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Talladega Nights: The Legend of Ricky Bobby


Disclaimer: I know nothing about NASCAR. I may use terms like "NASCAR", "car", "stock car", and anything else about cars incorrectly. I apologize. All I know is where the gas goes in my little Honda Civic Hybrid and how to drive. That's it. Oh, and how to move my mirrors.

Will Ferrell plays Ricky Bobby, a NASCAR stock-car racer. His number one status is challenged by Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen), a new gay driver from France who was hired by Ricky Bobby's sponsor to get rid of him. Let me say that again. A gay, French, NASCAR driver. Talk about culture wars!

Anyway, on with the plot synopsis:

<Insert plot from any other Will Ferrell movie where he is knocked down to wallow in self pity before being inspired by something and rising from the ashes to triumph in the end>.

What I Thought

I've been thinking a lot recently about age and taste. I remember when I was a kid that I really hated Swiss cheese. It had that flat soda taste that a 12 year old palate just cannot appreciate unless it's coated in chocolate, sugar, pasta, fried, and served on a pizza. Now, as I'm older, I've found that surprise, I can't get enough of Jarlsberg. I still can't sit anywhere near Brie or Camembert, but then again they are not really cheeses. They're just moulds people decide to eat.

I say that because I used to not like Will Ferrell (or incidentally, Steve Carell until his brilliant -and I mean brilliant- appearances in the 40 Year Old Virgin and The Office). Sure, I liked his presidential impressions, and his cheerleader on SNL, but he was pretty much a one trick pony. He played the same stupid and shallow frat boy everywhere.

But, just like non-mouldy cheese, I now think Ferrell is delicious.

The Bad:

1) The plot sucks. It's empty. It's stupid. It's not even a plot but rather an extended SNL sketch. But this is Will Ferrell. What else is new?

I clearly numbered that item because I thought I'd have more to list. But that's pretty much it.

The Good:

1) It's FUNNY! Ferrell's mixture of innocence, sly intelligence (yes, it's there!), and total buffoonery is so freakin' fun. It reminds me again of Steve Carell, but stupider.

2) Three words: Sacha. Baron. Cohen. Anyone familiar with Da Ali G show? He plays three wildly different characters in this HBO series (a London West End gansta, a not-so-bright reporter from Kazakstan named Borat, and a very very gay fashionista Bruno). Anyway, that's him playing the French guy. He's brilliant. I just love how he says "Rrrickee Bobeee". And I cannot wait for his Borat movie to come out in the Fall. Plenty of clips of him on youtube.com, just search for "borat ali g" on the site.

3) Molly Shannon as the sponsor's drunk wife. Her few minutes on screen are hilarious!

4) I saw a poster in the theater for a movie coming out next year. The website? http://transformersmovie.com. Need I say more?

It's these three people who rescue the lame excuse for a script. The movie is really an excuse just to let these guys be funny. I would love to just lock them up in a room and see what they'd come up with.

Not that the other people aren't funny too. The backup cast is very funny as well, just not very memorable to me.

So, this was a very funny empty summer movie that I'd love to see again. Only this time, I'll bring my own chocolate-covered, fried Swiss cheese.


All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.