A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although your kids may love Will Ferrell, this is not Elf. The movie has extremely mature material for a PG-13, even for this "slob comedy" genre. Characters use very strong language and there are especially graphic sexual references and situations. The movie has comic peril and violence. One character's arms are hacked off and others are killed.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) has got it all. He is the anchor of the top-rated news program in San Diego alongside his best pals, sportscaster Champ Kind (David Koechner), weatherman Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), and reporter Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd). He gets to go to lots of swinging parties. And he has great hair. Life is just about perfect. And then there comes that pesky word "diversity." Ron learns that diversity is not a famous Civil War battleship but the reason that for the first time the news team will include a woman, the beautiful, talented, and very ambitious Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate).
Is it any good?
The plot runs out of steam and disintegrates into a bunch of uneven skits, but there are moments of inspired looniness. And Ferrell keeps hitting enough comic moments out of the park to keep it very watchable. There are a bunch of "no girls allowed" jokes and a bigger bunch of "weren't the 1970's a hoot" jokes, including a soundtrack of cheesy oldies and references to the importance of musk-fragrance cologne.
It's too bad that the script does to the talented Christina Applegate what the newsroom guys to do Victoria. She is primarily called upon to look as though she is trying to maintain her composure despite being surrounded by idiots. Carell is a stand-out as the dimmest of the news crew's dim bulbs, and there are several guest appearances to help hold our interest.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the opportunities and expectations for women in the era of the movie compare to today's and talk about how much has changed and what still needs to change.
How has the way we get our news changed since the 1970's? What is better and what is worse?