Through the wonders of a series of tubes, I managed to get passes for an advanced screening (two whole days early!) of Blades of Glory. What to say, what to say…
Now, I’m not anti- Will Ferrell. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Anchorman in theaters, and not just because I was riding the wave of that manic-depressive summer. I’ve enjoyed his presence in a number of SNL sketches (despite the fact that SNL hasn’t been consistently funny since Belushi died). I even got a good belly laugh out of some of the bonus features on Talladega Nights. I do think the guy’s a little overplayed, and he’s definitely been in some losers (Kicking and Screaming, anyone?). But all in all, he usually knows how to make me laugh. (Review with mild spoilers after the jump.)
He didn’t disappoint tonight, but all in all I don’t think Blades of Glory had the kind of memorable punchlines of, say, Anchorman. In fact, I’m hard-pressed to come up with a punchline. I’ll get back to you on that. As my girlfriend is now pointing out, a lot of the humor in Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) is in doing things that are just wildly inappropriate. Some of them come off as pretty funny (slapping the ass of the woman who gave him a gold medal) while others are just uncomfortable (puking drunkenly inside his evil wizard costume during a low budget ice capades), but just about all of them don’t reward further thought.
As usual, the joy in this movie is in the cameos–namely, famous ice skaters. What would Brian Boitano do? I also really enjoyed Craig T. Nelson as the coach (get it? GET IT??), although he didn’t get as over the top as I’d hoped.
Bottom line: this movie does not hit nearly as many homophobic points as I was almost sure it would. Now, don’t get me wrong–every possible on-the-ice interaction between Will Ferrell and Jon Heder’s crotch is in there. But on the whole, it was pretty tame in that department. Darn near tasteful, even. I was way more uncomfortable with the rest of the audience’s reactions to such material than the material itself.
But whenever that happens, I just have to remember seeing Brokeback Mountain on opening night with every gay man in Boston, and I go back to my happy place.