Monday, August 31, 2009
Ben Stiller Is A Funny Dude
Saturday night we were having a rousting debate over which Ben Stiller movie is the funniest. We had just finished watching 2007's Farelley brother movie, "The Heartbreak Kid". While I thought the movie was funny, I didn't think it was one of Ben's best and a debate ensued. It would seem that in the last decade, Ben Stiller has emerged as an everyman, funnyman and as such, he has appeared in some of the best known comedies in recent history.
I did a little research and sure enough, this is a topic that has been hotly debated on the internets. I found many lists ranking Stiller's movies from best to worst; problem is I don't agree with any of them. Here's why.
The majority of lists top with the number one movie as:
Zoolander- ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? Derek Zoolander, a self absorbed male model who begins to question his shallow existence as finds himself suddenly "out of favor" in the fashion world, replaced by a younger modeling rival, played by Owen Wilson. Personally, I think this movie was RIDICULOUS, over-acted and insanely silly, (like almost all Ben Stiller movies, which is undoubtedly the point). The positive on this one is that I did manage to get through the entire movie. Just barely, but not without thinking that was two hours of my life that I wanted back. His greatest movie ever??? That shit is just whack.
There's Something About Mary- This is one I whole-heartily agree with and this would most certainly be second on my list as well. Classic, hilarious with a great supporting cast, Matt Dillon has always been a douchebag, but who knew he could perfect his douchebaggery in this movie. The icing on the cake: Brett Favre and the entire cast's rendition of "Build me up Buttercup" during the credits.
Tropic Thunder-A great comedic film, but I would say it was Robert Downey Jr. AND Tom Cruise that stole the show here. I may even go out on a limb and say that Tom Cruise's surprise role provided me with far more laughs than any other, rendering him the effective show stealer. A true ensemble cast effort, Stiller was good but I wouldn't say this was his 3rd best starring vehicle.
Meet The Parents- Personally, I would place this movie somewhere in the top three, as Stiller's somewhat goofy straight man played perfectly to Robert Di Nero's off kilter-ex CIA agent soon to be father-in-law. Meet The Fockers- was great as well, but I think Hollywood missed the boat with a spin off on Streisand and Hoffman's performances as Stiller's aging hippie parents. They were Jewish comedy gold.
Along Came Polly- This gets my vote for #1 top Ben Stiller movie. Two reasons: Ben Stiller and Phillip Seymor Hoffman. The shart scene alone is worth the price of admission, and the scene on the basketball court with Hoffman. Add to the equation, Alec Baldwin as his creepy, Jersey accented, foul mouthed, inappropriate boss and Hank Azaira as a hilariously accented scuba instructor who steals his wife on his honeymoon. Aniston plays spacey, flighty Polly who somehow manages to bring Stiller's wound up tight, Ruben back down to earth. The tug on my heartstrings and the fully belly laughs produced by this movie renders this Stiller vehicle my favorite.
Dodgeball- Again, a waste of two hours of my life, but Vince Vaughn's sarcastic humor saved face. Stiller?? Redonkulous.... along with a lovable cast of goofballs you end up cheering for. The best thing about Stiller here; his finely chiseled pipes. Not bad for a pukey little skinny man.
While there are many others to choose from, lets continue the debate here. What's your favorite Stiller movie?