The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s decision to put Charlie Wilson’s War, The Savages, Margot at the Wedding, Juno, The Darjeeling Limited, Waitress and Lars and the Real Girl into the comedy/musical category for the Golden Globes Awards is, of course, a bizarre call. Because the HFPA is committed to filling an annual slot of comedy/musical contenders, they seize upon any dramedy they can find and call it a comedy.
The general definition of a dramedy is a drama leavened with humor that is either (a) dry, (b) cryptic, (c) deadpan or (d) acid but almost never out-and-out “funny.” Juno is probably the most hah-hah-ish, although it’s very much a mainstream dramedy. Charlie Wilson’s War is a dramedy with some genuine laughs courtesy of Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s performance. The Savages isn’t even a dramedy — it’s a fairly morose drama about a dying dad and his two semi-miserable middle- aged children embroidered with, okay, some darkly witty dialogue. Lars and the Real Girl is about an absurd situation, but is not a dramedy by any standard I’m aware of. The humor in The Darjeeling Limited is so dry and deadpan it barely qualifies — I enjoyed the tone but I didn’t even chortle. Waitress, I suppose, can be called a kind of dramedy.