This post has spoilers for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
I already discussed the topic of dumb comedies and why I love them in my review of Neighbors (https://smallerthangalaxies.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/neighbors-2014-movie-review/) which I loved a lot and is currently my favorite movie released this year (though I haven’t seen too many released this year) but after watching Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues for the first time I kind of wanted to expand upon the topic of “stupid comedies that are self aware” and why I love them. For one thing, I loved Anchorman 2 probably more than most people did, I think it is just as good as the first if not better, it’s even more over the top, filled with an absurd amount of cameos, the lead actors are good as per usual, Kristen Wiig (I may or may not like Kristen Wiig far too much, so my opinion may as well be bias) kills it in her small supporting role and plays off Steve Carell as Brick perfectly, and the movie has parody within the movie especially with the montage after Ron becomes blind and the ridiculously bad over the top acting done by Will Ferrell and Judah Nelson (who plays Walter, his son) clearly making fun of overly sentimental moments in romantic movies or dramas where the family all reunite and everything will be okay!
For me there were tons of memorable scenes from the Brick funeral scene where Brick is totally not dead which just killed me, Champ’s racism, the great play on how news media has turned to total fucking shit and only covers “entertaining news” rather than actually important news and how the wealthy controls the news now, hell, even minor things on racial tensions in the 80s, the RV scene, the even more over the top battle scene compared to the first one (And those cameos: Kanye West? Amy Poehler? Tina Fey? Jim Carrey? Liam Neeson? John C. Reily? Holy shit)…the list could go on. I enjoyed the hell out of it, it’s dumb yet still brings some social commentary to the table about news media and the problems with it but overall focuses more on as many laughs as possible which I’m okay with. The plot is very loose and more built upon the humor itself than actually having a core, sensible story which is part of the reason I enjoy over the top comedy in the first place, it throws the plot away and focuses on laughs which is fine since that is the first goal of a comedy: laughter.
The reason why I love dumb comedies is they provide an outlet for the stupid part that we all have in us, I’ve never been a fan of people who think comedies like this are “demeaning” in some way or purely stupid when there is still some clear things the movie is trying to say even if you think the humor is stupid, it’s the self-awareness that makes it for me. One of my favorite comedy writers/directors of all time is John Hughes who was certainly less over the top than Anchorman is obviously but even his films get incredibly stupid in a great way at times especially Weird Science or Ferris Bueller and these movies are instant classics in my book that are memorable for their over the top humor but even they hold some meaning (well Ferris Bueller more than Weird Science to be honest), these stupid comedies aren’t just self-aware (and funny in my opinion), they have things to say and maybe they even say it better than most dramas who take themselves too seriously sometimes and only leads to a path of force fed message rather than a more fun and entertaining one which after all is the first goal of any movie: to be entertaining and then providing an interesting message inside that.
My real point of this post is that these stupid comedies are way more than that and I think people avoid recognizing that and would rather just focus on how the movie isn’t “quotable” enough or that the movie is overly “stupid” despite the fact that sometimes people need to let loose a bit and realize that who the hell cares that it’s stupid? Maybe that’s why it’s good in the first place. These movies still have a place for social commentary while making you laugh which to me is more powerful and more important than any drama or movie that takes themselves seriously because once you lose a sense of humor, I think you’ve lost everything and that is why I’ll always prefer comedies to any other genre, they can do what most dramas do but provide the power of laughter all at once. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion and mine is no better than anyone else’s but I love my stupid comedies and I loved Anchorman 2 (which maybe had more to say than the first one in my opinion) and I think these comedies are sometimes (if not most of the time) a better outlet for important messages about life in layers of either subtly or maybe not so subtle which is fine to if done right.
But then again maybe I’m wrong about all of this, I still think Saturday Night Live is funny which is like a sin to say nowadays.