Last week, hubby and I were watching a French film – Moliére. It was an amazing movie about the playwright, done in the style of Shakespeare in Love. In the film, Moliére and his troupe are famous, summoned to Paris to create an original play for the King. Moliere wants to do something spectacular, something to show that he really has talent. He wants to write and perform a tragedy. But he’s famous for comedy and that’s what the King wants to see. Frustrated, he tries in vain to write a tragedy that will change his reputation, gain him the respect that comedy never will. He can’t, and a reminder from an old friend revives memories from his past that will form his most popular, and most hysterical play.
I feel for Moliére. Good comedy requires great skill and talent, yet it never receives the respect and recognition that tragedy does. In movies, the comedies seldom get nominated, let alone win the awards. And the same is true with books and plays. Even I’m guilty of it. I’ll read two stories: one that makes me laugh out loud, and other that brings tears to my eyes. It’s the one that makes me cry that I tend to rate higher, even if the prose is not any better than the comedic story. Why is it that sorrow gets the nod of artistic approval, while comedy often gets scorn? We clearly love comedy. We spend a fortune on funny movies and books. People may make fun of Tyler Perry’s work, but he’s happily flying off into the sunset in his private G6 while “serious