Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My love-hate relationship with Will Ferrell

When I first saw Will Ferrell on Saturday Night Live, I grew to loathe his performing style. There was just something about him that rubbed me the wrong way. His impressions were pretty good, but his characters were, annoying to put it mildly, and it wasn't until I saw him in later projects that I finally put my finger on it. He needs to have no boundaries(or far greater ones than SNL provided) to be funny.

You see, I didn't truly appreciate Will Ferrell until he appeared on the Oblongs, a show that pushed the boundaries of good taste.

And then I'd see him appear on Conan wearing some ridiculous getup, like when he came on the show in a leprechaun costume/speedo combo that had the audience dying. It was then that I realized where he got his power. He had no shame... and I liked that. He was willing not only to go for the easy laugh, but that strange, beautifully uncomfortable one as well, and not in a Tom Green way either.

Will Ferrell is Magically Sadistic

And then I saw Night at the Roxbury and I started to dislike him all over again, but that was mitigated by his appearances in Austin Powers and as the architect in an MTV movie award parody of the Matrix.

Then the Old School/Anchorman combo hit, and I thought that he was swinging for the fences now. I mean, he really was going for it in a big way with no shame or holding back. I mean, Old School was pure Will Ferrell gold it was, especially the debate scene.

Will Ferrell going Old SchoolWill is the anchorman of comedy

But then he pulled back from the edge with Bewitched and I am starting to hate him again. It is like he enjoys dancing on the razor's edge of likability.

My question is, can I like his work again? And your equally relevant question is: should I want to?


Mr. Fabulous said...

I agree he is hit and miss. He almost always nails smaller roles, like in Starsky and Hutch and Wedding Crashers, but the leading roles are more of a mixed bag. I will say that Anchorman is now one of my favorite films, and I liked Elf a lot too. The new NASCAR one he has coming out shows promise...

D. Prince said...

I hated him with a passion, I just didn't get what people saw in him. He certainly wasn't funny, to me anyway. And then I saw Elf and it all changed. He was pricelesss in Anchorman.

MC said...

D: Man, how could I forget about Elf. He was so great in that.

Mr. Fab: Yeah, he is the spice in a lot of dishes as a cameo actor.

I found out he is attached to Old School 2 with Wilson and Vaughn. Hopefully it will bring the funny for me. There is just one picture of him in Old School from the student newspaper that kills me every time I see it.

Karl said...

Yeah, "Bewitched." Ugh. Couldn't even sit all the way through it. Thank God it was on Starz and I didn't pay any money to see it. I was really looking forward to seeing Steve Carell's appearance in it, but oh well.

I didn't know there was an "Old School 2" in the works. Geez, why can't they leave a good movie alone? The sequel is surely gonna suck.

MC said...

Well, the cast is "attached" which means anything could happen really.

Wendy said...

I can't stand Will Ferrell, but I am interested in Stranger Than Fiction.

MC said...

That is an odd concept for a movie. I thought it would have been a Michel Gondry project from the sounds of it, but Marc Forester has a good track record for this kind of thing I guess.

brandon said...

I love Will Farrell, even on SNL I thought he was pretty funny. His best of DVD's are great. His Robert Goulet is priceless.

But you are absolutely right, he can't be limited at all. He has to go full tilt or it doesn't work. When he is on, he make me laugh harder than just about anybody else.

Don't forget about The Producers. It was a weak remake but he made it so much better.

RC said...

yea, i kind of liked him in bewitched because he's a horrible actor, so the part was perfect for him.

i just don't think he's very funny at all.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

MC said...

I guess brandon represents the love and RC the hate of the relationship then.

Anonymous said...

I can't stand him.
I have rented most of his movies with the hope that this one will be better than the last one. I guess I am trying to figure out his appeal to everyone.
The only movie of his I have ever made 100% of the way though was Elf. The rest I usually turn off 1/4 of the way into them.
He is a no talent who got VERY VERY lucky!

Anonymous said...

I used to not mind his work because I was busy hating Ben Stiller for wearing a wig and stache in EVERY movie he was in. Now it is 2007 and Ferrell is simply making the same sport parodies OVER AND OVER. I found this site when I did a HATE WILL FERRELL search after reading he was starting production on a movie about getting into the NBA in the 70s. This story comes out a week after the release of Blades of Glory...KILL ME!