Monday, June 11, 2007

Why do they waste their talents?

I'm talking about Will Ferrell (and Adam Sandler, and those like them). I watched Stranger Than Fiction last night and it's awesome! A sweet, charming, fantastically-scripted and -acted film. And Will Ferrell is amazing in it. He's understated and subtle in his performance, something which you'd not necessarily think he was capable of, given some of the other films he's been in and there we have my point.

Why don't actors like Will Ferrell (and Adam Sandler and those like them) get more straight roles? Sandler was great in The Wedding Singer and there was barely a poo or wee gag in sight. Ferrell is, as I said, simply beautiful in Stranger Than Fiction. I know that you can almost guarantee a significant audience of yuckers will check out the latest Sandler gag-fest (and by gag I don't necessarily mean laughter...) or Ferrell-vehicle where they have to mug and run around and pee against walls, but surely giving them more chances to remind us that they can actually act would also be nice.

I know Sandler keeps sneaking in a Punch Drunk Love here and a Reign Over Me there, but I want to see more of them! Ferrell especially seems to be purpose-built for the quirky, unusual meta-films that Stranger Than Fiction represents.

Although I suppose if they all pulled a Tom Hanks ans snuck into comedy/dramedy-centric careers, then it would sort of spoil the point of casting them against type.

Blowing the dust off


All is darkness. Footsteps can be heard approaching. A key turns in a lock and a door opens. It's still all dark until, with a click, a beam of light stabs into the darkness and a torch sweeps the room. It shows glimpses of what the room holds. There are piles of dusty books (cyberpunk and comic fantasy predominate), stacks of DVDs and a dusty Xbox.
The torch lingers for a moment on a large poster showing five gorgeous women draped over each other, an Aston Martin DB9 and - strangely - a completely stainless-steel kitchen with 6-burner gas stove and magnetic knife strip over the bench. Another wall appears to be hung with a variety of weapons, including a large, angular handgun, a paintball marker and some ninja stars.

VOICE: Ah! Gotcha!

The overhead lights snap on and we see the ecclectic and slightly worrying mix of items in the over-large storeroom. There is a clear patch in the middle with a large TV, a collection of beaten-up sofas and a DVD player. The person who had been holding the torch is revealed to be a medium-tall redhead with a goatee, glasses and perhaps too much flesh on his frame. He looks around again and smiles.

MAN: Time to get back to it...