Monday, 31 January 2011

Blades of Glory: Prancing on ice with a bit of beheading

You don't normally get many laughs from Hollywood comedies, even if they're Oscar nominated. But Blades of Glory is better than most. Two rival ice skaters are banned from the sport for fighting, and then come back a few years later as a same-sex pairs team. One's a graceful child prodigy, the other a rough sex addict. Will they be able to overcome their differences and skate to gold in the big championship? Yes, they will. Nobody's winning any awards here, but it's enjoyable enough. Will Ferrell and Jon Heder are funny together, and that's what holds up the entire film. They punch each other on the podium and prance around on the ice, and that's funny. Though it can't be right that saying a comedy is 'enjoyable enough' counts as high praise. Some critics count laughs to decide the quality of these things. Where's the fun in that? Are comedies so boring that five laughs is a high point? These are professionals after all. There's actors who made their way as stand-up comedians. If they only got five laughs a show they'd be in trouble. The blandest comedies are based on one joke, stretched out to two hours. It's much easier to add jokes to something else. A drama with funny bits. A comedy horror. Romantic comedy. Something that just sets out to be funny is pretty brave. Trying to be appeal to everyone will leave most people bored. If there's no constant stream of ideas coming, you'd better make your one joke pretty good. Here the joke is that Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy are complete opposites, and they have to dance together. It gets by on the performance of the two leads and the likeable, innocent charm. It doesn't go for sweary or vulgar, it's pretty gentle, which makes it easier to get along with.

And anyway, Chazz Michael Michaels is a complex guy. He's written a poetry collection called 'Let Me Put My Poems Inside You'. Which is probably the best name for a book of poetry I've ever heard.


  1. I probably wouldn’t have watched this if I were told it basically came down to a series of jokes involving two men’s mild homophobia, but it managed to provoke quite a few laughs. As you said, that’s more than what most Hollywood comedy movies achieve.

  2. Yeah, forgettable but okay. That's almost praise.

  3. Thanks for following. This is probably one of my favourite Will Ferrel films, so I try to watch it as little as possible - that way its still funny when I do watch it haha.