Friday, February 09, 2007

Virginia Woolf, or, I don't understand comedy

Kathleen Turner is in L.A. right now, performing in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, after winning awards in London and New York. I took a couple of film classes in college, and in one of them we watched the Elizabeth Taylor film which won her a Best Actress Oscar. So I was excited to see a real actress in town and thought maybe it would be worth going to see. I had heard a radio ad for the play, and the only thing that confused me was that a reviewer referred to the play as "giddy". I just went to the Ahmanson website and read the ads and watched the video clips. The Ahmanson is advertising the play as "a savagely funny event." I was so confused. The movie that I saw was not funny, it was devastating. Maybe I was thinking of a different movie. I went to Netflix and read the reviews of the Elizabeth Taylor film. Nope, same movie. Cruel. Not funny.

I am remembering the play that I wrote about on August 1st. The one that also was advertised as a comedy, but that I interpreted as dark and devastating as well.

This is a normal trend for me. I frequently find myself feeling darkly emotional when others are laughing and cheering. I know that people often present something serious in a sarcastic way. The words sound funny, but the meaning is deadly serious, and so I do not laugh. It doesn't seem right to laugh. I might give a wry smile or something to acknowledge the "joke", but I don't haha laugh because it's not a real joke.

I guess I take things much too seriously or have a tendency to see bleak reality in something fictional. I'm sure when a performer makes one of these sarcastic statements and the reaction from the room is dead silence, that's probably not what they were going for. I guess the laughter is appropriate. But it still doesn't seem right to me.

1 comment:

Shannon Kristine Croft said...

This blog got me curious, so I rented the movie, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf". The notes on the special features said that Warner Bros. established an "adults only" policy for the film and that this film was responsible for the creation of the MPAA rating system.

Unless they made some major changes to the script, I don't see how the play could be described as a comedy.


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