Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Why is Anchorman SO good?
With the release of Dinner for Schmucks starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, it left me wondering why this group of comedians also including Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Jason Segal and Seth Rogan have done so well for themselves. With a series of movies including Blades of Glory, I Love You, Man and The 40 Year Old Virgin, they've all retained such a dedicated audience that love and adore each and every one of their performances. Anchorman (2004) is possibly one of the best combining the greatest comedians into one film. Voted top comedy over the Noughties and ranked high in the greatest of all time comedies on numerous polls, this film is obviously a must see. So why?
For a start, it caters to the very audience comedies are aimed at - Young men. It has Ron (Ferrell) as the lead who is popular, a leader and a little bit of a womaniser. Men are attracted to this sort of character as they are domineering; they can look up to them and admire what they say (usually because it could never normally be said). The film also holds that "bromance" type feel with a close group of friends all working together, sharing key moments in their life - Like the explanation of love. It's fun loving and silly. It's also this lack of seriousness that makes it a great film to feel connected to, almost because the characters are so stupid you feel superior to them. Everyone always wants to feel a little bit better about themselves, right?
Added to this is the type of comedy the film uses. It's a combination between mockery, randomness and dramatic acting. Combining the 3 is quite a task and to keep them flowing together is a risk worth taking. The film uses professionals in this type of acting anyway, but the script is also improvised meaning classic lines such as "I Love Lamp" tend to come straight from the actors. This keeps the dialogue fresh and exciting, meaning you get comedy when you least expect it. Also, having the film set in the 1970s mean you can play about with the costumes, hairstyles and makeup of the actors to provide an entertaining look even before you've heard anything.
There is also a story to follow as well. You're not just watching a series of events going from one place to another with pointless jokes filling in the gaps. We follow the story of a newsreader fighting his way into the industry against other competing channels. There is also the love story between Ron and Veronica (Christina Applegate) that gives the film some substance as well. The added dimension of the dominant woman breaks up the focus on men, giving the viewing slightly more of a meaning with her bringing in a whole new plotline to the film. And with the story using such diverse personalities, we're never left bored on screen. You have your favourites and can watch their performance again and again quoting their best lines.
So, we're being provided with actors that have a sense of humour, can act and work well together on screen. You feel a connection with them and can watch their performance over and over. This is why this team of comedy actors have done so well for themselves, and look as if they're not going anywhere...