It’s not a question of whether today’s Golden Globe nominees for Best Comedy or Musical are a disgrace, that much is clear, the better question is whether they are collectively the worst five films the Globes have ever nominated in this category. Check out the full list of nominees here. Numbering among the sordid and pathetic ranks, we have three action/adventure films, an artsy drama, one really shitty musical and zero goddamn comedies. Only at the Golden Globes could an offense this ludicrous pass the smell test. The whole thing is like a Saturday Night Live sketch. Where’s the nod for Vampires Suck or The Bounty Hunter or Killers? Better yet, why not re-nominate Avatar? If we’re not going to follow any formatting or eligibility rules (Best Motion Picture- Musical Or Comedy), I see no reason why we must stick to films released in 2010.
Let’s for a second set aside the genre-related issues and focus on the quality of the films themselves. Adding up their five Rotten Tomatoes scores, we get the sum total of 270. Divide that by 5, and it gives you an average of 54. These five films, on average, received a positive rating 54 percent of the time! That’s astounding. Even if you’re one of those people that thinks too much importance is placed on the opinions of a select few, it is impossible to ignore just how brutal these numbers are. In fact, if you remove The Kids Are All Right (94%) from the equation, you get the even more staggering figure of 44%. Here’s an incomplete list of actual comedies and musicals that did better than that: Cyrus (81%), Get Him To The Greek (73%), Scott Pilgrim Vs The World (80%), MacGruber (48%), The Other Guys (77%), She’s Out Of My League (57%), Easy A (87%), Piranha 3D (74%), Jackass 3D (62%), Date Night (67%) and Hot Tub Time Machine (64%) How swinish.
I would never for a second suggest films should be nominated simply on critical response alone. Sometimes, in all our pretentious glory, we collectively just get things wrong, and as much as some of my peers may disagree with me, response from the general public does matter. I may have liked The Reader better, but the average person enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire a hell of a lot more. That should count for something, but unfortunately, two of these nominees weren’t particularly liked by anyone. Not only were Burlesque (36%) and The Tourist (20%) despised by critics, neither has managed a twenty million dollar weekend. It’s a sad state of affairs when Red’s overall mediocrity makes it seem respectable in comparison.
And then, of course, there’s the question of genre. This category is for comedies and musicals. Everything else should fall under the drama category. If it’s not funny or musical, what the hell is it doing here? Let’s go through the films one by one. First, we have The Kids Are All Right, an independent drama about a lesbian couple and their children’s search for their father. Next, we have Alice In Wonderland, a fantastical, otherworld adventure that contains maybe five total jokes. Then there’s Red, an action flick that plays like a geriatric Con Air. Also, we have The Tourist, a chase thriller about sexy women and running away from bad guys. And finally, Burlesque, a real live musical that does, in fact, contain singing. So, for the record, the Golden Globes batted 20% on correctly labeling genre on these films. My girlfriend is in grad school for Library Science, and I’m pretty positive a performance like that would get her fired from a shitty, one room library in Guam.
It’s not always like this. In fact, this category is normally a breath of fresh air when pitted against the stuffy Oscars. In 2004, a very average year, the nominees were Sideways (97%), Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (93%), The Incredibles (97%), Phantom Of The Opera (33%) and Ray (81%). I’ll defend Phantom by saying, while it sucked, it was at least one hell of a spectacle and more importantly, actually a musical. In 2000, an even more mediocre year, the nominees were Almost Famous (88%), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (76%), Best In Show (94%), Chocolat (62%) and Chicken Run (96%). Likewise, I’ll defend Chocolat by saying Jason Segel’s character in I Love You Man watched it and thought it delightful. Compared to 2010, those two years look brilliant. Is there really anyone out there that thinks Red is funnier than Sideways or Best In Show or O Brother, Where Art Thou? Come’on, Globes. Get your shit together.
The Golden Globes are supposed to be the place where Jim Carrey can get rewarded for his unexpected and brilliant turn in The Truman Show, where a movie like The Hangover can vomit its way to a Best Picture win in this very category. It’s the everyman’s award show, but when you remove all semblance of critical analysis, what do you have left? The fucking Grammy’s, that’s what. I’m not normally the type to beat up award shows. I realize picking five single films from the entire year is a daunting exercise that’s impossible to do perfectly. No matter how they’re arranged, people will always be by to bitch about oversights and questionable admissions, but the 2010 Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture- Musical or Comedy are a fucking travesty. There’s no other way to put it.
Say what you will about Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, but that movie had a hell of a lot more originality than Burlesque. Say what you will about Easy A, but Emma Stone in high school was a lot funnier than Alice in Wonderland. Say what you will about practically any film released this year, chances are it was more worthy of a nomination than The Tourist.