Wednesday, 26 March 2008

I'm Very Serious When I Say This Qualifies As An Event, Not A Movie

Really. Ferrell/McKay movies are, Chez Canyonneck, cultural events as significant as Scorsese/DeNiro collaborations are for others. Anchorman is possibly our favourite comedy, and Talledega Nights was almost as good, if it wasn't for the slackening of the pace during the last half hour or so. This is their latest collaboration, with John C. Reilly forming the third corner of their Triangle of Genius.

Other than the incredible ensemble casts gathered for these movies, the thing I love most about them is the progression of the set-piece scenes in Talledega Nights and Anchorman, with the principals ad-libbing dozens of lines (most of which are generated during intensive rehearsals), which are then edited together according to which moments got the biggest laughs during test screenings. This annoys a lot of people (according to comments I've read online) as their films have a very slender plot that serves as a frame for stream-of-consciousness joking that is either your bag or not, but that relentless chain of absurdity is what I love most about these films.

Talledega Nights turned up on Sky Movies the other day and the first scene with Sacha Baron Cohen as Jean Girard is a great example of it. All it has to do is introduce the antagonist and his reasons for hating Ricky Bobby, but it goes on for about five minutes, taking in jazz, pancakes, redneck gay panic, and a dozen other things, all the time satirising some of the more ridiculous cultural cliches about America and France brought up during this insane War on Terror. Best of all, it is treated by McKay as if it is a serious dramatic scene (listen to the musical stings), making it all the funnier. It is sheer perfection.

Plus, the DVDs feature tons of extra material, which is the same for the other Apatow movies released recently, but they have nothing on the scale of the Anchorman/Wake Up Ron Burgundy disc set we have, which has hours of extra footage, almost all of it pure gold. So yes, we're as excited about Step Brothers as Batman fans are for The Dark Knight, and we're not ashamed to admit it.

That is all.

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