Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy

2004, Movie, PG-13, 91 mins

Review

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This just in: Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay's clever send-up of the chauvinistic attitudes in the dark days before sexual-harassment lawsuits may cause hysterical fits of laughter — stay tuned for further details. The premise is faintly ridiculous, its exaggeration of 1970s fashion and hair disasters is pretty over the top and barely four minutes into the film Ferrell has already stripped to his skivvies. But the film is wickedly funny and a first-rate showcase for Ferrell, who grabs the opportunity to shine as San Diego anchorman Ron Burgundy. Burgundy heads up Channel 4's top-rated news team, which includes sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) and man-on-the-street Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd). Burgundy's team reports the news hard and parties harder, boozing, carousing and objectifying every woman who crosses their path, none of which stops viewers from all walks of life from tuning in to Ron's broadcasts and quoting his signature sign-off, "You stay classy, San Diego." The only person who doesn't like Ron is Wes Mantooth (Vince Vaughn), head anchor at the city's second-ranked station. But Ron's home life is lonely, and his closest relationship is with his adorable, super-smart dog, Baxter. And then his happy work environment is disrupted when perpetually preoccupied station boss Ed Harken (Fred Willard) announces that lovely-but-ambitious reporter Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) will be joining the boys' club. Ron and his fellow misogynists are appalled and rather than welcome her they make comments about her assets, hit on her and call her crude names when she rebuffs their caveman advances. The persistent Ron eventually wears down her defenses and she agrees to a date; Veronica finds herself falling for him, but their vicious newsroom competition threatens their budding relationship. This relaxed comedy's numerous cameos are unusually well-timed, and some of its funniest moments come courtesy of Daily Show alumnus Carell's dope of a weatherman, who looks up to the boorish Brian and Ron with truly dimwitted devotion. But it also offers a riotous gang war, an adorable kitty-cat costume show (one of many humiliating assignments handed to Veronica) and plenty of unexpected and off-the-cuff witticisms. And that's the news for now. leave a comment --Angel Cohn

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