Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Movies and Television

Boy am I tired of all these long ass movie titles. Anyway … this is sort of the grown-up version of Cars. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is the latest Will Ferrell vehicle, pun intended, which rightly brings him back to where he needs to be, a satirical, fluff “good” stupid comedy.

Similar in tone and exaggerated stereotypes with Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (enough!), Talladega Nights casts Ferrell as redneck driver Ricky Bobby.

Talladega Nights © 2006 Sony Pictures

The flick hits most of the NASCAR cliches right on the head, but with a couple misses. Ricky Bobby is an egomaniacal good ol’ boy with the obligatory trophy wife, dumb best friend-slash-doormat and snotty kids. Only problem with the kids, while they are bratty, spoiled and obnoxious (right on) they’re also oddly disrespectful of their elders (miss number 1).

The Bobby clan is set-up in their McMansion living the good life, until Ricky “All or Nothing” Bobby causes and crashes in a big wreck. Which brings me to the following:

Ew. My eyes. I am hereby invoking a moratorium on any scene that causes me to see Will Ferrell naked. Funny he is. Sexy he is not. I do not want to see him running around in a pair of tube socks and his tighty whiteys. Certainly not twice! A third time would have caused retinal scarring and I’d so have to sue.

Shaken by the wreck, Ricky loses all confidence when beaten by new driver, Frenchy. He had a name, but don’t care. This guy is about as French as Rush Limbaugh and the accent is the worse this side of the Atlantic and Steve Martin. Because he’s French, Frenchy likes jazz, dinner parties and men. As in “sex with.” Which was the plotline was the most out of place to me–the Gay Parisian invades NASCAR red state nation–story.

And for a pretty much agenda-less mainstream movie, TN has as much guy-on-guy action as Brokeback Mountain. I guess this is another sign that the gays are taking over the media from those warmongering Jews, trying to desensitize Americans to the site of guys kissing.

After Ricky loses Austin Power’s mojo, his sponsor quickly pushes the trophy wife into the willing, gullible arms of best friend & perennial bridesmaid Cal, played by John C. Reilly. Ricky’s forced to pack up the brats and head to grandma’s house (big miss number 2; the house, not grandma; think about it), played wonderfully by Jane Lynch. And while I am at it, granny totally rocks! Best part of the movie. In effort to get his balls back and resolve his daddy issues, Ricky hooks up with the long lost loser, played by Gary Cole (who also seems to crop up in all these Ferrell/Wilson/Stiller movies).

This is the kind of movie that while yes I laughed, I also watched in through my fingers half the time. I’m not laughing with them but at them, and I’m the kind of wuss that gets embarrassed for people who are forced to act like total asshats to get a laugh. It’s also the kind of movie, like Cars, where the Funny is all inside-racing jokes. If you’re not a NASCAR fan, you probably won’t get half of it.

Final Snark: Meh, if you’re desperate for a chuckle and actually find Ferrell funny, why not.

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