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Serious Movies About Comedy

Serious Movies About Comedy

For years, I’ve been perplexed by the reception most movies-about-comedians receive. It seems like quality films such as Mr. Saturday Night (starring Billy Crystal) and Punchline (starring Tom Hanks) have been underrated or overlooked, because upon release, the public didn’t understand why they weren’t funnier films. Well, because, they’re not comedies per se. They’re adult dramas that just happen to be about stand-up comics. Ditto for Jim Carrey’s biopic of Andy Kaufman, Man On The Moon, a film that earned respect but certainly puzzled some Carrey fans back in 1999. Let’s face it: it’s hard to sell a mass audience on a film about comedy, if the core of the film is tragedy. That’s apparently the case again with Judd Apatow’s upcoming Funny People, which I have not yet seen. Over at The New York Times, there’s a brief history of the most memorable dramas about comedy.

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