mad men: don and joan
nine years and counting

by request: semi-pro (kent alterman, 2008)

This was suggested by my son, who does a good job of nudging me to watch contemporary comedies on occasion, even though he knows they aren’t my cup of tea. I am aware of Will Ferrell’s reputation as one of the best we have, and I’ve liked a few of the movies with him that I have seen (Stranger Than Fiction, The Other Guys). Still, the truth is that when I think of Will Farrell, I think of Celebrity Jeopardy.

Oddly, I think the fact that I’ve missed some of Ferrell’s most notable films was a good thing when watching Semi-Pro. Several reviews complained that Ferrell is plowing the same ground here, with diminishing returns. But I haven’t seen many of his movies, so Semi-Pro was relatively fresh to me. I found it amiable, a word I seem to use whenever I’m describing a movie I didn’t hate but which I’ll forget as soon as I’m done writing about it. It wasn’t a particularly dumb movie, and that seems to be what bugs me most about modern comedies (I didn’t like Step Brothers, for instance). I laughed on occasion, and I enjoyed a few of the actors: Andre 3000, Maura Tierney, Jackie Earle Haley, and especially Will Arnett. I’m not sorry I watched it. But nothing in it convinced me that I should have a Will Ferrell Film Festival, either. 6/10.

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