Can Ben Stiller Do Drama?

Ben Stiller would like you to take him more seriously. In the upcoming indie comedy Greenberg, Stiller plays a man who deals with his midlife crisis by deciding to "do nothing." The movie, directed by Noah Baumbach and co-starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, is not Stiller's first dramatic role -- he's had small-but-serious parts in films like Your Friends and Neighbors and The Royal Tenenbaums -- but it's the first time he's playing a dramatic lead.

Will this mark a transition in Stiller's career? Here are some other comedians who've made the leap from comedy films to drama... with mixed results.

Comedian: Jim Carrey
Dramatic move: The Truman Show
Did it take?: Unequivocally. Truman was the perfect showcase for Carrey's sincere side, which nobody really saw coming. He went on to A-list leading man status, with critical acclaim in dramatic roles like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and box-office success with comedic films like Bruce Almighty.

Comedian: Bill Murray
Dramatic move: Lost in Translation
Did it take?: No. Murray's acclaimed lead performance in the 2003 indie romance didn't lure him back to film stardom; after a few more comedic performances, he announced a break from acting in 2005.

Comedian: Robin Williams
Dramatic move: The World According to Garp
Did it take?: Yes indeed. Although Williams is known primarily as a comedian, he's appeared in countless dramas, garnering a slew of award nominations and an Oscar for Good Will Hunting.

Comedian: Adam Sandler
Dramatic move: Punch Drunk Love
Did it take?: Not really. Punch Drunk Love got great reviews, but was a little too weird to sway Sandler's core audience. He's since done mostly comedies, but a few movies have brought out his serious side -- including Spanglish and this year's Funny People.

Comedian: Jerry Lewis
Dramatic move: The Day the Clown Cried
Did it take?: Heck no. Lewis' 1972 drama about a clown entertaining children at a Nazi concentration camp was never released, but nonetheless has a reputation as one of the worst films ever made. No wonder Lewis has stuck to comedy (and telethons).

Plus: Check out the hottest new films of the season!

Do you think Ben Stiller should stick to comedy? Chime in below!

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