23 November 2012 1:21 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The organisers of the Academy Awards are po-faced about comedy, so a dose of screwball humanism is just what they need

"Imagine there's no heaven," sang John Lennon. "It's easy if you try."

Ok, let's.

Imagine a world with no Marx Brothers films, no Ginger Rogers or Fred Astaire. A world in which Cary Grant was never born and Preston Sturges is just a rumor. Dutifully, the populace trudge beneath skies the color of porridge towards box-like movie theatres, where they consume their weekly dollop of gloom, as served up in with movies like A Life of Emile Zola, Marty and Crash.

In this alternative universe, movie-going is a bit like going to the dentist, only without the laughing gas. Films that stand any chance of raising a smile have been expunged from the records, although you will occasionally hear talk among those old enough to remember of something called Some Like It Hot, »

- Tom Shone

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