MARLBORO, NY – Proving that laughter keeps you young, today is comedic actor Will Ferrell’s 50th Birthday. What does this have to do with sports you might ask? Well, aside from being one of my favorites, Ferrell has appeared in his fair share of sports movies. To be honest, there has been one disappointment in the bunch but the rest are pure genius. Here’s a look at the lineup of mostly hits for your viewing pleasure without playing spoiler.
Will Ferrell Sports Flicks
Old School: Not a sports movie? Let’s not forget one of the funnier moments of the film where aging fraternity pledge “Blue” Pulasky has a KY jelly wrestling match with two hot young coeds during his birthday party. And then there’s the athletic portion of the fraternity’s reinstatement whereby members perform various gymnastics routines of which Ferrell’s Frank “The Tank” character atones for his “Ring of Fire” mascot mishap with a less humorous floor exercise. Let’s not forget the largest member of the frat aptly called “Weensie“, who is asked to do the vault. And if I haven’t convinced you yet of these sports feats, any red-blooded, college-educated, American male will tell you drinking is a sport as the party dubbed Mitch-a-palooza in Old School can attest. Two thumbs way up for this one.
Semi-Pro: Wow. Not exactly Will Ferrell’s shining moment, as I’m sure he probably regrets his involvement in this flick. It’s a spoof on the old ABA and its pending dissolution and partial merger of a few teams into the NBA which Ferrell’s character, Jackie Moon is owner/player/coach of the Flint Tropics. As only Ferrell can do in his over-the-top style, various stunts include Dewey the wrestling bear (spumoni anyone?), an eyeliner bit during a game to “look mean”, and a play called “The Puke.” A juxtaposition in most comedies includes a somewhat serious subplot to the high-jinx and includes an equally dreadful performance by Woody Harrelson. Andre 3000 of Outkast also stars in a movie you should steer clear of at all costs. Two thumbs down.
Kicking & Screaming: This isn’t Will Ferrell’s movie so much as it is an acting tour de force by Mike Ditka who plays himself. This is soccer’s version of The Bad News Bears as the adults take center stage in a suburban youth league. Ditka, has a hilariously contentious relationship with his neighbor who turns out to be Ferrell’s overbearing soccer coach of a father. Ditka is recruited by Ferrell to coach his son’s moribund team only to turn Ferrell into a monster. See the coffee and juice box scenes. There also are some Italian ethnic jokes and stereotypes related to the team’s best players. This is a movie worth watching with the entire family.
Blades of Glory: All you have to do is watch the first ten minutes of this one to be as hooked, as I was. Ferrell plays a figure skating sex addict performing in the opening scene to Billy Squire’s hit single The Stroke. You’ll laugh so hard you might have a stroke yourself. The movie follows two ice skating adversaries, their fall from grace; Ferrell as a performer in Grublets On Ice and the other as a sporting goods store employee, and their subsequent corroboration to nail a maneuver called “The Flying Lotus” in a pairs competition. The movie parodies the cutthroat nature of the international skating circuit by incorporating a kidnapping into the script. Out of all the Will Ferrell movies this is the one you absolutely should not miss.
Way over my word limit so come back tomorrow for DJ Eberle’s review of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.