I could find a lot of fault with this movie. I mean, there were two very distinct points at which I groaned, turned to my friend, and said, “Why is this happening?” But there were far more points at which I burst out laughing, and that’s probably all that matters. The Legend Doth Continue, and the Legend Doth Make One Guffaw.
Ron Burgundy is not a character most people could get away with, but Will Ferrell is not most people, either. He’s an aloof guy, not always on, and therefore even more likable, which makes his misogynistic hurls and cocky strut all the more appealing. (I suppose that’s how reverse psychology works.) Nevermind that he and Veronica Corningstone settled down and had a kid, and that the kid makes almost no logical sense in the context of their very busy lives. The kid kind of holds the movie together, at least when Baxter the trusty dog isn’t doing so. Ron fucks up and redeems himself, this time in the eyes of his wife and child. It’s really nothing you haven’t heard before.
In addition to the real child, there is a fake child, in the form of Brick’s love interest. She is Chonnie, or Chunnie, or some alternate pronunciation of Connie that consistently cracked me up each time it was said. And she/it was played by Kristen Wiig, of course, that Lady Gumby of the big screen. I’m convinced Wiig can wear any hairstyle and look completely amazing. Even this llittle-girl-fro thing she was sporting flattered her face. She and Steve Carell played against each other awkwardly, which is to say well in the case of this movie, because I’m still convinced that Brick is the best part, even though Ron is the best character. Carell steals every scene he’s in, on purpose, and I think Ferrell just eats it up. I don’t understand how these men don’t wail after every take. Maybe they do.
I admit I started to get tired of Dave Koechner’s character (and even Paul Rudd’s) after awhile, only because they didn’t really “mature” the way that the other two guys did. But again, if I think too hard here, I’m missing the point. Right?
Let me get back to those two legitimate complaints. The first is the point at which Ron sings a song. Leading up to that point, Ron becomes blind and lives in a lighthouse. Leading up to that point… honestly, I completely forget why he’s blind. I’d apologize, but I don’t think it’s that important. The crux here is that it’s absurd in an incongruous way. I love the one-liners and the costumes and everything, and the plot makes sense given how dickish the characters are. But the lighthouse? It was a stretch even for this universe.
And then, of course, the fight scene at the end. A massive, giant, humongous stretch. I don’t remember how it fit into the plot, either, but I’m pretty sure it involved a single very weak line, followed by shot after shot of Famous Comedy People. It’s more fun not to know, so I won’t spoil that for you, but suffice it to say that the person you’d expect to suck is completely awesome, and vice versa. I’ll leave you to guess who I’m talking about.
It’s fun to see this kind of movie in the theater — the disastrous parts are magnified, and you can sympathize with your fellow filmgoers. And the brilliant parts, those lines that make you almost pee, also make you feel like you’re a member of an elite club. The club of Burgundy.