“Will Ferrell Has Been In At Least 25 Movies Since 1997”: #6 – The Ladies Man (2000)
I’ve already theorized that Lorne Michaels keeps making bad SNL movies as a publicity stunt to get exposure for SNL. But the Ladies Man just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Leon Phelps was a moderately popular Tim Meadows character on SNL. He had a TV show where callers would ask him questions and he would respond with terrible and funny answers. The Ladies Man was a self-imposed title, and we soon learned that he did not understand women at all. Then the movie comes out and the main plot is that the ladies find Phelps irresistible. So much so that married women can’t stay away and their husbands form a gang to get Phelps, led by Will Ferrell. This makes no sense to me. But I’ve learned by now that these SNL movies are not about making sense. They are just for fun and for you to watch with friends who also enjoyed 90s SNL sketches. Tim Meadows didn’t make it very far in feature films but Will Ferrell did. The question is whether this run of SNL films in the late 90s helped or hindered Ferrell on his path to success. Did Ben Stiller watch The Ladies Man and say, “I want that guy to play my villain in Zoolander.”? More likely it was the Mustafa roles in the Austin Powers movies that peaked Stiller’s interests. This was the last SNL movie Lorne Michaels made for a while. It did not do well at the box office and I think he must have realized that this can’t go on forever. Michaels waited another 10 years before releasing MacGruber (parody of MacGyver) in 2010. I actually enjoyed the movie but the general public did not, as it only grossed $8.5M vs. a $10M budget. Such is the mystery of the SNL sketch-turned-movie. Unfortunately for Lorne Michaels, he was never able to find another Wayne’s World, but he’s doing all right, with an estimated net worth of $350 Million. Though he made some pretty bad movies during this time, we can give him thanks for taking a chance on Tina Fey and producing Mean Girls. That movie put her on the map and enabled her to convince Michaels to back 30 Rock. So, thank you Lorne for taking chances on movie ideas, even though most of them were crap. Maybe we actually need more people like Lorne Michaels to continue to try new things, and support the quirky people and the wacky sketch ideas.