I don’t know how I have delayed until now to write about this incredibly amazing comedy, a Ben Stiller product. It’s not hard to imagine what could happen if you take Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell and throw them together in the fashion cauldron, with a mix of other great actors and real life celebrities. Zoolander is a 2001 release directed by Ben Stiller and written by Drake Sather, Ben Stiller, and John Hamburg. It is a comedy which made my Top 10 Comedies of all times, it was featured in a previous post (Best 20 Comedies – The List), and will be featured as well in an updated post which I’ll name “My Best 50 Comedies – Updated”. Stay tuned for this one.
This came like a controversial comedy, being about a conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia in order to let child labor free, because the fashion industry depends on it, and the mentioned Prime Minister allegedly had it abolished. It is a goof, of course, it is extremely funny, and has nothing to do with real persons, but just mocking the candor and ignorance of “ridiculously, ridiculously good looking people”, and making a plot with the highs and lows of the fashion industry. No offense intended, so if you don’t get the joke, that’s it, and one can justify itself that it is a matter of taste of getting it or not. The movie was banned in Malaysia, as for being unsuitable. Malaysia is a Muslim country, their censorship commission may find a lot of stuff to ban around, not only the motivation of sweatshops existence, or the economy’s dependence on them.
It was bad received in general, and only after a long period of time it got positive reviews from the pompous world of movie criticism. Zoolander is more than everything a satire of the celebrity world, disguised as “fashion world”. To support this, a great number of life celebs were featured in the movie, like in a Robert Altman one. You remember The Player (1992), I hope, where at the Oscars, and generally around the studios, a lot of stars were genuinely present. The same here, you’ll find Donald and Melania Trump, Victoria Beckham, Christian Slater, Tom Ford, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tommy Hilfiger, Natalie Portman, Fabio Lanzoni, Lenny Kravitz, Gwen Stefani, Heidi Klum, Paris Hilton, David Bowie, Lil’ Kim, Stephen Dorff, Sandra Bernhard, Claudia Schiffer, Karl Lagerfeld, Winona Ryder, Billy Zane, Donatella Versace, and many, many others.
Needless to say that the characters themselves are all super stars on their own. Along Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Will Ferrell (with a role just a little bit more than a cameo, but enough to increase its comedic value), we have Christine Taylor (Ben Stiller’s real life wife), Jerry Stiller (Ben Stiller’s real life father), Milla Jovovich, David Duchovny, Jon Voight, Vince Vaughn, Judah Friedlander, Justin Theroux, Nora Dunn, and again, many others.
It is a movie very wrong taken by the reputable Roger Ebert, who was wrong more than once, sometimes one wonders if he was bored of what he did, contradicting his website slogan. Zoolander got one star from Ebert, who was offended by the moral values expressed in it, or better by the lack of them. It was clear that he didn’t get the joke, and he despised Ben Stiller. He also considered that naming a country with its real name is of extremely bad taste. Thank goodness Mr. Ebert wasn’t the one who reviewed and spoiled Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan on his site, another satire absolutely out of his league. The brilliant movie has been reviewed by Jim Emerson, Ebert’s website editor, and it got four whole stars out of four.
This time, Ben stiller was the one who got it, the movie is the result of a genius.
Because I consider the official trailer to be too revealing, you have below the official teaser for Zoolander 2, the sequel to be released in 2016.
And as a bonus for reading my review, and as a proof for what I said about the genius of this comedy, I have attached a clip which gives you a hint on the glee to come if you’ll watch the movie.
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