Writing not as an official film critic (if there is such a thing), nor as someone involved in the film industry, it may be hard to for some people to take this as anything more than a young man ranting behind a keyboard. But let me preface all of what I’m about to write by saying that I have been fascinated by comedy for many years. I love what it can do to a person and I love that it can be a vessel for many different things (political views, fart jokes, etc.)
Now, with all of that behind us, I want say something that will probably get me tarred and feathered when I walk of my apartment later today: The Hangover is NOT funny. I shied away from writing about this when it was first released, attributing its massive popularity to the fact that we really hadn’t seen a movie like it in a long time (Judd Apatow’s character-driven pieces have really been the genre’s focus over the past few years). In other words, I thought it was dumb, but harmless. Actually, I still think it’s dumb but harmless. The troubling thing is how people are reacting to it.
Last Sunday, The Hangover took Best Picture for a Comedy or Musical at The Golden Globes. Yes, you read that right.
Now everyone knows that the Globes are the bastard step-cousin of the Oscars and that two don’t have too much to do with one another. BUT sometimes they see each other at family reunions and start conversing about who should be nominated. This can spell trouble.
With ratings sinking further and further into the toilet over the past few years, the Oscars are in desperate need of a boost. And what’s the best way to do that? Nominate movies that the general public has seen and loves. Now The Hangover has no chance of winning Best Picture, that’s obvious. But with the amount of nominees expanding to ten this year, and heavy rumors circulating that The Hangover is on the members’ minds, I think my worst fears could be confirmed.
The main reason this troubles me is that this was a year that saw several genuinely original comedies being released. Right off the bat I can name two films that deserve some recognition – Black Dynamite, which no one saw, and Funny People, which everyone saw, but didn’t like because it was sad ?. Those movies seem to deserve it far more than The Hangover, but they didn’t make astronomical amounts of money did they? And in the end, that’s what these award shows seem to be about anyway. So actually, I guess a lot of this makes sense.