When Anchorman came into theaters, I avoided it like a dead sewer rat. When it came onto HBO, I pretended it didn't exist. In fact, I would not have even LOOKED at it had my remote control not stuck on the stupid channel. So I watched a few minutes. I didn't laugh. I wasn't surprised.
Then one day, surfing the premium movie channels, I was thoroughly unimpressed by the offerings. So I turned on Anchorman, about 5 minutes in. For the next hour and a half, I proceeded to laugh hysterically. Scene after scene, line after line, I found new reasons to laugh. By the end, I could hardly breathe.
Unconvinced that I had stumbled upon a a re-watchable movie, I tested and retested it over and over. And over. Result confirmed.
Anchorman tells a simple story: acclaimed (and consequently arrogant) news anchor Ron Burgundy is forced to adapt when an attractive new female member of the Channel 4 news team (Applegate) begins changing the way he and his quirky news team work. That's it. This story is predictable, prescription-esquire, boring. But Anchorman does not draw it's strength from story. It draws from the hilarious situations. It draws from randomness. It draws from brief--but memorable--cameos. It draws from those 100 or so unforgettable one-liners.
That is, if you're looking for cinema, for a fine work of craftsmanship, a eloquent script, and an Oscar nomination, go watch a FILM. If you find randomness hilarious, then watch this MOVIE.