15 Dumb Movies Which Are Secretly Smart

14. Zoolander

zoolander Ben Stiller
Paramount Pictures

Zoolander is plain proof that it takes a sharp mind to write a movie that's both dumb and funny.

The cult comedy of course revolves around dim-witted model Derek Zoolander (Ben Stiller), who in addition to struggling with a hot new rival (Owen Wilson's Hansel), finds himself involved in a brainwashing plot to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

It's entirely possible to watch Zoolander as a work of inspired stupidity and nothing more, especially as Stiller plays the title role relatively straight. But as a comprehensive satire of the fashion industry in all of its pomp and pretension, Zoolander becomes more than a disposable studio comedy.

Given the countless figures from the fashion industry who appear in the film, one suspects Stiller may have downplayed the barbed nature of the comedy during shooting, even if the end result is a savage-yet-playful stab at how vapid it all truly is.

You can't write a gag about a "freak gasoline fight accident" without your tongue damn-near burning a hole through your cheek, and it's one of the film's many jokes which underlines the considerable thought that went into constructing the entire movie.

The less said about the sequel, though - which is very much the witless movie many think the original actually is - the better.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.