starring Will Ferrell, Jon Heder, Will Arnett, Craig T. Nelson
screenplay by Jeff Cox & Craig Cox and John Altschuler & Dave Krinsky
directed by Will Speck & Josh Gordon
by Walter Chaw A goodly portion of Will Ferrell's fame has to do with his complete comfort with his body and sexuality. No surprise, then, that Blades of Glory's one-trick pony is straight men doing gay things in what is widely regarded as the gayest sport at the Winter Olympics. Not necessarily that figure skating is dominated by gay men (aside: isn't it?), but that the sight of men in spandex and codpieces pretending to be swans is uncomfortable for great swaths of middle-America and thus subject to ridicule and hatred. The first shot of the film suggests the divide as little Jimmy MacElroy (Zachary Ferrin as a child, the untalented Jon Heder as an adult) joyfully Salchows on an ice rink segregated from the "normals" playing hockey below. Recognized for his nascent useless talent, he's adopted by a megalomaniacal millionaire (William Fichtner in too small a role) who grooms little Jimmy into an Olympic champion whose only rival on the ice is portly sex machine Chazz (Will Ferrell). When the two get into a fistfight on the awards stanchion, they're banned from competing in their division--leading, of course, to their decision to return to glory in the pairs division. I'm not suggesting that Blades of Glory is hateful, really, so much as facile and easy. If you think Ferrell not wearing much as one half of the first man-man figure skating team is hysterical, and if you consider the gag of straight men touching each other's groins for the sake of a spectacle that's already beyond parody to be comedy gold, then have I got a movie for you.