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Apr 11, 2007

Fletch's Film Review: Blades of Glory

I'm convinced that Will Ferrell is gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

It's just that, with two films in less than a year featuring a (more than blatant) homoerotic theme, either Ferrell is a closeted gay man, or he is (not so secretly) a gay rights advocate. I find this funny more than anything - one of the crowning achievements of last year's Talledaga Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby was that it featured him playing a race car driver learning tolerance and humility (more or less), topped off with a lip-smacking finale with Sasha Baron Cohen. To classify the NASCAR audience as homophobic would be wildly unfair, but to say that they are probably one of the least gay-friendly sport audiences probably wouldn't be too far off, either.

Then again, maybe I'm just placing too much worth and social value to the film, much as audiences and the media were accused of doing with Borat last summer as well. After all, that is the same film where Ricky Bobby plunges a knife through his leg after believing himself to be paralyzed. However, Ferrell and company didn't stop at Ricky Bobby. With Blades of Glory, we see the story of two male figure skaters who, when ousted from their division, go from bitter rivals to a pair of dancing queens. And despite the romantic element thrown in for Jon Heder's Jimmy MacElroy, the character couldn't be more gay than if he were a member of the Village People. Meanwhile, Ferrell's butch Chazz Michael Michaels is a (heterosexual) sex addict who skates to the sensual sounds of Billy Squire's "The Stroke" and, in the end, can't help but soar like an eagle, hand-in-hand, with MacElroy.

Supported by a long list of comedy veterans (including Amy Poehler, Will Arnett and even Andy Richter) and real life skaters such as Brian Boitano, Nancy Kerrigan and Dorothy Hamill, the film is funnier than it might look at first glance. It goes from the bizarre to the absurd, but the writing is surprisingly strong. And besides, how can you not love any movie that features Coach playing a coach?

Fletch's Film Rating:

"You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."

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