Alan Partridge

Steve Coogan brings his most popular character—the vain, tactless broadcaster Alan Partridge—to the big screen after more than two decades of playing him in British radio and television. At this point Partridge has landed at a radio station in provincial Norfolk, and after the new corporate overlords fire his aging colleague (Colm Meany), the enraged victim marches into a workplace party with a rifle and gunshots light up the windows. (No American comedy could ever get away with this, but such are the benefits of gun control.) Once the police recruit Partridge as a hostage negotiator, the crisis turns into a ratings sensation, with the two men broadcasting from inside. Coogan is an old hand at the comedy of fear, envy, and bruised egotism, and the movie is packed with clever gags (in one shot Partridge claims to be reading a historical website, but a pair of breasts reflected in his eyeglasses tells the real story). Declan Lowney directed; the British title was Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.