Comic book movies never get their due at awards shows. While some argue that there’s a bias against such films, I counter that there’s never been a comic book movie good enough to compete alongside your average awards darlings.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” has the cachet, the industry support and the production values to merit top kudos from the Oscars. One of the first steps on the road to Oscardom is breaking through at the Golden Globes, and “Guardians” has a leg up there on the competition because there’s a whole slew of categories just waiting to be filled out: the comedy/musical races. But, wait, is it even a comedy to begin with? Does it even matter?
Below, my top 5 reasons why “Guardians of the Galaxy” should try its luck by entering the less-competitive comedy races at the Golden Globes.
1. Duh, it’s funny!
Unlike in recent years when several films called themselves comedies to beat the odds (see #2 below), “Guardians” wouldn’t be one such example of category fraud. The film is laugh-out-loud hilarious from start to finish, with some of the more buzzed-about scenes including Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) dancing around a cave while kicking alien creatures in the face, Groot’s (Vin Diesel) lack of vocabulary, Drax’s (Dave Bautista) penchant for literal dialogue and all those outdated yet perfect pop culture references, like John Stamos and Kevin Bacon. Writers James Gunn and Nicole Perlman really brought the funny with their script adaptation and should be rewarded for it.
2. Less competition
Over the past few years, several drama films — “My Week with Marilyn,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Nebraska,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” — created controversy by entering themselves as comedies at the Golden Globes, where competition is always much less fierce. Indeed, the phrase “or musical” exists in the comedy category titles simply because there aren’t enough deserving laffers to fill up those spaces in a normal year. As a drama, “Guardians” would likely be overlooked just like past comic book films “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight,” but we could see magic strike if it contended as a comedy.
3. Give the actors a chance
Pratt, Bautista, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper collectively have no chance in the drama field, where they’ll likely be competing against actors and actresses from serious fare like “Boyhood,” “Unbroken” and “Foxcatcher.” But the comedy acting races are much more open. Remember, we’ve seen all kinds of lighter performances prevail in the Globes’ comedy categories recently, including Robert Downey Jr. (“Sherlock Holmes”), Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat”) and Meryl Streep (“Julie & Julia” and “The Devil Wears Prada”).
4. A raccoon and a tree walk into a bar
When two of the main characters in a film are a raccoon and a tree, that should be our first sign that we’re venturing more toward comedy territory. Unless such characters appear in an epic fantasy (“The Lord of the Rings”) or a film filled with other-wordly mumbo-jumbo (“Avatar”), it’s a safe bet that Raccoon + Tree = Comedy.
5. It’s a musical… kind of
Still not convinced that “Guardians” is a comedy? Well, how about considering it as a musical? Remember, the Golden Globes’ category title is actually a mouthful: Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. And in case you haven’t heard yet, the addictive 70s/80s soundtrack “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” is a wild success, becoming the first soundtrack comprised of previously-recorded songs to hit #1 on Billboard 200. There are many scenes throughout the film where the characters dance, fight and even sing to the various tunes, making music just as important as any other aspect of the production.
Do you think “Guardians of the Galaxy” should enter the comedy races at the Golden Globes, or should it battle it out in the drama categories? Sound off in the comments section below our Editors’ predictions slugfest on the Cecille B. DeMille Award, or join the discussion in our movie forums.