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Dull blades

Movies | Ultra-low-brow humor makes new Ferrell film one to miss

Issue: "Don't run, Newt," April 14, 2007

Will Ferrell's latest offering-Blades of Glory (rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor and language)-trades on a brand of humor that turns one of the biggest culture war battlefields into a running joke. Surprisingly, Christians and gay people might walk away from Blades of Glory with the same thought: Should we be laughing at homosexuality like this?

The action begins with a fistfight between champion ice skaters Chazz Michael Michaels, a flamboyantly straight man played by Will Ferrell, and Jimmy MacElroy, a straight but pastel-loving softy played by Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder. The two are banned from participating in the competitive figure skating circuit, but the rulebook allows an out: The ban is only for singles events, not pairs figure skating. Naturally, the two team up.

The plot is only a device to put the two leading characters into awkward positions. At one point the characters portrayed by Ferrell and Heder are forced to skate around in formations obviously meant to be construed as sexual positions. Audiences are supposed to laugh at the awkwardness of two ostensibly straight men forced into "gay" situations.

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When the straight/gay humor doesn't take, Ferrell resorts to cheap shots and low blows (literally). But, with America's Funniest Home Videos as a witness, guy-getting-hit-in-the-crotch humor still seems to work.

When you're hot, you're hot-and Will Ferrell is hot. Despite its ultra-low-brow tone, his figure skating parody grossed $33 million in its first weekend, easily beating the big Disney release of Meet the Robinsons.

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