When I went to see "Blades of Glory" last week, I had an idea of what to expect. Most likely, I assumed the film would work within a particular field or medium — in this case, professional figure skating — to perfectly facilitate the interaction among a unique and hilarious cast of characters, tearing apart said medium at every opportunity along the way. This framework has been utilized in more than one movie starring Will Ferrell, and although its structure may seem limiting, it has not restricted the originality of the films. Still, it was easy to make some assumptions about "Blades of Glory," and sure enough, many of those assumptions materialized. For those unfamiliar with "Blades of Glory" or the recent spate of similar movies featuring Ferrell ("Talladega Nights" and "Anchorman"), allow me to briefly explain both. In "Blades of Glory," fellow figure skaters Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder) are banned from the professional skating singles division due to a brawl on the medals platform following a competition — a rivalry between the two culminated in a physical fight when they were each awarded a share of the gold medal. Subsequently, Michaels and MacElroy are forced, in an instance of perfect coincidence, to become the first-ever male-male figure skating pair in order to compete. Naturally, hilarity ensues. Where "Talladega Nights" (the story of a NASCAR driver) mocked stock car racing's simplicity, backcountry culture and ubiquitous corporate presence, "Blades of Glory" makes fun of figure skating's over-the-top attire and oft-hysterical choreography — and where "Anchorman" (set in the world of broadcast news) pointed out the ludicrous nature of some news content (think squirrel on water skis) and the apparent insignificance of anchor competence — "Blades of Glory" has a laugh at the concept of selecting music for a figure skating routine. Ferrell's character explains his preference of "My Humps," explaining that, although no one understands its lyrics, the song is "provocative." However, while it certainly presents an entirely new patchwork of characters and background, "Blades of Glory" does indeed follow the predictable plot pattern showcased in both of its aforementioned predecessors. Although their main characters face adversity at some point in the plot progression, each of the three films sees an eventual triumph of the protagonist. In this sense, these movies are simply comedies that follow a traditional plot sequence for dramas. But because this particular genre — allow me to refer to it as the "willfilm" genre — makes such a point of discrediting and mocking the backdrops in which its films are set, one infers that there is a connecting theme. It would be easy enough to point at each of the three films separately and recognize the silliness of figure skating, stock car racing and network news, respectively. But this raises the question: Is there an undertaking that could not possibly be made to appear utterly ridiculous if made the backdrop of a "willfilm?" The goal of these movies is not to destroy one enterprise after another, but rather to help people see the humor in taking anything too seriously. If someone walked out of "Talladega Nights" laughing at the stupidity of NASCAR and went home to watch golf, he'd be committing hypocrisy. If a person boycotted network news after watching "Anchorman," yet continued to read The New York Times, he'd be contradicting himself. And if someone quit figure skating after seeing "Blades of Glory" and entered politics instead, he would be missing the point. Ridiculousness aside, these films are not making fun of any specific thing to the degree that they are making fun of life in general. It almost seems as if Will Ferrell's objective in pursuing his current career path is simply to stress the importance of having a sense of humor. "Blades of Glory" may have made fun of figure skating, but really it made fun of anybody who takes something too seriously. Rob Rossmeissl ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in journalism and political science.