This week, I found Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy in the trash pile. So let’s take a look at what some people call the best Will Ferrell movie.
When you first turn it on, or at least on the unrated version, you get a typical black screen telling you that this is based on a true story. But in classic Ferrell style, the names, locations and events have all been changed. The actual plot of this movie came from a documentary based on Pat Harper and the men who had to deal with that.
This movie is beyond random and the story makes almost zero sense. All that you really need to know is that San Diego loves Ron Burgundy (Ferrell) as much as Burgundy loves San Diego. The only real problem that he has is reading anything put on the teleprompter.
This 70’s era movie tells the story of a brave woman in a man’s world and the man who just can’t let go. Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) has to overcome the sexualized workplace, idiotic coworkers and a boss that won’t give her a break. But above all, she has to deal with Ron.
The movie switches back and forth between Veronica and Ron’s perspectives and, if it weren’t for the name being The Legend of Ron Burgundy, you might have some trouble figuring out who is the main character.
After seeing San Diego with Ron, and seeing him play jazz flute, Veronica is overtaken by desire. Although she insists on discretion, Ron can’t help himself. “Veronica Corningstone and I had sex!” He and she have also fallen in love, which is apparently like…
But after hitting a biker with a burrito and letting his dog, Baxter, get kicked off of a bridge, Ron has an emotional breakdown. As the clock strikes 6:00, Ron is nowhere to be found and Veronica takes over as the news anchor. She did so well and networked liked her so much, Veronica was promoted to co-anchor. With Veronica’s career on the rise, Ron doesn’t know what to do. As she becomes a star and after all of his half-baked plans fail, Ron and his news team find themselves in a fight with the rest of the San Diego news teams.
With some useful advice about Ron and the teleprompter, Veronica replaces Ron’s signoff with “Go f**k yourself, San Diego.”
After getting fired, Ron crawls into a bottle and has an emotional breakdown. A big thing about Ferrell movies, there is always one moment when his character becomes overwhelmingly depressed. This is typically the point at which I lose interest. One of the most famous lines, besides “I love lamp” and “a whale’s vagina,” is Burgundy saying, “Milk was a bad choice.” Other than this line, I think the entire scene with Burgundy being depressed could have been cut out.
Burgundy ignores the bartender (Danny Trejo), who spells out the moral of the story. But luckily for Ron, he is given another chance at the news. This is when the story becomes even more strange than normal.
As the team gets ready to report the biggest story of the summer, Ron sees Veronica in a pit of hibernating Kodiak bears. Being an idiot, Ron jumps in the pit without thinking. But Baxter returns to save Ron and the news team. It is a well-known fact that dogs can communicate with bears. I believe that the momma Kodiak bear is the same bear that plays Dewey in Semi-Pro.
Burgundy and Corningstone move up in the ranks from Channel 4 co-anchors to the first mixed gender network anchor team. That is where the story of Ron Burgundy ends, at least until we find the sequel in the trash bin.
So, overall, this movie is just funny. It is a movie that requires absolutely no thinking to enjoy. But I think that is how all of Ferrell’s movies tend to be. There is no deeper meaning to this movie, it is made to be funny and made to be random. If that is your thing, you can get it for under $5.
*Featured Image credit to Paramount Pictures