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What`s Wrong with Comedy!

Posted February. 27, 2003 23:07,   


Renowned awards such as Academy have given comedies the cold shoulder for years, and now Hollywood is on its own to honor comic movies with `Comedy Film Honors.`

The award ceremony will be held on March. 1, the last day of the 9th Comedy Arts Festival currently held in Aspen, Colorado, the New York Times reported. The Comedy Film Honors will comprise four categories of `the best comedy of the year,` `the best independent comedy of the year,` `the new comedy director of the year` and `the people`s chose of the year.`

Some 300 directors, screenwriters, actors, actresses and producers will decide who will win the honors. At the center of the movement are such Hollywood big wigs as Peter and Bobby Farrelly, co-directors of such hit movies as `Shallow Hal` and `There`s Something about Mary,` Billy Crystal from `When Harry Met Sally` and Steve Martin.

They argue that a good medicine (or a good movie) does not necessarily taste bitter (heavy and serious). According to them, there is a good medicine with sweet taste (comedy). They criticize that the Academy has been too prejudicial about comedies to name them as candidates not to mention winners.

Of this year`s five candidate for the best movie of the year, `Gangs of New York,` `the Hours,` `The Lord of the Ring – Two Towers` and `the Pianist` are all heavy stuff except musical drama `Chicago.` In contrast, however, of the top 10 box office hits last year, five were comic movies.

˝Comedy has made a great contribution to the film industry economically, but it has been given the cold shoulder in terms of artistic and creative appreciation,˝ pointed out Stoo Miley, general director of the Comedy Arts Festival. ˝Such comic movies as `Airplane (1980)` and `the Animal House (1978)` by Juker brothers are great works that did not gain recognition.˝

˝Comic act is as difficult as serious act, but great actors like Bill Murray have never won a renowned award,˝ said director Ferrally.

The Comedy Film Honors announces the names of the winners in advance. This year Hugh Grant`s `About a Boy` will win the best movie of the year, and `My Greek Wedding,` a low-budge movie which cost only $5 million in production, will win two awards, the best independent comedy and the audience`s choice.

Sue-Jean Kang sjkang@donga.com