Can 'The Hangover' cure the awards curse for comedies?
"The Hangover" spent a second weekend at the top of the box office and could prove a headache for awards campaigners of other movies in the months to come. In just 10 days, "The Hangover" has earned a whopping $105 million. And as this road movie shows no signs of slowing down, it could turn into one of the top-grossing comedies of the year. Such success could make "The Hangover" hard to shake off at kudos time.
The director of "The Hangover" is Todd Phillips, who scored an Oscar nomination in 2006 for co-scripting "Borat." The five men behind bringing "Borat" to the big screen were bested in their bid by William Monahan, who adapted "The Departed."
At the Golden Globes, "Borat" lost the award for best comedy/musical picture to "Dreamgirls." By honoring these genres with their own award, the Golden Globes have bestowed bragging rights to many movies overlooked by the Oscars. Could "The Hangover" make it into the final five at this year's Globes?
After all, "The Hangover" earned a solid 73 at Meta Critic and an even more impressive 79 among the top reviewers surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes. Besides this critical approval, there is the resounding commercial success of the film to consider. The Golden Globes do love to back a winner.
However, the tastes of the foreign press run more to witty wordplay than sight gags. With the exception of "Borat" – who just happened to hail from Kazakhstan – the last all-out comedy to contend at the Golden Globes was "There's Something About Mary" in 1998. It lost the musical/comedy race to eventual Oscar champ "Shakespeare in Love."
None of the boys-gone-bad movies made by Phillips and his brethren has figured in the Globes races. "Wedding Crashers" Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn were not invited in 2005. Judd Apatow didn't get any respect for "Knocked Up" in 2007. Funnyman Will Ferrell earned Globe nods only for the musical "The Producers" and the offbeat comedy "Stranger Than Fiction." And despite the breakthrough by "There's Something About Mary," that film's male lead, Ben Stiller, has yet to be nominated at the Globes despite a string of further box office smashes.
Photo: Warner Bros.