According to Gold Derby‘s Tom O’Neil, The Sessions director-writer Ben Lewin is surprised that Fox Searchlight has submitted his film for Golden Globe consideration as a drama. Because midway through filming he realized that The Sessions is “actually a comedy,” and this realization led costar Helen Hunt to “recalibrate” her character.
Lewin would be wise to shut that one down right away. Golden Globe submissions and decisions about which films are “comedies” are often a stretch and sometmes absurd, but there’s no way in the world any semi-awake human being on the Planet Earth would call The Sessions a comedy. It uses a humorous line here and there, chiefly during William Macy‘s church-pew counselling scenes with John Hawkes. But it’s obviously just a straight healing story with sexual-emotional flavorings and a kind of tragic undercurrent.
I would say overall that you really have to have a bent mind to even half-smirkingly call it a comedy…c’mon. It’s about a guy with almost no life who experiences a few shafts of emotional and spiritual light before all the lights go out. Where is the ha-hah in that?