Saturday, March 8, 2014

Comedies That Become Dramas

“And if I laugh at any mortal thing,
‘Tis that I may not weep.” – Don Juan, Lord Byron

“Some things are of that nature as to make
One’s fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache.” – Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan

I still have some key 2013 films to see before I can post my Top 10 Films of 2013, so I will do a new category in the meantime.

When I say “comedies that become dramas” I don’t mean the films that mix comedy and drama together (i.e. “dramadies” or “comedy/dramas”.)  No, I mean films that start out pretty much as straight comedies with lot of laughs then take a turn somewhere in the middle and become dramas with little, if any, humor.  This can be a difficult transition to make without losing the audience.  The films that do manage to achieve this are well worth recommending.

And I am not referring to films that simply tack a sad ending onto a comedy.  I can’t think of any film off the top of my head that was able to make that work without feeling manipulative.  No, this category is for films that spend extensive parts of their run time as first a comedy, then as a drama, with little mixing of the two.

As I review the films I will come back and add the links for them here.

Defendor (2009) – posted February 23, 2011
Pleasantville (1998) – posted September 17, 2012
Something Wild (1986) – posted July 5, 2013
On to the reviews…


  1. I'm sure you've got your list set, and this is more a comedy that turns into a horror movie, but if you haven't seen The Frighteners, it's worth a look. It's a straight spook comedy for most of it and it takes a HARD left turn with about 45 minutes in the run time.

    1. I haven't seen The Frighteners. Thanks for the tip. That could be another category - movies that start out one way then become horror movies. Audition would be one since it starts as a relationship drama for more than half the film.

  2. Have you seen Humanity and Paper Balloons? It was the oddest combination of comedy and tragedy ever and yet an excellent movie. I think it is on the TSPDT list.

    1. I have not seen it yet. It's one of the entries from the TSPDT list that I had to track down, so I do have it available to me. I may or may not be able to get to it while doing this category. Thanks for the suggestion.