I really like this year’s Golden Globe nominations. For the first time in a long time, I feel that the quality of films in the Drama categories rival those in the Musical or Comedy categories. But when I gave the nominations a closer look, I was stunned to find Julie Delpy’s fiery and fearless performance in Before Midnight as one in contention for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. In my opinion, Before Midnight was in no way a comedy (and obviously not a musical) so as I was wrapping my head around Delpy’s nomination, I tried to remember other films wrongly placed in the Golden Globes’ Musical of Comedy categories. Here’s what I came up with.
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
Nominated for: Best Motion Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Actor
Woody Allen always manages to sneak a few laughs into his films, even the melodramatic ones (Brian Cox cracks me up in Match Point, for example), but The Purple Rose of Cairo is far from being a universally funny film. In fact, the final scene of this picture is arguably the most melancholic scene of Allen’s career.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Nominated for: Best Actor
Sure, the spectacular macabre of Tim Burton’s style is aesthetically amusing, but Edward Scissorhands… a comedy? Come on now.
Batman (1989) / True Lies (1994) / The Mask of Zorro (1998)
Nominated for: Best Actor/Best Actress/Best Motion Picture, Best Actor
These are few films under the oh-it’s-an-action-movie-with-a-few-laughs-so-we’ll-put-it-in-the-comedy-category category.
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
Nominated for: Best Motion Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor
Granted, I haven’t seen this film in quite some time, but beyond a few mild chuckles, I don’t recall Driving Miss Daisy being funny in the slightest.
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Nominated for: Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor
Jerry Maguire is a frequently amusing, routinely inspiring, consistently heart warming film that I would never dream of calling a comedy.
Man on the Moon (1999)
Nominated for: Best Motion Picture, Best Actor
A movie about a comedian doesn’t necessarily make that movie a comedy. Perhaps Jim Carrey said it best when he accepted his Best Actor Golden Globe for the film: “I was a little shocked that it was in the Comedy or Musical category, but, you know, I’ll go with it.”
The Tourist (2010) / Love and Other Drugs (2011) / My Week with Marilyn (2011)
Nominated for: Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress/Best Actor, Best Actress/Best Motion Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor
And these belong in the we-didn’t-like-enough-real-comedies-this-year-so-let’s-put-these-random-films-in-the-comedy-category category.
Before Midnight (2013)
Nominated for: Best Actress
Does Before Midnight have a few humorous and amusing moments? Sure. But the final act of this film presented one of the most gut wrenching domestic arguments I’ve ever seen. I laughed more in Blue Jasmine (which is nominated in the Best Actress Drama category this year) than Before Midnight.
Lost in Translation (2003) / Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) / The Squid and the Whale (2005)
I’m placing these films last because they toe the line of comedy and drama. I laugh out loud every time I watch these films, but I still wouldn’t consider them comedies. I suppose my argument for all of the films I’ve listed in this post is that, more often than not, I feel like the films that do toe the line are instinctually thrown in the Musical and Comedy group as a way of giving those categories more prestige. But who knows. I don’t make the rules, I just try to understand them.