Saturday, September 12, 2009

SOME FAVORITE PERFORMANCES IN COMEDIES

Caught a bit of MY COUSIN VINNY the other night and was once again knocked out by Marisa Tomei’s performance (as I am by everything she’s done).

It brought up memories of how she won the Oscar for that performance and the rumor started immediately that Jack Palance, who didn’t have his glasses so couldn’t read the Oscar card in the envelope looked up instead at the prompter and read the last name of the last nomonee which happened to be Tomei.

The Academy refuted the rumor but it still spread and poor Tomei became the scapegoat for the generally consistent resistance to give a comic performance, or even a serious performance in a comedy, it’s due, epecially in the form of an Oscar (Kevin Kline is one of the other few exceptions to that generalization, and lately there’s been more, like the nominations for JUNO and LARS AND THE REAL GIRL, which is why none of the above are on the list).

When I was falling asleep last night up here in the Berkshires (where a few trees are beginning to turn colors already) I thought about that and then started thinking of other performances in comedies I think make some movies worth watching.

So here’s the alphabet list I came up with before snoozing:

APPLEGATE, CHRISTINA in DON’T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER’S DEAD
BYNES, AMANDA in HAIRSPRAY
CUSACK, JOHN in GROSSE POINT BLANK
DANIELS, JEFF in THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO
ELWES, CARY in PRINCESS BRIDE
FRANCO, JAMES in PINEAPPLE EXPRESS
GLOVER, CRISPIN in BACK TO THE FUTURE
HAYES, ROBERT (and JULIE HEGERTY) in AIRPLANE!
I?
JOHANSSON, SCARLETT in VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
KINNEAR, GREG in GHOST TOWN
LOHAN, LINDSAY in MEAN GIRLS
MACEY, WILLIAM H. in WILD HOGS
NIELSEN, LESLIE in NAKED GUN
O’CONNOR, DONALD in SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN
PENN, SEAN in FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH
QUINN, ANTHONY in A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA
RUDD, PAUL in CLUELESS
SEGAL, JASON in I LOVE YOU MAN
TRAVOLTA, JOHN in HAIRSPRAY
U?
VAUGHN, VINCE in WEDDING CRASHERS
WOOD, EVAN RACHEL in WHATEVER WORKS
X?
YOUNG, SEAN in STRIPES
Z?

4 comments:

t.p. said...

How about everyone in Burn After Reading?

Lally said...

Absolutely. I almost put down Brad Pitt in that for "P" but Penn came to mind first. In most of the above movies there's others who did an equally great job or sometimes, as in BURN AFTER READING (or THE PRINCESS BRIDE etc.), the entire cast was terrific. But these were the first ones that jumped out in last night's alphabet in my head.

RJ Eskow said...

A few picks off the top of my head (I'm sure I'll think of more):

MARS, KENNETH in THE PRODUCERS

BROWN, RALPH as "DANNY" (the drug dealer) and GRIFFITH, RICHARD as "UNCLE MONTY" in WITHNAIL AND I

GUINESS, ALEC in THE HORSE'S MOUTH

HOLLIDAY, JUDY in BORN YESTERDAY

BRIDGES, JEFF in THE BIG LEBOWSKI (an obvious choice, but I can't resist him)

HAYDEN, STERLING in DR. STRANGELOVE

I'll keep thinking ...

Lally said...

RJ, Some great ones. I thought of Judy Holliday in BORN YESTERDAY immediately, (among others) but I'm pretty sure she got nominated for that. I was trying to think of performances that weren't initially honored with any Oscars or Oscar nominations etc. Haydeb in STRANGE LOVE is perfect. Sellars got all the attention, if I remember correctly.