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“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.


The Ladies Man (Movie Review)

“Will Ferrell Has Been In At Least 25 Movies Since 1997”: #5 – Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

 

Mike Myers didn’t waste any time making a second Austin Powers movie, after the success of the first one.  And this one did even better at the box office, grossing more in its first weekend than the first one did in entirety.  Will Ferrell also benefited from this success. In the second movie, Austin Powers goes back in time, so the fact that Will Ferrell’s character was killed in the first movie doesn’t apply here.  We find an early Mustafa, working for Dr. Evil, set out to assassinate Austin Powers. Mustafa is captured and questioned by Powers, at which point we find out that he cannot stand to be asked the same question 3 times, and will tell the truth the third time.  A great gag by itself, but they take it one step further by overanalyzing the situation. During a line of questioning Powers asks: “Do I really have to ask you this question three times?” thinking that question counts as part of the three question rule, so when he asks the original question again, he thinks it is the third time and is surprised when Mustafa won’t answer him.  They go on to discuss that the second question that he asked was actually the first question in a whole new line of questions, and didn’t count as part of the three questions. Mike Myers is great at stuff like this. Sometimes he goes too far, but I think this one played out very well. Of course, as in the first movie, Mustafa falls to his death, this time off a cliff, but is still alive, and requesting assistance.  He is in horrible pain and he thinks his legs are broken. Arguably one of the best lines of the movie is when he says: “…the wound is beginning to smell a little like almonds, which is not good.” So many great things in this movie, like Mini Me, Fat Bastard, and Tim Robbins as President. The only sore spot, in my opinion, is Heather Graham as Felicity Shagwell. I’ve always found her to be too bland and vacant. While this may work for certain roles(Boogie Nights), I don’t think it worked here.  She was trying to play a character, which Mike Myers does so well, but it all came across too fake for me.


Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (Movie Review)

“Will Ferrell Has Been In At Least 25 Movies Since 1997”: #4 – Superstar (1999)

Welcome to my series of posts called “Will Ferrell Has Been in at Least 25 Movies Since 1997”.

It’s not just the title of this series, it’s also true.

How many TOTAL movies has Will Ferrell been in?  Who knows, and who cares?

Was he in any movies before 1997?  Maybe!

I used to call these posts movie reviews, but they are more like rants.


Anyone with enough money can produce a movie.  

That doesn’t mean you should just go making movies that are terrible.  

But it seems that Lorne Michaels found an interesting formula:  Take a hit sketch from Saturday Night Live (SNL), make a feature film on the cheap, and hopefully get enough attention to break even at the box office.  

And even if it doesn’t break even, it’s huge publicity for SNL.

This one made double the budget at the box office, like Roxbury did. I wouldn’t call that a financial success but I guess that’s not the point.  

Every movie is a gamble, right?

Though the movie was not good, it was about exposure.

Exposure for Molly Shannon, who plays the Mary Katherine Gallagher character well.

But I just don’t think that’s enough for a movie.  

Will Ferrell plays an equally substance-less character. Nice guy but nothing to brag about.

Did this give him more credibility as a movie actor?

I’m not sure it did.

If we look past all of the terrible parts, this movie is about being yourself.

We all like to judge people like Mary Katherine Gallagher, because they are different, and they smell their armpits when they get nervous, and are terribly awkward.

But she’s just looking for acceptance and kindness.

Next on “Will Ferrell Has Been In At Least 25 Movies Since 1997”#5 – Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

“Will Ferrell Has Been In At Least 25 Movies Since 1997”: #3 – A Night At The Roxbury (1998)

Welcome to my series of posts called “Will Ferrell Has Been in at Least 25 Movies Since 1997”.

It’s not just the title of this series, it’s also true.

How many TOTAL movies has Will Ferrell been in?  Who knows, and who cares?

Was he in any movies before 1997?  Maybe!

I used to call these posts movie reviews, but they are more like rants.


When Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan did the Roxbury nightclub sketch on SNL, I thought it was great.  

These guys are the ultimate club guys.

They don’t say much and they just want to dance and maybe hookup with someone.  

They are not very good at it and are probably crossing several lines with their aggressive hump dancing, but it was funny.  

So they did it a few times, and even added Jim Carrey and other hosts. The Jim Carrey sketch was probably the most elaborate, which had them end up in a home for the aged, with Jim Carrey making out with someone twice his age at the end of the night.  

So what I want to know is how the success of a 3 minute SNL sketch, where the characters have almost zero dialogue, makes Lorne Michaels walk into a room and say: “Let’s make this into a feature film!”

I know that Tina Fey was on the SNL writing staff at the time and I’m sure she immediately rolled her eyes.  

But let’s give Lorne the benefit of the doubt for a moment. This was a really popular sketch.

“Maybe this will be another Wayne’s World?

It couldn’t possibly be a box office disaster like It’s Pat or Stuart Saves His Family.”

Here’s the thing – it actually almost broke even.

If I am to believe the internet, the production budget was $17M and the box office gross was $30M.  

The rule of thumb is that generally the gross has to be double the production budget before the movie is considered to have made money(considering other costs, and that the box office gross is split several ways before it gets to the production company).

But even though $30M at the box office is great, I’m sure the goal wasn’t to almost break even. It became one of those movies that’s so bad that you watch it to find out just how bad it is.  

Perhaps there were many people who watched the sketches and wondered whether these guys have a back story.

Terrible parents?

What makes them go out to clubs every night and treat women so poorly?

Deep thinking for sketch comedy.

This movie is not about substance, and that’s just it.

You watch Roxbury when you are looking for something meaningless to watch and want to bob your head to the side while listening to Haddaway’s “What is love”.

Next on “Will Ferrell Has Been In At Least 25 Movies Since 1997”#4 – Superstar (1999)