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This just in; here’s breaking news,
It seems that men have changed their views
On women in the workplace, though
If they’re aware, we do not know.

But we’ve confirmed, in quite a twist,
That girls don’t like a chauvinist.
In other news, there’s been a rise
In lies so we apologize.

In other other news, we’ve heard
Reports of news crew wars absurd.
Please call this number if you find
The missing arm they left behind.

And finally, I’d like to say
My hair looks terrible today.
Stay classy, San Diego. [sighs]
Who wrote this Teleprompter, guys?
____________________

MPAA rating: PG-13

I’ve never found Will Ferrell particularly funny, even in the much loved Elf, so what prompted me to check out one of his signature comedies? TCM. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was playing on Turner Classic Movies, and I found it hard to believe that it had already entered the pantheon of “classics.” Thus, I saw for myself, and while I’m not sure I’d consider it a classic, it managed to surprise me in more ways than one.

Like Baz Luhrmann’s dance romance Strictly Ballroom, Anchorman started out as clearly not my kind of movie and progressively got better and more successful. At the start, we’re introduced to mustachioed 1970s news anchor Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) and his San Diego newsroom cohorts (Paul Rudd, David Koechner, and a socially loopy Steve Carell). They’re the kings of their hill, and when Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) is brought on as a new hire, they all prove their stupidity in trying to seduce her. The first half of the film succeeds only in confirming the four men as juvenile idiots and sexist pigs without much worthy of laughter, though Applegate is a needed tempering personality as she outshines her boorish coworkers.

There are a few moments of over-the-top chuckles, such as Ron’s flute performance and an animated dream sequence, but the film doesn’t really hit its stride until a certain battle scene. It seemed like the kind of scene that should be famous, but it caught me off guard with its celebrity cameos and ridiculous excess. Before that, maybe one out of ten jokes hit their mark, but by the time the bear-related climax rolled around, I couldn’t help but laugh.

Anchorman is easily Ferrell’s funniest and most quotable film that I’ve seen, and even if his character is extravagantly awkward, his unlikability improved with time. I suppose I most appreciated getting to see the context of famous lines I’ve heard quoted repeatedly, such as “That escalated quickly” and “I immediately regret this decision!” Anchorman’s appeal seems to lie in individual scenes of original randomness, whether shocking or laughable, and I can see why that’s enough for TCM to deem Anchorman a hit-and-miss classic.

Best line (aside from the two above): (Brian Fantana, wondering about real love) “I think I was in love once.”
(Ron Burgundy) “Really? What was her name?”
(Brian) “I don’t remember.”
(Ron) “That’s not a good start, but keep going….”
(Brian) “She was Brazilian, or Chinese, or something weird. I met her in the bathroom of a K-Mart, and we made out for hours. Then we parted ways, never to see each other again.”
(Ron) “I’m pretty sure that’s not love.”

 

Rank: List Runner-Up

 

© 2016 S.G. Liput
414 Followers and Counting

 

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