title being tossed around in nearly every article regarding the film is exhausting. Really, it was not the first successful one, or even good one. I'll use Sex and the City as an example: I'm not saying that series is intentionally funny or great, but it was a major success and still is. Sure, it's a television show, different from movies, but...is it all that different, really? But let me return to the whole Oscar debacle. (Debacle?) Once more, Bridesmaids was nominated for not only Best Original Screenplay, but Melissa McCarthy nabbed a nomination, as well. And you all know my opinion on that occurrence. Best Original Screenplay. Original being the key word, I assume. Well, in all honesty, Bridesmaids was not that ground-breaking. In fact, it was very predictable, familiar, and even corny at times. When a movie is familiar, it automatically removes its chances of being nominated for Best Original Screenplay, for a movie requires to be fresh, different, or from the mind of Woody Allen. Thankfully, the only chances of winning were Woody Allen himself for Midnight in Paris (who won) and Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist, two incredibly unique and entertaining films. As much as I love Kristen Wiig, I really disagreed with her being nominated there, for a movie that really disappointed me since I like her so much. (Rest assured, I still enjoy Kristen Wiig in other comedic roles.) Also, a movie like Bridesmaids is really out-of-place at the Academy Awards, considering it was filled with "raunchy" humor and (sorry, but) shitting in sinks. Don't get me wrong, I found that scene to be amusing, despite my apparent opposition to it; it's simply that it has no seat at the Oscars, I think. And let's say for a moment that the Academy should nominate movies such as these, "raunchy" and the like, then they have overlooked a much more original candidate.

Two years ago, the winner for Best Comedy/Musical resonated throughout Hollywood and audiences everywhere. It was extremely original, hilarious, and something I've never really encountered. That movie, ladies and gentlemen, is The Hangover. During that year's awards season, when The Hurt Locker dominated and Avatar made a box-office record, I had a little hope that The Hangover would be recognized for its sheer originality and shock-value. It was the perfect nominee, especially considering that the much-less unique Bridesmaids scored a nomination this year for that very category. Many even compare both movies to one another, calling Bridesmaids the "female Hangover". Those who loved the film vehemently disagree with this claim, calling it a movie that is hilarious on its own. I, also, disagree, though for a different reason. One, the ladies never even went to Las Vegas to get drunk. Mainly, however, Bridesmaids did not, on any level, surprise me nor did it entertain me as much as The Hangover did. The only surprise of Bridesmaids was that I didn't like it. With all this pointed out, I ask, why was The Hangover shunned by the Academy, being called too inappropriate, when Bridesmaids was honored for their supposed-individuality? When putting both movies up beside each other, in comparison, the male-driven Hangover clearly triumphs over the female-driven, so-called revolutionary Bridesmaids.

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