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Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
"Anchorman" is a satirical parody on the misogynistic world of the broadcast stations in the 1970's. With SNL's Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate leading the way as anchorman and woman Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone respectively, "Anchorman" explores the 'trials and tribulations' of San Diego's beloved anchorman Ron Burgundy after the ambivalent Corningstone dares to set foot in the Channel 4 news station. From there on out its all business, sexual jokes, and satire!
Written by: Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
Directed by: Adam McKay.
Tagline: Stay classy San Diego!
Rated: PG13 for sexual humor, language, and comic violence.
The setting: San Diego, sometime in the 1970's. The guy: Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), head anchorman of Channel 4's 6 o'clock news. He's a beloved, debonair guy with the right clothes, perfect hair cut, and a moustache that rivals any 1920's handlebar version. Yes, Ron Burgundy is head anchor of his 'news team' which includes the slightly slow weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), his beloved Hicksville sports reporter Champ Kind (David Koechner), and his Rico Suave journalist Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd). Together these four men dominate the news scene. Coming in at #1 in the ratings consistently, they repetitiously become the iconic news group for San Diego and, simultaneously, the loathed posse of all rival news stations.
But with ease these four men walk the streets of San Diego, protected from their wily rivals by the deep loyalty of San Diego patrons, from Harley dudes, to Latin restraint managers, Ron Burgundy and his men are living the high life; sucking down the best cocktails and hitting on the 'purtiest' women.
Enter Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate); the woman with a tush and a determination that will not be daunted by the misogynistic world of Channel 4 news. Dressed in her profession finest, Corningstone wreaks havoc on the testosterone latent haven with her polyester and tweed designer brand skirts that have men torn between hating her and wanting to make her their next date. But Veronica is determined to maintain a professional relationship with all of her coworkers. Nevertheless, there is just something about that Ron Burgundy.
As Ron takes Veronica about the town so she can get better acquainted with the intimates of her newest city, sparks quickly fly as Ron busts out his impressive Jazz flute solo. Next thing you know its all week knees and a quick trip to 'Pleasure Town' for these two. But Veronica hastily implores Ron to keep the relationship under wraps so as not to daunt her perseverance in the race to head anchor. A quick nod confirms Burgundy's loyalties to his wonder woman, that is, until his southern brain begins to dominate and in a fit of passion Ron declares his love for Veronica to all of Channel 4 news station and, more importantly, all of San Diego. But while the town of Saint Diego, or whale's vagina, or whatever the scholastic vernacular may declare the meaning of the city's name to be, roots to the two on, back in the station Ron Burgundy is facing quite the ambivalent opinions of his 'news group'. Champ, Brick, and Brian all avidly oppose Veronica, declaring that she is bad for both professional and personal reasons. A quick break up with his 'newsgroup' places Ron's loyalties on the side of his woman, that is, until she steals his spotlight one afternoon while he is in the middle of a personal crisis; enter Jack Black for a quick cameo as a biker upset at his having been thrown from his bike after Ron litters, and in doing so, absentmindedly throws his burrito in Jack's face. Angry, Jack takes Ron's dog Max and hurls it off the bridge, leaving Ron in hysterics.
Of course his tantrum only worsens after he thinks Veronica has betrayed him, and immediately the two begin their personal love quarrels right in the midst of the station. To make matters worse, San Diego loves Veronica and she has just been promoted to co-anchor! Now Ron must work alongside his nemesis and return home alone, where his dog will no longer greet him. Ron and Veronica's tom-foolery escalates and the latter ends up pulling one over Ron that gets him fired, and worse, has all of San Diego hating the 'stay classy' anchorman.
Distraught, Ron shrinks away into solitude and becomes a formidable sight of promethean scruffiness. Unkempt, unshaven, the unloved Ron is forced to eat crow, or more accurately, cat poo, and humble himself before all of San Diego and their continuous humiliating admonitions. As Ron grows further in despair, Veronica begins to regret her decision to abandon professional tact and slander Ron's long standing reputation. But don't worry; a quick trip to the zoo to cover the biggest story of the year, a panda's birth, will reunite the two lovers and the 'news team' in, a bear pit? Whilst Champ and Brian wrestle with the bears, and Brick rides one, Veronica and Ron declare their love. Meanwhile Ron's long lost dog, Max, returns from the wild to save the day. It's happy ever after for these two anchor lovebirds that quickly become the most beloved anchor duo for not just San Diego, but the whole world. Look's like these two lovebirds have finally discovered the meaning of the song, "Afternoon Delight", after all.
"Anchorman" is a witty slapstick comedy that will have you rolling in your seat. Will Ferrell is at it again with his "it's so stupid is funny" comedic improvisations. Quick cameos from Jack Black, Tim Robbins, Luke Wilson, and Vince Vaughan add to the stockpile of laughter and comedic conventions, and Applegate has come a long way from 'Married with Children's' Kelly Bundy in her portrayal of Veronica Corningstone. The 'news team' also does a great job of portraying caricature comedic stock types that tickle the fancy with laughter throughout. The comedic devices of this film is a juxtaposition of SNL and Meet the Parents: think improv, slap stick, and almost too embarrassing humor all merged into one satirical parody on contemporary news. Of course the dated setting helps diffuse the direct hit of the satire, nevertheless, Anchorman brilliantly portrays some if the ludicrousness of contemporary news while simultaneously addressing concepts of sexual and harassment and racial stereotyping in a subtly comedic fashion.
From the jazz flute, to the cat poo, to the breaking up with the 'news team', to the "Big Lebowski"-esque scene; Pleasure Island, to the bear pit, "Anchorman" is chalk full of satiric puns and parody that will have you laughing at both the film and yourself for a long while. For additional viewing pleasure, tune-in to the bloopers and "Afternoon Delight" music video in the special selections section of the DVD. Laughter awaits.
Will Ferrell plays Ron Burgundy, Channel 4 news' beloved anchorman and San Diego's contemporary 1970's icon. He's the man with the job, the dog, and the new co-anchor?
Christina Applegate plays Veronica Corningstone, an ambitious female journalist whose dream of becoming head anchor at Channel 4 news ruffles the feathers of the male dominated news station; including her new flame, Ron Burgundy.
Paul Rudd plays Brian Fantana, the wannabe suave Channel 4 news journalist with an unprecedented cologne collection, including the ambivalent 'Black Panther'.
Steve Carell plays Brick Tamland, Anchorman's version of Mr. Bean: he's Channel 4 news' dim-witted weatherman with an IQ of 48.
David Koechner plays Champ Kind, the rough-n-tough teddy bear with a soft spot for beer and women, so long as they aren't his coworkers.