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The Ladies Man
2000 - R - NA Mins.
Director: Reginald Hudlin
Producer: Lorne Michaels
Written By: Andrew Steele, Dennis McNicholas, Tim Meadows
Starring: Lee Evans, Kevin McDonald, John Witherspoon, Billy Dee Williams, Karyn Parsons
Review by: David Trier
There are political comedies, spoof comedies, romantic comedies, action comedies, horror comedies, mockumentaries, and stupid comedies. By stupid, I don't mean that they aren't funny or even that they aren't well written, I just mean that they connect with the audience on the most sublimely sophomoric level... the stupid one. I get in the mood for a non-commital stupid comedy now and again, and found Ladies Man to be surprisingly satisfying... and stupid.

Leon Phelps (Tim Meadows) hosts a radio program called The Ladies Man in which he uses his boundless sexual experiences and blissful lack of intelligence to solve callers' troubles. When he is finally fired for his crudeness, Leon and his producer Julie (Karyn Parsons) search for a new radio station to no avail. But when Leon receives a letter from a wealthy but anonymous past lover offering to run away with him, his mission is clear. But a gang of men whose women Leon's slept with, led by a conflicted wrestler named Lance (Will Ferrell), are out to kill him. And to complicate matters, Leon may have come across true love.

I don't know if I've mentioned this, but this is a stupid movie. Most of the humor comes simply from the way Leon talks and his fascinating duality as a man women can't resist and a man who knows nothing of what women really want. Although he uses perverted references with nearly every breath, it's hard to find him an offensive mysogynist, no, he is a true lover of women, a stupid one. Tim Meadows is a highly underestimated comic performer and it was nice to see him land his own feature. His ability to maintain a consistency of character with Leon is impressive and despite Leon being devoid of intelligent thought, Meadow's performance makes him likeable and entertaining. Will Ferrell, famous for his amazing President* G.W. Bush impression, is one of today's best comedic performers in my book. Although the latent homosexual bad guy is far from original, Ferrell's performance makes it worthwhile and amusing. The film is also blessed by the supporting role and intermittent narration of the one and only Billy Dee Williams. Karyn Parsons plays the stock good-girl beautiful love interest, a completely one-dimensional tool of the standard comedy, but plays it admirably. Some might recognize her as Hillary from the tv show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Comparing the two roles, she shows impressive range. Amusing bit parts come from Chris Parnell, Kevin MacDonald, Mark McKinney, and film comedy veteran Eugene Levy. Juliannne Moore has a surprise scene that has to be witnessed to be believed.

Lorne Michaels has produced terrific comedies from The Rutles to Brain Candy as well as mind numbing flops like Superstar and Night at the Roxbury (which I have to admit had it's moments). Ladies Man falls somewhere in between, never really achieving hilarity, but still being basically entertaining from beginning to end. Based on a Saturday Night Live skit, it fares better than expected. It's stupid and revels in it, and having been in the mood for a stupid comedy, I enjoyed it. There are definitely entire scenes that just aren't funny, but they're generally sandwiched between ones that are. This is not a film for conniseurs of the artform but I would imagine this movie goes quite well with drugs and pizza.
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

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