Blades of Glory (2007)
Starring: Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jenna Fischer, William Fichtner, Craig T. Nelson, Romany Malco
Directed by: Josh Gordon and Will Speck
When you go to a Will Ferrell movie, you have to accept the obvious shortcomings of the movie, or you’re simply not going to have a good time. You have to accept the tissue-thin plotting, obvious dialogue, perfunctory-at-best direction, and overall buffoonery of the cast (along with Ferrell’s hammy over-the-top deliveries) and hope that none of it is distracting enough to draw your attention away from what you came to see: the humour of the movie.
So when I went to see Blades of Glory, I was going in with a fair perspective. I actually wanted to see the movie, since it looked kinda funny in the trailers, featured a bunch of actors from my favourite TV shows, and if anything is deserving of satire, it’s the world of figure skating (the most attention-grabbing non-sport of them all). I was ready to accept that there was good chance it was terrible. I just wasn’t prepared for how truly terrible it ended up being.
To be clear, before this, the only true Will Ferrell movie I’d seen is Elf (other movies I’ve seen with him were either ensembles like Old School, or his dramatic departure role in Stranger than Fiction). I do think the guy can be pretty funny, I’ve just never been interested in seeing any of his other movies for the reasons I described in the first paragraph. So I really wasn’t the target audience for this movie. That said, the terribleness that surrounds everything in this movie could have all been forgiven if the placid direction, wooden acting, and idiotic plotting that surrounds it been off-set by simply being funny. In a movie like this, funny trumps all.
But, it just wasn’t funny, or at least, it wasn’t funny enough. It got a few small laughs out of me, but nothing significant enough to distract me from thinking about all the quality movies I passed up the chance at seeing so I could sit there and watch this obvious, moronic, and cynically-unmotivated cross between Zoolander and The Cutting Edge. Pretty much that’s the entire description of the movie: Zoolander meets The Cutting Edge, and I’m convinced that all screenwriters John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky did when adapting Busy Phillips‘ story was watch those two movies, steal their ideas, then let Ferrell fill in the dialogue through adlibs and riffs (for an idea of how well they succeeded, I’ll just say that Blades of Glory succeeds at making Zoolander and The Cutting Edge look criminally underappreciated. So, there’s that).
That’s pretty much all this review boils down to in the end, that the movie wasn’t funny enough. There was plenty of other things wrong with it, most disappointingly being the waste of talents like Will Arnett, Rob Corddry, Romany Malco, William Fichtner, and Jenna Fischer (although, the movie gets a half-star bonus for putting her in lingerie), but the crux of the matter is that it didn’t make me laugh enough. In this, comedy is pure. You can’t fake laughing at something if you didn’t find it funny. You either laugh or you don’t. So, if you watched this movie and laughed a lot, then you liked it. I did not, so I did not.