Sometimes you need to be stimulated intellectually to find something truly amusing, but sometimes you need silliness injected directly into your cerebral cortex. For all of those moments, we should be happy we have Will Ferrell and these five classic films.
Ferrell made his name on SNL providing irreverent skits and a deadpan delivery which would see more corpsing than a mortician. The head writer at the time, Adam McKay, would also leave the show and work directly with Ferrell on some of his biggest hits. That said, he really established himself as a star when he took his talents on to the big screen and made us all wet ourselves laughing.
We should say that if you’re looking for a highly-rated, critically acclaimed comedy with flecks of subtle sadness and the dry humour of a British sophisticate, then chances are you’ll be disappointed by our selection and perhaps Ferrell’s contributions to comedy.
The actor has always been silly and nonsensical, it’s part of what makes him so loveable, his incarnations on screen have always been entirely accessible for kids and adults alike. That’s not to say that his creations and roles aren’t cleverly put together, they certainly are, but it’s hard to ignore that he’s a modern-day clown.
In a time when we’re all in need of a senseless laugh or a shameless giggle then take a look at one of these films from Will Ferrell and we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
Will Ferrell’s 5 best films:
5. Elf (2003)
We’ll come clean and admit that this bonafide Christmas classic would probably top our list of festive films to watch for a laugh, but it that same festive nature which has pushed it down our list somewhat. Taking on the role of Buddy the Elf, Ferrell did that all too curious thing of being able to make us cry laughing and just plain cry.
The entire film is filled with classic Ferrell lines and catastrophic situations which could only have been achieved by the master of buffoonery. One such line, “You stink! You smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Santa” may well be our favourite movie insult of all time.
4. Talladega Nights (2006)
After the success of 2003 effort Elf, Ferrell soon became a Hollywood star that guaranteed ticket sales—but that didn’t stop the actor struggling to find his niche. While Anchorman provided him with the iconic Ron Burgundy, there is one more contender for Ferrell’s greatest creation, Ricky Bobby.
A NASCAR driver who has his world turned upside down is perfectly balanced by his best friend Cal, a character played by John C. Reilly. When we say balanced, we actually mean that they’re both equal parts stupid and funny.
Ludicrous scenes and bone-rattling laughs make this a film you can watch over and over again, providing new laughs where you least expected them.
3. Step Brothers (2008)
Two years after Ferrell and Reilly teamed up on the racetrack they were in action as the titular stepbrothers, the comedy duo providing one of the stand out films of the year and another endlessly quotable film for college kids to lose their shit to. Centred around two full-grown mean living at home after their parents get married, the film provides the perfect vehicle for Ferrell’s larger than life persona to bleed in the role.
As happy making a fool of himself as a strong point of character, Ferrell’s performance is truly memorable and will likely go down as one of his best. The film also provided scene after scene of iconic moments, ones which slip naturally into the public lexicon. “Did we just become best friends?”
2. Old School (2003)
If you’re looking for the exact moment Will Ferrell became a star then you’ve found it. It wasn’t his performance as the candy cane chugging Buddy the Elf that put Ferrell on top, it was his starring turn as ‘Frank the Tank’. A mild-mannered and recently married man whose life falls apart when he starts going back to his frat house ways.
It is this film that kickstarted Ferrell’s journey as one of the most quotable actors in comedy. Old School provided countless lines including a drunkenly explained trip to do some DIY shopping as a “nice little Saturday” or the belting classic “we’re going streaking!”.
It’s a classic from the early noughties which is definitely worth revisiting.
1. Anchorman (2004)
If there’s one role that someone thinks of when wondering about Will Ferrell then chances are they’ll land on Ron Burgundy, the Anchorman for Sand Diego’s Channel 5 news—arguably one of the finest comedic creations in modern film.
Not only is the film jam-packed with lines like “I’m in a glass case of emotion,” “It’s so damn hot. Milk was a bad choice,” or indeed “Scotchy scotch, down into my belly” but it sees Ferrell deliver perhaps his most complete performance.
A truly inspirational character Ferrell does a lot of the heavy lifting for the film but that doesn’t mean his ensemble, also his Channel 5 news team, don’t pitch in with Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd also taking starring roles.
The film sees Ferrell given the license to do whatever he wanted and he certainly didn’t disappoint. It is, without doubt, his finest moments on screen and worth re-watching whenever you need a smile.