The 365 Best Films of the 2000s

Heroes of the Zeroes: Zoolander

Heroes of the Zeroes is Nick Rogers’ daily, alphabetical look back at the 365 best films of 2000-2009. “Zoolander” is the final entry in the series. In reverse alphabetical order, every entry can be found starting at this page.

Rated PG-13

Ben Stiller often forgoes go-for-broke comedy in favor of getting rich. Not in 2001’s “Zoolander,” where his sharp directorial incisors chomped at fashion’s vanity and vapidity.

Gags about white co-opting of black culture sowed seeds for “Tropic Thunder.” Bulimia was endorsed in ersatz fashion. Cell phones were prophetically puny. There was enough room in an orgy for Sherpas and Finnish-dwarf musicians. And the “Derelicte” campaign inspired by the homeless … well, not far off.

Not only Cuba Gooding Jr. and Billy Zane’s best Zeroes work, “Zoolander” remains Stiller’s flat-out funniest film — down to the DVD menu.

Male modeling’s addlebrained ambassador, Derek’s crinkled forehead simultaneously signifies idiocy, curiosity, sadness and anger. Stiller so drastically contorts his face it’s a wonder his puss didn’t freeze in pursed-lip ridiculousness — the crux of Derek’s “looks” like Blue Steel, Le Tigre and Ferrari.

When Derek loses popularity to free-spirit upstart Hansel (Owen Wilson, also markedly goofy-looking with his knobby nose), he learns aging models have become patsies for major assassinations … and he’s next.

As villainous fashion designer Mugatu, Will Ferrell concocts an odd, comic variation of Vincent D’Onofrio’s “The Cell” psychopath. Like the Hannibal Lecter of effeminate girly-men rogues, Ferrell makes maximum impact in minimum time — his climactic squealing freak-out one of Ferrell’s most gaspingly funny bits.

Stiller is preferable in goofy character mode than as an interchangeable nebbish. His accountant and agent might not have much appreciated the underperforming “Zoolander,” but fans of his fearlessness on the fringe in the 1990s sure did.

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19 Responses to “Heroes of the Zeroes: Zoolander”

  1. Truen Jaimes says:

    Love this movie! It totally deserved to make the list…Blue Steel!

  2. glen guerrero says:

    I liked the movie alot. Very funny

  3. Eric Alex says:

    I was rather surprised that I enjoyed Zoolander. If you want many laughs, this is the movie to watch.

  4. Vivica Lance says:

    If you want to laugh hysterically, this is the movie to watch! Adam Sandler is one of my favorite actors.

  5. Hedy Reeves says:

    I thought this movie was funny. If I thought it was funny then it has to be good.

  6. I love this movie, especially the "fight club" underground scene. Stiller always knows how to deflate the hot air in our culture. I use to love his parents on Ed Sullivan when I was a child. He certainly had great role models.

  7. anna schnitt says:

    OMG….I hated this movie. It was…I felt like it realy didn’t have a pourpose and I guess I just couldn’t relate. I realy wanted to like it. On the other hand….my daughter loved it!

  8. Lauren H. says:

    This is probably one of the best movies EVER! I remember everything about the afternoon that I saw it for the 1st time.

  9. Kristi Wilkerson says:

    one of my favorite movies.

  10. Holly B says:

    This movie is great and has some of the best one liner’s. Classic movie that will be quoted for years.

  11. chad cowgill says:

    I think Zoolander is funny. There have always been rumors of a sequel but it never seems to get made. I like Duchovny’s character, it is nice to know they did not leave out the hand models. I like when a certain sector of society gets satired so we can really see the ironies that the human race causes itself to go through.

  12. Zach H says:

    I LOVE THIS MOVIE. one of my all time favorite movies

  13. J.P. says:

    Regardless of how many times you watch this movie, it still makes you laugh! An absolute classic,


    This movie was very funny and showed how versatile Ben Stiller is as an actor. I never laughed so much. Awesome movie.

  15. Andrew Holzman says:

    One word. Ugoggly. A great movie and great fun.

  16. gwinjay says:

    I liked it too

  17. George Cornelius says:

    i love this movie!

  18. Lee Pugh says:

    OMG! I love this movie. And I had to get rid of it because I had it on VHS and my VCR broke. I now have a DVR and need to buy the DVD of Zoolander so I can watch it whenever I want. It is really funny.

    I also love the way the kids at the end of the movie are wearing DZ shirts. Those used to be the shirts that Discovery Zone sold when they were in business. lol.

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