“Why so serious?”
My taste in movies is wide-ranging, and to many bloggers movies mean more than just entertainment, but there’s nothing I like more than a good laugh and in the last decade Will Ferrell has been the man to make me chuckle the most.
Ferrell is still many people’s ‘Marmite’ but to me he is one of the great Comedy actors who was described not so many years ago as the ‘funniest man on the planet’.
What makes Ferrell so funny when many consider his films shallow and obvious? Think deeper and it will become apparent that Ferrell, like many of the great comedy actors has a lot more going on than just delivering one liner’s, making ridiculous gestures and pulling stoooopid faces. These mannerisms sound easy to deliver, but only those with a certain ‘gift’ can pull it off to be convincing and funny enough, where the body’s only natural response is to chuckle uncontrollably.
For Ferrell has ‘Murrayism’ – the gift I describe as that given ability to just make you laugh, and more definitively, how he does it without even saying a word! Bill Murray was the master. Look at Murray in many of his films and sometimes the laugh inside you is building just by looking at him, that’s the gift I describe. Ferrell has this gift, as have the greatest comedy actors in recent years. Jim Carrey, for all his posturing and physical humour is still deeply funny and has been for many years because of ‘Murrayism’. He wouldn’t have gotten very far by just being a fool all the time, and his diversion into more serious roles provided the platform for him to show off his acting ability; which leads us on to why comedy actors are so great.
Comedic acting is hard, think of how hard it is to make people laugh, not all of us can do it. Think of the funniest kid at school or the funniest friend you have; the guy who just has the gift to make you laugh and no matter what he says, he is funny. The point is; it is either a gift or it’s acting, but it’s a skill in timing and it’s not easy, and it may explain the success that many comedy actors have had in more ‘serious’ turns.
For Ferrell it’s a bit of both, skilled actor and crazy funny guy. If you don’t think he is skilled consider how bang on the money his comic timing is in all of his great films, and in his ‘serious’ performances in ‘Stranger than Fiction’ and more recently ‘Everything must go’. Proof if no further proof was needed that he can sidestep the slapstick.
Both Murray in ‘Lost in Translation’ and Carrey in the ‘The Truman Show’, just two examples, did the same; probably even more convincingly than Ferrell has yet, but again showing how diverse and brilliant comedy actors truly are.
So before you decide ‘to love or hate’ Ferrell consider the skill and talent needed to make people laugh.
Ferrell is one of my favourite comedy actors, truly funny and no one makes me laugh like him. He is the funniest (movie) man on the planet.
Here is a Top Five of his best…
Anchorman, the only place to start! Ferrell is completely hilarious as the legendary Ron Burgundy, news anchor for the channel 5 news team, a bunch of chauvinistic idiots whose ‘manly’ way of life is thrown into chaos with the arrival of female Veronica Corningstone. Ferrell gives the most ridiculous delivery of one liners you have ever seen and is truly hysterical.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Ferrell is Ricky Bobby, the all American NASCAR racer, whose rise to success is halted with the arrival of French F1 legend Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen). More hilarious one liners and craziness. There’s not a lot that’s too clever about Talladega nights, but lord it’s funny!
Stranger than Fiction: Harold Crick is hearing a narration in his head, he is the star of a book, the real life creation of author Karen (Emma Thompson), whose pending decision to kill off her lead could have real world consequences for the very real Harold. Ferrell is brilliant in his first ‘serious’ role in a tale of mortality, which looks at the shortness of life and facing up to death.
Elf: Ferrell is Childlike and naïve as Buddy the Human Elf sent to new York to find his true identity. A heart-warming innocent story that was a showcase for Ferrell’s brand of riotous comedy and one of his first big solo hits.
Zoolander: Ferrell stole the show in Ben Stiller’s story off ‘Zoolander’ the clueless male model who is brainwashed by Mugatu (Ferrell) to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia!? Completely camp and hilarious, Ferrell is brilliant as the evil fashion ‘Guru’.