Judd Apatow has brought us some of the most popular comedies in the last decade, including The 40-Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and Funny People. He is a hugely successful director, producer and writer and through his show Freaks And Geeks can be held responsible for the careers of Seth Rogan, Jason Siegel and James Franco.
So it makes sense that he has recently been asking the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to consider adopting a new comedic films category, since he would likely win every year.
Apatow has taken to the most professional and respected format of inquiry in our society, Twitter., to plead his case. Luckily his arguments can eloquently be made in 140 characters or less. The Guardian reports that he tweeted “Since comedies are largely up for Oscars it does make sense to have a comedy category… It’s been like five times in a zillion years that [a comedy has] won best picture.”
Judd makes a good point that comedies rarely bring home the award. The last film categorised as a Romantic Comedy to win was Shakespeare In Love back in ’99, and that can hardly be called funny. Comedy-drama Forrest Gump won best picture in 1994 and Driving Miss Daisy took the top prize in 1989, but no flat-out comedies of the type Apatow makes have ever won.
But creating a new category entirely might cause some problems. The Golden Globes have a separate “Best Comedy Or Musical” award but because so many films dip in and out of comedy, it’s hard to cateogrise. That’s the only logical explanation for The Tourist winning anything.
If the Academy does heed Apatow’s tweets, the addition would be similar to the Animated Films category introduced in 2001.