My biggest pet peeve about Hollywood is the way that certain celebrities and filmmakers develop hyper-inflated egos. For example, when I was in college, I participated in an over-the-phone roundtable interview with Harrison Ford. He was promoting his terrible flick ‘Firewall‘. One student asked him an admittedly pretty lame and disconnected question. Through his reaction, “Mr. Ford” (as we were all told to call him) showed his true colors: “That’s a stupid question. I don’t even see how that’s relevant. Let’s move onto the next question.” 1) You’re interviewing with a bunch of newbie journalist majors. Do you really expect every question to be brilliant? 2) Who in the hell do you think you are to talk to someone like that? People don’t talk to other people like that in person. This false sense of power and popularity caused by celebrity is a joke, and last week we saw it go to Judd Apatow’s head once again.
At a sponsored, awards-centered party for ‘Bridesmaids’ (weren’t those parties supposedly banned by the Academy?), which he produced, Apatow talked about his campaign to get the Academy to create new Oscar categories for comedy films, since comedies typically get snubbed each year. While he may have a valid point, the rationale he used to back up his idea was ridiculous. Follow this link to watch the video where he sticks his foot in his mouth and digs himself deeper and deeper. The audience groans, and everyone stuck onstage with him looks embarrassed.
“There should be a Comedy category at the Oscars… Then we could get rid of the Key Grip category.” Um, Judd? You know there’s not really a Key Grip category, right? Have you ever actually watched an Oscar ceremony, or do you avoid it simply because you’re never going to be called onstage unless you’re presenting?
When the crowd makes its disapproval known, Apatow tries to patch things up by saying, “I love the key grips. They do a fantastic job, but at hour four [of the awards ceremony] I’d rather watch Zach Galifianakis come on than my friend Curtis.” How far out of your mind do you have to be to think Galifianakis deserves an Oscar? And further, since when did the Oscars become about seeing (occasionally) funny actors entertain us on stage? If you want that crap, you watch the Golden Globes, a sugar-coated popularity contest where winning an award really amounts to nothing. The Academy Awards are supposed to put on a credible show where solid filmmaking is rewarded. We watch the Oscars to see truly notable films and filmmakers receive merits for their accomplishments. If we want to see the cast of ‘The Hangover‘ shamelessly plug themselves, we watch the Golden Globes.
After talking about his “friend Curtis,” Apatow went on to claim that making a comedy is harder than making a drama. “I so wish that we could not have jokes in these movies. I would have so much less to do if [filmmaking] was the characters and conflict… Any movie with no laughs would take half as long. I think that ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ was really easy to make because there were no laughs. Was it hard? I don’t think so.” Those of us who actually saw ‘Funny People’ know that it didn’t have any laughs in it. So you tell us, Mr. Apatow, was that one hard to make?
I’m not arguing the fact that comedies get snubbed at the Oscars. That’s another post for another day. But Apatow’s argument is asinine. There’s nothing more annoying than having to listen to a few pompous assholes in Hollywood talk about something because they think they’re important. Judd Apatow is 100 pounds shy of being the next Kevin Smith. Both started off loved and strong, but after one bad movie, turned into vocally arrogant fools. Both need to stop taking themselves so seriously and think about what they’re saying before opening their mouths. If sports players can be fined for letting absurd strings of thought flow uncensored from their mouths, so should filmmakers. I’m calling a technical foul on Judd Apatow for making no sense whatsoever. If I owned a business and made a series of dumbass claims time and time again, I’d lose business. Hopefully, that’s will happen to Apatow.