Saturday, July 18, 2009

Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Ricky Bobby has a need, a need for speed. Since his father told him that anything other than first place is last place Ricky has strove to be the number one Nascar driver and he has succeeded. Until the fateful day that he pushes his sponsor too far and French driver Jean Girard is brought in as his rival. Ricky Bobby pushes himself too far and ends up in a traumatic accident, losing his wife to his partner, and being forced to move back in with his mother while he tries to regain his mojo an be able to drive again.

Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a pretty damn funny film. I kind of regret that I didn’t get to see it with a theatrical audience because I am sure that the jokes were even better with that current of excitement that runs through movie audiences; however, even on my little 13” TV screen, alone in my room, the jokes were still funny.

I have to say that I am a fan of Will Ferrell. I loved the man since he was Alec Trebec and James Lipton on SNL and I am very pleased that his career has continued since he left the show. The best thing about Will Ferrell is that he commits to the absurdity of his character or story situation 100%, no matter what he plays, who he is on screen with he finds the joy, humor and personality in the moment and brings it to life. This makes the jokes play better than they would with another actor in the role because Ferrell is one of the great comedians – a comedian who can make any joke funny, even if it’s inherently unfunny.

Comedy is subjective, and I expect that Ricky Bobby probably has had quite a few people that have watched it not like it, but I thought it was pretty dang funny.

Director: Adam McKay
Writers: Will Ferrell & Adam McKay
Ricky Bobby: Will Ferrell
Lucius: Michael Clarke Duncan
Cal Naughton Jr.: John C. Reiley
Carley Bobby: Leslie Bibb
Susan: Amy Adams
Jean Girard: Sacha Baron Cohen

Cal Naughton, Jr.: Shake and bake!
Ricky Bobby: What does that do? Does that blow your mind? That just happened!
Jean Girard: Is that a catchphrase or epilepsy?

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