Let’s get one thing straight; if you don’t like Will Ferrell movies then by the beard of Zeus we can’t be friends. He’s a curly haired, podgy hilarity machine.
There’s one genuine rule of a Will Ferrell movie – you are going to laugh. How much, of course, depends on how good the movie is. Ferrell has had as many flops as hits and so it was a bit difficult finding 10 of his movies worthy of a top 10 list – but I think I found a good group here.
10. Stranger Than Fiction
Ferrell plays Harold Crick, an IRS auditor who suddenly finds himself the subject of a narration only he can hear. It begins to affect his entire life, from work, to his love life and then his death. Similar to Jim Carrey in The Truman Show, Ferrell displays a quality here of being able to pull off a semi-serious role without having to revert back to the slapstick comedy that made him famous. Although not a huge commercial hit, this entertaining movie has many highlights.
Harold Crick: “You just said ten seconds ago, you wouldn’t help me.”
Professor Jules Hilbert: “It’s been a very revealing ten seconds.”
9. Blades of Glory
Blades of Glory is a hilarious underdog sports movie. Napoleon Dynamite’s Jon Heder and Ferrell play egomaniac rivals in the narcissistic world of men’s figure skating, an arena of sparkly spandex costumes on the ice and foot-stamping tantrums and seething resentments backstage. Heder is Jimmy MacElroy, an absurdly vain peacock of a skater with a figure-hugging, powder-blue outfit and blow-dried blond hair. Ferrell plays his enemy, Chazz Michael Michaels: a skater with a James Brown hairdo and the only skater to have won Olympic medals and adult movie awards. It may not be as funny as Ferrell’s other sports movies, but Blades of Glory still deserves a solid score from the judges.
Jimmy: “I see you got FAT!”
Chazz: “I see you still look like a fifteen year old girl, but not hot!”
8. The LEGO Movie
A seemingly ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary ‘Master Builder,’ is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together. The story takes aim at the trend for themed kits that require kids, and their geeky adult counterparts, to blindly follow instructions to build replicas of movie spaceships like the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars. Here it’s the instruction manual and the tyrannical Lord Business, voiced by Ferrell, that are sucking the fun out of LEGO world. Like their plastic heroes, directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have created something amazing by tearing up the instruction manual. Here’s to hoping they never stop producing such articulate, humorous and visual masterpieces.
Emmet: “Uh, guys? We’re about to crash into the sun.”
Batman: “Yeah, but it’s gonna look really cool.”
Okay so this isn’t a Will Ferrell movie, it’s a Ben Stiller movie. Having said that I can’t help but appreciate the ridiculous performance by Ferrell as the fashion guru Mugato. His mission – to assassinate the Malaysian Prime Minister on his visit to New York so that he doesn’t put a stop to Mugato’s cheap child labour operation. He brainwashes the already dim-witted Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller) into carry out his deadly deed for him. And don’t forget about Hansel (Owen Wilson) “He’s so hot right now.” Zoolander is full of insanely stupid moments that will keep you laughing.
Derek Zoolander: “I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.”
I honestly can’t image anyone else in this role but Ferrell. He’s such a big kid at heart and this suits him perfectly. It’s an enjoyable movie that’s fun to watch every Christmas (or just when you need a pick-me-up). Will’s Buddy is in search of his father, and the moments between the two of them have a lot of heart – which gives this movie just what it needs to be up there with the likes of the other big holiday movies that play on TV year each and every year.
Buddy: “Santa! Oh my God! Santa’s coming! I know him! I know him!”
5. The Other Guys
Another comedy great from the comedy powerhouse and co-creator Adam McKay. The Other Guys is the relentlessly silly, tasteless and very funny story of two New York cops: one is a regular tough guy, played by Mark Wahlberg, who as a punishment for a terrible mistake on duty is being partnered with an irritating bespectacled beta-male, new on the force, played by Ferrell. Other officers get the glory, particularly a superstar duo played in cameo by Samuel L Jackson and Dwayne Johnson; Ferrell and Wahlberg are doomed to be “the other guys”, until they find themselves on the trail of serious financial fraud.
Allen Gamble: “Hey, I did my first desk pop!”
4. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Adam McKay and Ferrell struck gold with this movie and proved to be a great actor/director combination. Everyone loved the unlikely comedic pairing of Will with John C. Reilly. Brilliant casting! Ferrell proves yet again that no comedic actor in the business does ‘sports’ comedies better than him. Yes, it’s over the top – but that’s the point. McKay shows a knack for filming action sequences, as the race scenes are realistic. The Bobby family dinner scenes are some of the funniest you’ll ever see. Two words…’Baby Jesus’.
Ricky Bobby and Cal Naughton, Jr.: “Shake and bake!”
3. Old School
Before director Todd Phillips struck gold with The Hangover, he directed this movie about three men who are disenchanted with life and try to recapture their college days. The perfect comedic combination – Vince Vaughn as Beanie Campbell, Luke Wilson as Mitch Martin, and Ferrell as Frank Ricard. The idea behind this funny movie is so simple, yet so brilliant at the same time. Who wouldn’t want to see these guys trying to relive their glory days? It’s a comedy that’s reminiscent of Animal House, due to its crude nature and subject matter. To this day, Ferrell’s streaking scene is one of most hilarious moments of any comedy in recent memory. Rumour is that a sequel may happen one day – let’s hope so. We could use some more ‘Frank the Tank’.
Frank: [Crying] “You’re my boy, Blue! You’re my boy.”
2. Step Brothers
OK. This was a tough one for me, choosing whether Step Brothers or Anchorman would be Will Ferrell’s best movie to date. The runner up is so worthy of the top spot, but the reason Step Brothers lands at #2 is that it’s just as funny as Anchorman, but just not quite as memorable. John C. Reilly joins Ferrell again in the movie that solidified their comedic union and proved that Ricky Bobby was no fluke and Adam McKay is back directing the duo. The funny thing about this movie is that there are people out there in the world like Dale and Brennan. Older guys who just won’t grow up, or move out. One of them is trouble enough, but putting two of them together in one house is, well, just insanity.
I’ve lost count of how many times I saw this movie when it first came out – and every now and then I watch it again. It never gets old. The extremely memorable banter back and forth consistently between Ferrell and Reilly keeps the movie from ever getting dull. If you don’t like it then you can just “Shut your mouth. Sh-sh-shut your mouth.”
Dale Doback: “You and your mom are hilbillies. This is a house of learned doctors.”
Brennan Huff: “You’re not a doctor… you’re a big, fat, curly-headed fuck!”
1. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
The introduction of Steve Carrell, the evolution of Paul Rudd, and the birth of one of the best comedies ever – Anchorman. So why is it #1? Many reasons. Let’s start with the memorable characters. Paul Rudd’s Brian Fantana, Steve Carell’s Brick Tamland, David Koechner’s Champ Kind and Christina Applegate’s (by far, her best role) Veronica Corningstone. And of course, Will Ferrell’s best character to date – Ron Burgundy. Then there are the memorable scenes. The news team’s battle in the back alley, Veronica and Ron’s on-air newsroom fights. Fantana’s ‘Sex Panther’…and the list goes on and on. Anchorman is one of the rare comedies that has everything. Brilliant writing (yes, Ferrell actually helped write this one too), wonderful pacing and direction from Adam McKay, and some of the best comedic performances ever put together in one motion picture.
Ron Burgundy is a character that you will never forget once you witness him. He’s quirky, yet classy as San Diego’s top rated newsman during the 1970′s. If you haven’t had a chance to see this one yet, I highly recommend putting it at the top of your must-see list.
Ron Burgundy: “I’m in a glass case of emotion.”
Will Ferrell has had some duds (he should have never been in Bewitched – actually, that snorefest should have never been made), but his true hit comedies are the types of movies that will stand the test of time.
Note: Only movies that starred Will Ferrell are on the list. Cameos, or short appearances, do not count. Therefore, Wedding Crashers, the Austin Powers movies, etc. are not eligible. And no I haven’t forgotten Anchorman 2, it’s just too terrible to be on this list.
I would be remiss if I forgot these other classic Ron Burgundy quotes.
“I love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. Here it goes down, down into my belly.”
“I wanna say something. I’m gonna put this out there: if you like it, you can take it. If you don’t, send it right back … I want to be ON you.”
“OK before we start, let’s go over the ground-rules … No touching of the hair or face … And THAT’S IT. Now FIGHT!”
“I don’t know how to put this but I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.”
“Mmm. I look good. I mean, really good. Hey, everyone! Come and see how good I look!”
“You know how to cut to the core of me, Baxter. You’re so wise. You’re like a miniature Buddha covered in hair.”
“Don’t act like you’re not impressed.”
What’s your favourite Ron Burgundy quote? Stay classy Ruthless On Film fans.
By Ruth Walker