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Film / Blades of Glory

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Blades of Glory is a 2007 comedy film starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder.

In 2003, two champion figure skaters — Charles "Chazz" Michael Michaels and James "Jimmy" MacElroy are banned from Men's Singles skating after a fight on the winner's stand.

After going through a slump in their lives, Jimmy discovers a loophole with the help of his stalker Hector saying that he can compete in the pairs category even though he's been banned. Jimmy gains the help of his coach but is unable to find a female partner, so they enlist the help of his rival Chazz to compete in the Figure Skating Championships.

The two must overcome mutual dislike, limited time to prepare, their coach's secret past, and the dirty tricks of their main opponents, the Van Waldenberg siblings. The key to victory or defeat may lie in the attraction of Jimmy towards Katie, the Van Waldenbergs' little sister.

Not to be confused with Balls of Fury.

This movie contains the following tropes:

  • '70s Hair: Chazz.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Jimmy has one, in Hector.
  • Aerith and Bob: Stranz, Fairchild... and Katie.
  • Anything That Moves: Chazz is such a sex addict that when he goes to therapy, he can't help hitting on other patients, by telling them about previous sexual encounters in great detail.
  • Artistic License – Sports:
    • Played with, as the event is technically an allegory of the Olympics, but not really the Olympics themselves; see Bland-Name Product below.
    • At the beginning, joint gold medalists Jimmy and Chazz are joined on the podium by a silver and a bronze medalist. The WWSC might have alternate rules, but in all major sporting championships, when there is a tie for gold, no silver medal is awarded.
    • Chazz, Stranz, and Fairchild are all seen wearing hats at various points while performing. While hats (and other various props) are allowed during exhibition skates, they aren't allowed to be worn when performing for competitions.
  • Award-Bait Song: Bo Bice's "Blades Of Glory" song playing over the end credits.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Chazz's and Stranz's chase while wearing their skates.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Katie.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Stranz and Fairchild.
  • Bland-Name Product: "But wait!", you say. "Winter Olympics figure skating rules specifically state that a pairs team must be a man and a woman!" Well, these are the World Winter Sport Games. By the same token, many of the moves they make are illegal (and dangerous) in Real Life Winter Olympics. Luckily for them, they're not competing in the Olympics.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Van Waldenberg siblings, Stranz (brunette), Fairchild (blonde) and Katie (redhead).
  • Bromantic Comedy: Chazz and Jimmy's relationship mellows throughout the course of the film.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Twin brother and sister Stranz and Fairchild have had an incestuous relationship since their childhood and can barely repress their urges towards one another. Even sharing a kiss at the end. Another one of the twins' irredeemable qualities.
  • Butt-Monkey: Katie at the hands of her siblings.
  • The Cameo: Several famous figure-skaters make cameos as themselves. Olympian Alexandra Pauline "Sasha" Cohen is apparently a disturbingly enthusiastic Chazz fangirl.
  • Camp Straight: Jimmy. So much that some people, including Chazz, describe him as looking like a girl.
  • The Casanova: Chazz.
  • Casting Gag:
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Stranz and Fairchild's many attempts which include: attempting to capture Chazz and Jimmy, and spraining Chazz's ankle when Fairchild pulls off her pearls and one of his skates rolls over it.
  • Conveniently Placed Sharp Thing: Stranz leaves Chazz behind all bound and tied up in a building. Which just so happened to have a wall close enough filled with ice skates for Chazz to cut himself loose.
  • Cool Toy: Chazz's specially-made brush.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Iron Lotus may be the most dangerous figure skating technique ever; when performed incorrectly, someone usually gets decapitated.
  • Dick Dastardly Stops to Cheat: Stranz and Fairchild just want to cheat to win, despite them being the best entrants at the Winter Sports Games (this is before Chazz and Jimmy improve to become good enough to beat them). They just want to cheat to stick it to everyone around them.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Stranz tries to get rid of Chazz by tying him to a chair in a room filled with sports equipment including ice skates, which Chazz is able to use to cut his bonds.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Katie eventually hits back at Stranz and Fairchild after Fairchild once again points out that Katie was with their parents when they died. Katie snaps and tells them that their parents weren't wearing their seatbelts and made an illegal turn, so their deaths were almost entirely their own faults.
    Fairchild: You would do that, to your own family?
    Katie: Don't give me that guilt trip.
    Fairchild: After all we did for you? After all you done to Mom and Dad?
    Katie: Mom and Dad were not wearing their seatbelts and they made an improper left-hand turn!
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Chazz stuffs his feelings with Slim-Jims while waiting for Jimmy to return his phone calls, leaving wrappers all over the place.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Jimmy, as well as being Camp Straight. In fact, during the montage of people interviewed after Chazz and Jimmy are announced as a new pairs team, one man is dismayed to realise Jimmy is male.
  • Enemy Mine: Two bitter rivals coming together to beat the system? Yeah, that would be Jimmy and Chazz.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Even the death of Marilyn Monroe! Naturally, this is very much Truth in Television for most figure skaters, especially the ballroom dancing on skates ice dancers.
  • Everybody Has Standards: Chazz is a sex addict but even he can't bring himself to sleep with Jimmy's love interest Katie when she tries to seduce him. Even saying at one point, he would enjoy it, it's just wrong.
  • Extreme Libido: Chazz is a sex addict. It's played for laughs as he attends a recovery group for other sex addicts... who all start screwing each other as soon as the meeting is over.
  • Exact Words: The judge said that both Chazz and Jimmy are banned from competing in men's singles figure skating for life. He did not say that they could not compete in men's pairs figure skating.
  • Fallen-on-Hard-Times Job: Children's ice shows for Chazz? Sporting-goods clerk for Jimmy? These are tailor-made movie nadirs from which to launch a comeback.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Will Ferrell in a bath towel.
    • Chazz licking an elderly fan across her face during a figure skating competition.
    • Twin brother and sister Stranz and Fairchild kissing before being taken by the authories.
  • Fanservice: Jenna Fischer (Katie) in lingerie. And as a Sweater Girl.
  • First Kiss: Jimmy and Katie. An especially awkward example (because it may well be the first kiss ever, for both characters).
  • Flipping the Bird: Chazz does this to Stranz after escaping from him, kicking off the chase with both of them wearing their skates.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The "Sex Addict's Prayer".
  • Gainax Ending: The last scene was... unexpected.
  • Generation Xerox: Stranz and Fairchild look exactly identical to their late parents Otto and Ella Van Waldenberg.
  • Groin Attack: While stretching, Jimmy's foot accidentally slips and he ends up kicking Chazz in the crotch. Chazz duplicating it is not so accidental.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Jimmy's wealthy, adoptive father Darren MacElroy adopts orphans who possess exceptional athletic abilities, like Jimmy, with the sole purpose of honing their skills so they gain glory for him. A former horse breeder who implements dubious methods for Jimmy's training, Darren, who has minimal regard for him beyond his talents, scolds Jimmy's coach for expressing pride in him and also dissuades him from interacting with other people by referring to them as "a beehive for germs and bacteria" derogatorily, contributing to his Friendless Background as well as his mysophobia. After Jimmy's banned from competitive skating, Darren promptly disowns him then remorselessly leaves him on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
    • Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg, offended by the very thought of two men competing in pairs figure skating and afraid their thunder will be stolen from them, start utilizing increasingly underhanded tactics to ensure their victory and unbalance their opponents. The siblings' most appalling moments are directed towards their little sister Katie, who they've kept under their heel ever since their parents died in a car crash while taking her to her own skating lessons. They've held this incident over Katie's head to have her serve their every whim, including forcing her to function as a Honey Trap for Jimmy. When Katie begins to have real feelings for Jimmy, Stranz and Fairchild bully her into pretending to seduce Chazz in such a manner that Jimmy will stumble onto it and break their partnership.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream: A platonic version. Chazz stuffs his face with Slim-Jims after Jimmy runs away.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Jimmy crushing on Katie.
  • Heroic BSoD: Jimmy goes through this after catching Chazz and Katie together even though nothing happened. It got so bad that their coach scolded Chazz on it.
    Coach: (to Chazz, over the phone) Jimmy's here at the arena, you ass! He's been staring at a pack of gum for nine hours! What did you do to him?
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Jimmy was tailored by his adoptive father to be the perfect skater, which was done by putting him through an arduous training and diet regimen far more suitable for a racehorse than a human being. Chazz, by his own admission, also had a troubled childhood, which involved having a 35-year old girlfriend at nine years old plus illegally dealing cigarettes and fireworks in Detroit when he was twelve, resulting in multiple arrests.
  • Hypocrite: Stranz and Fairchild denounce two men entering the figure-skating championships as a pair as "freaks". Leaving aside the glaring fact that the two have barely-repressed incestuous urges towards each other throughout the whole film, Stranz says this while prostate over a polar bear rug and stroking it creepily. They also declare that Chazz and Jimmy performing together violates the dignity of their beloved sport, despite planning to cheat and sabotage the competition in order to win. Also, Fairchild comes out with this little gem:
    Fairchild: You know, I'm not a violent person but I would like to hold them down and skate over their throats.
  • I Am the Noun: During the hearing:
    Chazz: I am figure skating! Chazz Michael Michaels is figure skating.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Fairchild manages to throw a single pearl over a hundred feet across the ice and manages to hit Chazz's skate, a moving target less than a quarter inch wide.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Played for Laughs with Chazz, who is constantly talked about as though he were the sexiest man alive despite being played by the visibly middle-aged and very hairy Will Ferrell in ill-fitting and garish-looking tights.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Chazz. He's The Casanova and generally not a nice person to start off with, but he warms up to Jimmy and eventually Katie as the film goes on and helps Jimmy out a few times.
  • Kick the Dog: Stranz and Fairchild do this to Katie numerous times, by blackmailing her into helping them with their crimes and guilt-tripping her by reminding her she's to blame for their parents' deaths.
    Fairchild: What's that, mother?
    Katie: Don't.
    Fairchild: You and father are sad that you were killed, driving Katie to her ice-skating lesson all those years ago? Yeah, me too.
    Stranz: Remember how they used to be alive?
    Fairchild: Papa? I can't hear you, Papa. What are you—? You're crying? Still? In Heaven? You're still dead?
    Katie: Fine, I'll do it.
  • Large Ham: Chazz, again.
  • Loony Fan: Hector. Boy, is he ever.
  • Loophole Abuse: Two examples. First, as Hector points out, Jimmy is only banned from singles skating; he can still skate pairs. Second, the World Winter Skate rules do not indicate what gender combination a pair has to be, allowing Jimmy and Chazz to enter as a team.
  • Low-Speed Chase: There's a hilarious chase scene between Chazz and Stranz which happens while they're both wearing ice skates — on pavement.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Discussed. Chazz suggests that he and Jimmy skate to "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas. Jimmy disagrees, saying he's not skating to anything referencing "lady humps" and he doesn't know what it means. Chazz's defense is that no one knows what it means but it's provocative.
  • Manchild: Both Jimmy and Chazz constantly bicker like children. Jimmy particularly stands out, given his general demeanor and Sweet Tooth (he even drinks a pouch of Capri-Sun), but that can be attributed to his abnormal upbringing.
  • Manipulative Bastards: Stranz and Fairchild wring as much guilt out of Katie for accidentally being the cause of their parents' deaths as humanly possible. She breaks free by declaring that their parents were the cause (or at least large contributors) of the accident.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: Stranz and Chazz get one during the aforementioned Low-Speed Chase when the blades of their skates get stuck in the escalator steps. Chazz has just enough time to rib on Stranz's outfit before they can resume the chase.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Chazz and Jimmy when they are revealed as the first male-male pairs figure skating couple.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chazz goes through a series of mood swings after a misunderstanding with Jimmy and tries to make numerous phone calls to him.
  • Mundane Utility: Chazz can shoot fireballs out of his hands, which no one finds at all unusual. (Jimmy finds it annoying.) The only thing he uses them for is his fierce victory poses. Until the end, anyway.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Katie is blackmailed into seducing Jimmy's partner Chazz and Jimmy believes she willingly did so only to be told by Fairchild that she didn't because she loved him, much to his relief. In Chazz's words (in front of everyone at the ice rink).
  • Nice Gal: The all-too-cute and wholesome Katie.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: When Fairchild is locking Jimmy up in a bathroom, she simultaneously gives him new hope when she reveals that Katie and Chazz didn't sleep together the night before because Katie's in love with Jimmy, when she could have simply stayed silent and left Jimmy believing the worst of the other two.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Jimmy is an affectionate parody of figure skater Johnny Weir, who is well known for his outlandish and flamboyant fashion sense.
  • Noodle Incident: Chazz mentions that at one point, his urine smelled like marshmallows for an entire month.
  • Not My Driver: Stranz is able to kidnap Chazz this way. Chazz, for whatever reason, doesn't think it amiss that Stranz is driving a taxi before he is knocked out.
    Chazz: World Winter sports Games. And yes, I am Chazz Michael Michaels.
    [Stranz turns around in the drivers seat]
    Chazz: [cheerfully] Hey Stranz!
    Stranz: Hi. [WHACK]
  • Not What It Looks Like: Jimmy walking in on Chazz groping Katie after she was sent to seduce him and break up the team.
  • Odd Name Out: The Van Waldenberg siblings: Stranz, Fairchild, and Katie.
  • Off with His Head!: In the Iron Lotus video the coach shows, a North Korean skater gets her head chopped off when they perform the move.
  • Oh, Crap!: Stranz and Fairchild have this reaction when they get caught by the police for their crimes in the end.
  • Parental Abandonment: Jimmy's adopted father disowns him after he's kicked out of men's figure skating for brawling with Chazz.
  • Perverted Sniffing: Chazz does this to one of the members during the sex addicts meeting as he starts hitting on the members.
  • Persona Non Grata: Due to their fight on the podium at the beginning of the film, both Jimmy and Chazz are stripped of their titles and banned from men's singles skating for life. Fortunately, the ban only extends to men's singles skating; they can still do pairs skating.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Stranz and Fairchild's wardrobe for their performance to "Good Vibrations" by Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch.
  • Product Placement: Mane and Tail is a real brand, although the equine-based name comes from it mostly being used on horses, not because it's made from horse placenta (which it isn't, if you're planning to run out and get some anytime soon).
  • Pun-Based Title: Based on the phrase "blaze of glory"
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Brother-sister ice dancing pairs do happen. There were four at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Chazz and Jimmy, notably in the theme for their first competition together, "Fire and Ice".
  • Riding into the Sunset: Chazz and Jimmy ride out of the arena into space on rocket skates after winning the skating Championships.
  • Ripping Off the String of Pearls: Exploited by Fairchild Van Waldenberg after she and Stranz fail to detain Jimmy and Chazz right before their final routine. The two are already on the ice, but Fairchild thinks she still has a chance to sabotage them. She tears off the pearl necklace she's wearing as part of her Marilyn Monroe costume and flicks the pearls onto the ice, causing Chazz to break his ankle when he skates over one and loses his balance. The camera focuses on the single pearl that injures Chazz as it bounces across the ice and into his path.
  • Say My Name: Chazz yells Jimmy's name when he finally arrives at the arena in Montreal, alerting everyone to his presence.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Jimmy and Chazz. Just look at them.
  • Serious Business: The movie focuses on skating to which the antagonists would go to great lengths to win
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Iron Lotus bears an uncanny resemblance to the Pamchenko from the figure skating movie The Cutting Edge, which also featured a pair of antagonistic figure skaters.
    • Chazz thinks that Stranz's JFK costume is supposed to be Rod Serling.
    • Stranz and Fairchild dress up as JFK and Marilyn Monroe during their performance at the winter finals.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: The Van Waldenbergs in general but especially Katie.
  • Smash Cut: One smash cut shows Chazz vomiting profusely at the children's ice skate show; the next cuts to a Slushie machine for nauseating effect.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Stranz and Fairchild quite literally at the end, much to everyone's disgust.
Stranz: It was her idea, she broke his ankle!
Fairchild: Wha--?!
Fairchild: You idiot!
Stranz: I hate you!
Fairchild: (slaps him)
Stranz: (slaps her)
(they kiss; everyone around them groans in disgust)
  • Stalker with a Crush: Hector! And he's really creepy about it.
    Hector: I totally want to cut off your skin and wear it to my birthday... it's coming up...
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Jimmy's apology and Chazz's proclamation that he "is ice skating" are not enough at their hearing. The judges ban Chazz and Jimmy from men's singles figure skating for the remainder of their lives.
    • Chazz' drunken antics during a kids ice show eventually get him fired.
    • When Jimmy refuses to listen to a customer's little girl complain about him making her skates too tight, he gets demoted to loading stocks.
    • Instead of being Karma Houdini, eventually the police find out from the costumed snow mascot with an arrow through its head that Stranz had accidentally attempted to murder him earlier and he gets arrested for it.
    • When Stranz and Fairchild rat each other out to the police, they, in rapid-fire succession, argue, slap, then kiss. It looks romantic, except everyone knows they're twins and appropriately react with disgust to the scene.
    • When Jimmy believes Chazz had seduced his love interest Katie, he runs away and is later found suffering a headache due to staring at a pack of gum for nine hours.
    • The public reacts negatively to the idea of a male-male pairs figure skating couple.
  • Tap on the Head: Stranz knocks Chazz out with a hammer before he and Jimmy can skate at Montreal.
  • Technician vs. Performer: Jimmy is the technical person, and Chazz is the performer.
  • The Big Damn Kiss:
    • Stranz and Fairchild share one at the end of an argument, much to the visible disgust of everyone around them witnessing it.
    • Jimmy and Katie share one at the end as well.
  • Token Good Teammate: Katie is rather shy, sweet-natured, kind-hearted, and downtrodden by her cruel and entitled siblings.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The parents of the Van Waldenbergs, Otto and Ella, according to Katie, as she angrily tells Stranz and Fairchild that their parents almost certainly caused their own deaths because they weren't wearing their seatbelts and made an illegal turn.
  • Tropaholics Anonymous: Chazz goes to one of these meetings for sex addicts. None of them seem to be making any progress though.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: During an interview of questions, Chazz is asked if he had a troubled childhood. At age 9, he had a questionable scandalous relationship with his 35-year-old girlfriend. At age 12, he had a life of running cigarettes and illegal fireworks. His nonchalant sarcastic reaction says otherwise.
    Chazz: Troubled? If you call being a 9-year-old kid with a 35-year-old girlfriend "troubled".
  • Twincest: The twin sibling villainous duo of Stranz and Fairchild Van Waldenberg have shared an unusually close bond since childhood and are constantly touchy-feely. They finally fling themselves at each other for a kiss just as the police are hauling them away.
  • The Unfavorite: Katie with her brother and sister Stranz and Fairchild. They use their parents' car accident in order to make her do their dirty work. A childhood photo emphasizes this, showing Katie watching from the sidelines as her parents Otto and Ella favor their eldest talented children twins Stranz and Fairchild.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Stranz and Fairchild are always dressed up, even when they're just relaxing at home.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Played for Laughs as one male skate fan is disappointed to discover Jimmy is not a girl.
    Male Fan: That blonde chick's a dude? (Double Take) Oh man!
  • Villainous Breakdown: By the end, Stranz and Fairchild. First, Fairchild stomps her foot down in annoyance when Chazz arrives to the competition. Then she and Stranz resort to cheating and attempted murder to get their gold medals. Then when the authorities find out and come to arrest them, they turn on each other, first exchanging slaps and then kissing each other in public before being taken away in handcuffs.
  • Villainous Incest: Twins Stranz and Fairchild share an incestuous relationship with one another and spend a majority of their screentime manipulating and abusing their little sister Katie and antagonizing Chazz and Jimmy for the skating competition.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Chazz, while working for a children's ice show during the three years he is banned from competition, gets drunk and throws up inside his 'evil wizard' giant costume head.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After Jimmy's dad disowns him, he's never seen again. Though a deleted scene confirmed that he gets killed accidentally by Jimmy's fan Hector during a reconciliation attempt with Jimmy.
  • Worst News Judgement Ever: Subverted; when Chazz and Jimmy first sign up as a pair, this attracts the attention of the local media, with the resulting hubbub implying that we're about to see one of these. The next cut, however, is a close up of a newspaper... where Chazz and Jimmy are a tiny photograph in the section atop the banner headline with a small headline reporting that a pair of "forgotten rivals" have teamed up, with a corresponding link to an article buried somewhere in the sports section. Apparently, the media have in fact ascribed this article roughly the same amount of importance as any news concerning competitive figure skating tends to receive.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: The fight followed with a kiss between Stranz and Fairchild looks romantic, except they're twin brother and sister. The spectators witnessing this react accordingly.