Anchorman : The Legend of Ron Burgundyi is very much an over the top satire in the vein of Lloyd Bridges' work in the 90s.
The niche used for fodder here is the periphery of 70s [visual!] media, typified by the local (San Diego) TV station, with all its attendant nonsense : the remnant 1950s sexism, the endless pretense in all directions, what with the ratings, what with the hair, what with the work, what with the... you name it, they pretended it. On paper it's a perfect fit for complete deconstruction and individual, itemized, prolonged acid bath. In practice, it's so fundamental to ESLii culture that no serious attempt can be entertained with the output remaining meaningful to the population. I don't even mean they'd be offended by a proper trashing of their heart and soul, I'm outright saying they couldn't even comprehend it. Psychologic defenses come in layers you see, the stuff that enrages the taxpayer is always marginal and relatively unimportant. The things that actually matter, those they just... "don't understand". At all. No matter what. Makes unhappenings all that easier, which is the very point.
In this charged context Anchorman works ok, I laughed, it's funny, Will Ferrell got it and poor misfortunate Christina Applegate does much better next to him than she managed next to that psychotic idiot Ed Helms. She's exactly perfect for the role, because she telegraphs the willing slut in a deux piece with every fibre of her being, all she's saying the whole time is "Please make it through this hour with the parents so you can fuck my brains out for the rest of the night in the alley behind the garage afterwards. Please. Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease. O no put down the punch dish. Oh my god please!"
It's exactly right for the film, and its take on "sexism" (mostly in the vein of "I can't believe you said that. Man... you're cockblocking yourself with both hands!") is certainly reminiscent of saner times as well as functionally comprehensibleiii model. She's a B actress, it's true, but she's a fine B actress, as fine as they come.
What else are you going to watch on the airplane ?———
- 2004, by Adam McKay with Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate [↩]
- English as a Single Language [↩]
- What do you think sexism is, a) a vast, far-reaching right wing conspiracy or b) the collective behaviours of sexually frustrated, socially inexperienced males blessed with a strong sexual urge and poor sexual ability ? [↩]