And the Oscar Goes To…
It’s amazing! A handsome fella leaps off a speeding train onto the back of a galloping horse at the very moment the train explodes. But that’s not the amazing part. He’s got one leg in a cast, he’s carrying the wounded train engineer and he’s being pursued by masked gunmen. That’s not the amazing part either. What’s truly incredible is that he won’t even win an Academy Award for Best Stunt, and not just because I made the whole thing up.
The truth is, there isn’t an Academy Award for Best Stunts. I read it on the internet, so it must be true.
I’ve never sat through the entire Academy Awards show and I probably won’t start this year, but I do love movies. If I were running the show Feb. 26, there would definitely be an award for best stunt. And if the show weren’t already three hours long, I’d add a few other awards too:
1) The Award for Not Busting out Laughing When You Have to Say Dumb Stuff: I admit I say dumb stuff sometimes and I don’t usually laugh when I do it, but I’m using my own words. I don’t think I could keep a straight face if I had to say, “Go ahead. Make my day,” or “It was beauty killed the beast.” or “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” I guess the witch did bust out laughing though, didn’t she?
2) The Award for Kissing People You Don’t Even Like: I don’t follow Hollywood gossip, but as much kissing as goes on in the movies, I have to believe that occasionally actors are called on to lock lips with someone they’d rather kick in the shins. And they have to do it enthusiastically, on camera with a set full of onlookers, knowing the whole world will see it and their significant other is likely to ask them about it later.
3) The Award for Best Death Scene: Next to kissing someone they don’t like, I think death must be the hardest scene for an actor to pull off believably since one can assume most of them haven’t had actual experience. And, those who have aren’t talking about it.
4) The Award for Best Groveling: Actors frequently grovel, especially in romantic comedies. Often close to the end of the movie the handsome leading man—and it usually is the leading man—makes a dramatic entrance, takes the blame for everything that’s gone wrong, begs forgiveness, and pledges his undying love, sometimes in front of a group of the leading lady’s friends. I’ve never heard of a man doing this in real-life, though I’ve often wished they would. It’s a talent, and it should be rewarded.
5) The Award for Best Water Works: Actors are often required to snivel, blubber and bawl convincingly. I’m one of those people who tears up watching greeting card commercials, but I’m afraid the only way I could sob on set is if the director yelled at me. I know I could be convincing in that role, but I’d probably also forget my lines.
6) The Award for Having the Good Sense to Wear Comfortable Shoes: In the movies, you regularly see actresses wearing high heels while they play everything from spies to cat burglars to crime fighters. It’s silly, not to mention downright dangerous. Maybe they use stunt doubles, in which case there really should be an award for that.
(Dorothy Rosby is the author of several humor books, including I Used to Think I Was Not That Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)