I Have a Problem with Will Ferrell, Not That He Cares

I was watching “Elf” last night, and as usual was crushing on Zooey Deschanel.  I  mean, all that and a fabulous singing voice?  She’s just too delish.

Anyway, I got to thinking about how Will Ferrell is utterly, completely, and totally charming, funny and warm in this movie and it’s endearing.

And, why can’t he be like that ALL THE TIME, in ALL THE MOVIES he makes?

I mean, he has it in him.  It’s there, it just seems like he does his very best to suppress the inner Will that would make him a superstar (in my opinion) by making ten insipid movies for every gem.

Come to think of it, other than “Elf” I can’t think of a single Will Ferrell movie I’d label a ‘gem’.   Most of them I’d label ‘recycle’ and throw in the big blue bin in time for pick-up day.  

The first movie I saw him in was “Anchorman”, and while the premise had the promise of hilarity, the movie was a notch above horrible.  And, that was only because Steve Carrel was fecking hilarious in every scene he was in – my favorite being the one where he randomly shows up to a fight with a trident.  I mean, who does that? Steve-fecking-Carrell, that’s who.  Will’s (I think if I’m lambasting the man I ought to at least be on a first name basis – feel free to reciprocate, Will) performance was just like all the others that bracket “Elf”,  from Steve Butabi in “Night at the Roxbury” – where a little of the endearing Will at least tried to come out, to Ricky Bobby in “Talladega Nights” – a ‘film’ (and I use that term very loosely) that tried to poke fun at the NASCAR set, and only made me want to strangle his character,  Will’s films are so awful they give other awful films a bad name….with the possible exception of his Darrin in “Bewitched”.  Or maybe I was just too busy wanting to smack the trying-way-too-hard Nicole Kidman, I was overly generous to Will and his vulnerable portrayal of the insecure actor. 

Over the course of at least fifteen years, I’ve tried to like Will in everything I have seen him in and I just can’t.  He’s just bad, no – awful…no terrible…no terriawfulbad.  He’s so bad I had to make up a new adjective to describe it.

And then there’s “Elf”.  In it, Will is the Will I want to see more of.  The one I thought we would see more of.  The one I had pinned my hopes for the next ‘Bill Murray’ on.

Instead, I hear there’s a sequel to “Anchorman” in production.  Obnoxious Ron Burgundy is back, again. One can only hope that Steve Carrell’s character, Brick, has returned to town trusty trident at his side.


Posted on December 6, 2012, in Random Crap, Things That Annoy, Things That Will Piss You Off and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Couldn’t disagree more. I think he is hilarious, as are both Anchorman and Step Brothers. But sometimes I’m not looking for a “comedy with a big heart.”

    I understand the concept of your dislike, because I have always felt that way about Jim Carrey with the exception of one or two movies where he didn’t really try to be funny. But the difference between Carrey and Farrell is that one of them is hilarious and the other is Jim Carrey.

    • My daughter once said of Jim Carrey – “Was he ever funny? Or was I just 12?” Kinda sums it up for me. I did like “Liar, Liar”, but that’s about it.

      • I never liked him, even when I was 12. The only things of his I have enjoyed are The Majestic and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, both of which are largely devoid of his misguided attempts at humor. He is actually a decent actor, just not a funny one.

      • That’s the weird thing about Jim Carey: while he’s at best a mediocre comedian, he’s actually a respectable dramatic actor. I’ve liked every movie where Carey has done dramatically: Eternal Sunshine, Majestic, Man on the Moon, and The Truman Show. The man could be a damn fine and respectable actor if he could just seperate himself from his younger days as a comedian.

        Adam Sandler is like that too. As a comedian he’s just flat awful, but he’s done several more dramatic roles that show he has a depth of acting that just has not been tapped.

        Will Ferrel, on the other hand… well, the only thing I’ve ever liked him in is his time in SNL, and his role as Franz Liebkind in The Producers. I think Will Ferrel could be good, too, he just needs directors who can tap into his acting ability without type casting him as Will Ferrel.

  2. Then you should have liked “The Truman Show”, too.

    • I actually have never seen it all the way through. But I do like what I’ve seen of it, yes. I probably should add it to ye olde Nette-flicques queue.

  3. I mostly agree CJ. I loved Elf but haven’t made an effort to see any of Will’s other movies except one – “Stranger Than Fiction”.

    I LOVED this movie. People have compared it to “The Truman Show” but I didn’t think they were that much alike. The plot was very original and it kept me interested and at some points on the edge of my seat. I highly recommend it.

  4. Adored STRANGER THAN FICTION. If I could write a screenplay, this is the one I’d want it to be.

  5. I think the thing about Will Ferrell — and I’ll say this while simultaneously owning up to the fact that I have not SEEN Anchorman, Elf, Talladega Nights, or … well, really, any Will Ferrell movies — is that he pushes things into the “uncomfortable” territory, and for me that’s a tough place to find funny. You’re laughing AT someone, a broad stereotype of someone, and that’s uncomfortable for me. I didn’t see Napoleon Dynamite or Borat either, and those strike me as the same genre as most of Will Ferrell’s output; going for the laugh by being as outrageous as possible. The Farrelly brothers seem to occupy that territory too.

    • True, but even at that if he was funny whilst poking fun I might be able to see the humor. Trouble is, he’s just not.a.funny guy.

    • In most cases, Ferrel’s character is a little too over the top to believe that you’re laughing at someone who could be real. Napoleon Dynamite was not like that. It was a hyperreal take on the 80s teen comedy, with teenagers who act like real, awkward, weird teenagers–simultaneously sympathetic and irritating– instead of the impossibly cool teens you see in most movies.

      Borat is a different thing altogether. The point of Borat is to laugh at the way Americans react to the embodiment of their expectations of a foreigner; the stereotypical foreigner is the setup rather than the punch line.

  6. “Stranger Than Fiction” is on the list of 10 movies that I would want to take with me to a deserted island. (I don’t really have a list, I just made that up.)


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: