Movie posters: The comedy portrait


The movie poster has become an important marketing tool,

promoting name and brand recognition.  After many years, its has been boiled down to neither art nor science.  The movie poster has been bleached and sanitized into repeated themes because you, the movie-goer, are gullible and easily fooled.  We begin recognizing the same posters re-hashed and recycled like weeks old newspaper.  This article begins with the Comedy Portrait.

The Comedy Portrait,
comes often with a “halo effect”, a nice photo-shopped glow blessing the talent in front of an flat backdrop.  They often pose as designed by, the now defunct, Sears Portrait Studio.  Sometimes the actors will acknowledge the camera with an expression of befuddlement if not utter clueless.

What’s the point? 
Comedy is about humanity and empathy.  Therefore, all attention is on star talent and mostly close-ups.  I won’t say it’s absolute, I will opine that comedic films rest their fortune on the actor rather than places, things, and CGI.  Thus, there is no opportunity to divert your attention.   The close-ups build empathy with your favorite actor or actress hoping you’ll bond with them during the film.

Most recent example: That Awkward Moment (2014)

Ripped out the Comedy Portrait playbook, That Awkward Moment shows exactly zero originality and follows the formula with blind loyalty.  No backdrop, emphasis headlining talent and confused looks.

40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
Step Brothers (2008)
She’s Out Of My League (2010)
Knocked Up (2007)
Get Him to the Greek (2010)
That Awkward Moment (2014)

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