Now it can be told: Jon Heder actually is Napoleon Dynamite. He brings a little Napoleon and a lot of dynamite to every post-Napoleon movie he’s in, doing his best to scuttle this film at every twist, turn, and double salchow.
“This is a role I could really sink my teeth into,” said Heder, as the crew froze in terror.
“How does he even fit those teeth in his mouth?” asked one production assistant.
“The ‘Jaws of Life,’” answered the gaffer.
At this, Heder opened a custom-made mahogany case and gently placed said teeth onto a silk pillow, handing the case to the prop master who was headed to a carnival sideshow anyway.
“I go through toothpaste like Charlie Sheen through hookers,” gummed Heder.
Heder looks like the son we should all thank God Courtney Love never had. He’s tragically outclassed, out-acted, and out-funnied by Will Ferrell, and he’s cast in a role that Owen Wilson was exactly right for and too expensive to play.
Virtually every skater whose name you will remember is in this movie, which proves, I think, that while not everybody can skate, everybody can act – or in Heder’s case, everyone can act like they’re acting.
Will Ferrell has covered soccer, NASCAR, and figure skating in his movies: “Next, the first ever hackeysack comedy,” said Will, “as if hackeysack wasn’t comedic enough on its own.”
I had the good fortune to be invited to a set visit for Blades when they were shooting in LA.
“Hey there!” I waved to Jon Heder’s teeth as they sat on an Adirondack chair on the porch of their trailer.
“Welcome to the set, Mark!” they waved back, grinning wide enough to show a filling the size of a meteor crater.
Over there’s the brilliant William Daniels who brings the legendary voice of K.I.T.T., the Knight Rider car, to a movie where somebody should be talking sense, even if it’s a Trans Am.
And over there is Nick Swardson, “Hector,” the obsessive fan. You may not know him, but Nick is hugely funny in this flick – you’ll be seeing a lot more of him.
Hey, there’s Jenna Fisher, Pam from The Office. Here, she’s playing a character that’s exactly like…Pam from The Office. Who needs to display range when you can buy a house in the Hollywood Hills, I always say!
“Hi Coach!” That’s Craig T. Nelson. “Hey Craig, where have you been? I was beginning to think your career was built on an ancient Indian burial ground!”
He was not amused.
“They left the bodies and they only moved the head stones! They only moved the head stones!” he cried.
No, I mean it – he really cried.
I moved on.
So Will and Jon are fabulously famous skaters who become disgraced – which in some circles is redundant.
And Craig T. has the crazy notion that these two men should skate together as the world’s first same-sex figure skating team. Further, he thinks this will be as funny after Will & Grace goes off the air as it would have been before.
The usually terrific Amy Poehler and her real-life hubby Will Arnett should have read the script before diving into this project. That would have precluded clunky lines like “Not only did we embarrass Marky Mark, we let down the Funky Bunch.”
Um…what’s that noise? I think it’s a pin dropping.
There’s Heder again. He’s in lipstick throughout this movie. Why not just wrap a brick of enamel in neon? “Because it would get lost in my mouth, that’s why” explained Heder.
I always love the subtle madness that is funnyman Will Ferrell. He elevates everything he’s in (as long as it doesn’t co-star Nicole Kidman). But even Will can’t work miracles, and unfortunately the filmmakers cut the scene where Heder discovered the image of the Virgin Mary on his bicuspid.
Together, these boys may put the bone in Zamboni, but they should have put the ax in Double Axel.