5 reasons why Zoolander is an underrated classic

Each Monday, film fan and champion of the downtrodden Jordan Sims picks out an overlooked gem or unfairly maligned masterpiece – and gives them the spotlight they so dearly deserve.


This week, it’s the turn of anarchic fashion world satire Zoolander. Here are five reasons why it’s an underrated classic.

1. It’s a family affair

It’s a well known fact that Ben Stiller cast his own wife (Christine Taylor) as Matilda in the film. But what is less well known is that he also managed to fit in…his father (Maury Ballstein)…his mother (egg-thrower)…his sister (Hansel’s friend)…and brother-in-law (director of infomercial). I’d cry nepotism – but Ballstein just suits Jerry Stiller to a tee.

2. It may or may not have been based on a book

Funnily enough, the 2001 film has many similarities with the 1998 book Glamorma by Bret Easten Ellis. Both are about a dim-witted male model, both involve a terrorist ring, and both have conspiracy theories heavily linked to the fashion theory. Now granted, Ellis actually sued Ben Stiller for copyright infringement in 2001, but good on Ben for trying to make the world of comedy that bit more highbrow.

Zoolander gif

3. It was voted one of the Top 50 comedies ever

Yes. Ben Stiller’s Zoolander was voted as one of the 50 greatest comedy movies of all time by reputed reviewers at… wait for it….. Premiere! No? The magazine? They were paper things we used to read before the internet? Yes, they had adverts and things in them. Like the Radio Times? NME? Playboy! There we go, now you get it!

4. Blue Steel

You’d be hard pushed to find a more astonishing look than Blue Steel. The short (but repeated) three second clip of Derek Zoolander’s “signature look” is fantastic, and I am sure Stiller will hold it in high regard as one of his greatest moments on screen. The way he contorts his cheeks make me want become a male model, and I’m sure you all feel the same. Goosebumps.

5. Owen Wilson’s nose

In all seriousness though, underneath all the ridiculous comedy is fantastic acting. In a part that was written specifically for him, Owen Wilson’s nose shines as the star of the show. David Bowie could learn a thing of two from Wilson’s konk.

Owen Wilson gif

Do you agree?

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