Well, the time has come for me to round out my series of articles on my five favorite films. Up this week is a film I’ve written a little bit about before. That film is Adam McKay’s “Anchorman.”
In this gem of a sidesplitting, laugh-riot inducing flick, Will Ferrell plays Ron Burgundy, San Diego’s favorite news anchor. Burgundy is a beloved figure in the city whose fame has never been matched by any other news station.
Burgundy heads up the Channel 5 News Team, which includes Brian Fantana, a smooth talking on-the-scene reporter, Champ Kind covering sports, and the literally mentally challenged weather man Brick Tambland.
The four reporters are very close and have an easy life at Channel 5 until, in the spirit of diversity, their boss hires a woman named Veronica Corningstone to help out at the station.
When someone asks what diversity is, Burgundy wrongly replies, “It’s an old, old wooden ship from the Civil War era.”
Finding out about the hire, the news team is devastated that a woman can actually be allowed to report the news. The four start a competition to see who can sleep with her first and are rebuffed.
The story came from a real-life reporter who admitted years later that he was a chauvinist when his own station did the same thing in the 1970s.
Eventually, Burgundy gets Veronica to agree to go on a date with him, which leads to them beginning a relationship. After one steamy night in which they decide to keep their relationship a secret, Burgundy tells the rest of the guys about it then yells, “Veronica Corningstone and I had sex, and now we are in love” at the top of his voice where everyone in the office can hear it.
Somehow, the two stay together.
Veronica is given some of the more mediocre tasks as a reporter, such as attending a cat fashion show.
One day, Burgundy is driving in his car, eating a burrito, and after deciding it “delicious but it is filling,” he throws it out the window and hits a biker. After the biker has a wreck and ends up punting his beloved dog, Baxter, off of a bridge, Burgundy is inconsolable and misses the nightly broadcast.
Veronica then reports in Burgundy’s position and nails the performance, leading to her being given top billing with him. Livid, Burgundy hatches a plan with his male colleagues to get her fired. I’ll leave the rest for you to find out.
If the movie sounds ridiculous, it’s because it is.
The jokes range from absurd, to nonsensical, to downright classic.
I’ve seen it probably over 50 times, and it never gets old. In addition, I’ve heard more people quote the film than any other in my life.
There are great cameos in the film from greats including Vince Vaughn, Jack Black and Luke Wilson. One of the best scenes involves news teams from five different stations getting caught up in brawl in which Tambland kills a man with a trident.
I’m sure many of my readers have seen the film, but to those who haven’t, it’s a must-see. Luckily for me, Ferrell went on Conan O’Brien’s television show a few months back dressed as Burgundy to announce that a sequel is being made.
I cannot wait.
I know after reading the other four articles this might seem like a sophomoric choice to be in my Top 5, which it is, but this film holds a special place in my heart due to how hilarious it is.
I’m not sure what I’ll be writing about next week, but I can tell you that in the broadcast studio class I teach, at some point there will be a student who reports the news as Burgundy. I already have one who agrees. Jackpot.
In case you haven’t read the past few articles, here is the breakdown of my five favorite films. After my No. 1 choice, “Barry Lyndon,” my favorite movies are “Schindler’s List,” “Chinatown” and “Rushmore,” in no apparent order. I love the other four as equally as people love their children, and just as much.