I have waged an Anti-Will Ferrell campaign for a few years now. It's hard to put into words why I dislike him so, aside from the simple fact that I am not a fan of physical comedy, or of comedy which involves a middle-aged man running down a street in his underwear carrying a bucket of chicken (I did laugh the first time he ran around in his underwear...but not the subsequent billion times).
However, I need to be fair and let the world know that last night while I watched Stranger Than Fiction, I discovered a different side to Will Ferrell than I had ever seen before: the talented side. He really is a good actor. This might seem like a big 'duh' statement to anyone but me, but rest assured, I had never seen this side of him. When he was sitting on Maggie Gyllenhaal's couch and he played the guitar and sang, well, it was pretty much the most romantic thing I'd seen in a long time.
I don't expect Will Ferrell to give up his "running in his underwear" side...why would he, it's making him a millionaire. But I was pleased to see that there is more than just that angle to his work. So, I stand corrected: Will Ferrell is not a hack actor. He has talent, and I have more respect for him today than I did yesterday (which I'm sure will be very meaningful for him).