I'd Like a Word With the People Behind the People's Choice Awards

I'd like to speak with the people behind the People's Choice Awards. The nominations for the 34th annual event were announced last week (here's the list), and as always, I am puzzled by the tastes of these alleged "people."

Halle Berry is among your favorite female movie stars? Really? She appeared in two movies this year, Perfect Stranger and Things We Lost in the Fire, both of which tanked at the box office. How can she be one of your favorite female movie stars when you do not watch her movies? Are you afraid that actually watching her on a movie screen would diminish your opinion of her? (In fairness, that's probably a valid concern.)

Her fellow nominees are Sandra Bullock -- because apparently it's 1996 again -- and Reese Witherspoon. Reese's one 2007 film, Rendition, is another one that nobody watched. You do realize that the last film she appeared in was Walk the Line, right? And that it came out two years ago? She must indeed be one of your favorite female movie stars, you "people," if no one whose movies you have actually watched in the last 48 months has surpassed her.

Your favorite male movie stars are Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington, and Bruce Willis. Those choices make some sense. But I do not understand the difference between the "Favorite Male Movie Star" category and the "Favorite Leading Man" category, where the nominees are Jamie Foxx, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Joaquin Phoenix. Traditionally, the term "leading man" has referred to someone playing a love interest or romantic lead. None of the nominated actors fit that description. Do you think that "leading man" just means "handsome?" No, that can't be it, because then the nominees would be Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and George Clooney. So, I don't know what you're thinking here, either.

Another question I have for you "people" is why your People's Choice Awards have seven different "favorite movie" categories: movie, movie drama, action movie, movie comedy, family movie, threequel, and independent movie. This is overkill. The fact that Transformers is one of your overall favorite movies and Wild Hogs is among your favorite comedies only makes it worse.

The "Favorite Independent Movie" category, tacked on at the end, makes me laugh. It's like walking into a McDonald's and asking all the regulars what their favorite gourmet restaurant is. (Their answer would be Olive Garden.) The nominees are Becoming Jane, A Mighty Heart, and Sicko, none of which are particularly great movies. I'm guessing the way the "people" defined it was "Favorite Independent Movie That I've Heard Of."

I don't want to sound like an elitist, but if the People's Choice Awards are representative of what the American people actually think, then the American people are hopelessly uncultured, illiterate, and easily entertained. I hope that doesn't sound elitist! And I hope the People's Choice voters know what all those words mean!

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Eric D. Snider (website) isn't an elitist. He's just better than a lot of people.