Ricky Bobby reconsidered

aving been warned away from "Talladega Nights," and having dutifully passed on the warning to you, I feel duty-bound to pass on any new evidence I encounter to the contrary.

I was sitting in a waiting room this morning, and had just heard via whatever "news" program was on the tube that always seems to be on in such places that the saga of Ricky Bobby had been the big money-maker over the weekend. This caused me to feel very superior to all those folks who had been duped into wasting their hard-earned means on something that I knew better than to go see.

Farrell1_1Then I found, among all the magazines that I would never read (with titles like "Self," which I suppose is some sort of libertarian think tank journal), a copy of the Sporting News . In it was a "My Turn" column under the name of the fictional Mr. Bobby himself, under a picture of Will Farrell in his NASCAR outfit.

And it was funny, in a snickering sort of eighth-grade locker room kind of way — which means it was wittier than most of the comedies Hollywood turns out these days. If whoever actually wrote this had anything to do with writing the picture, maybe it’s better than I had heard.

And if they didn’t get this guy to write it, why not?


30 thoughts on “Ricky Bobby reconsidered

  1. Capital A

    Yes, but can it hope to possibly compete with the previous high-banking mark set by Stroker Ace and the (unintentionally comedic) Days of Thunder?

  2. bud

    Brad, your earlier post on Taledega Nights inspired me to watch some older movies that somehow I’ve missed. Saturday I saw Philadelphia with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Great Movie. This was made only 13 years ago but I was astonished at how dated everything looked. Cel phones, computers, clothes, hair styles, automobiles all seemed so old-fashioned. Time really does fly by.

  3. bill

    Philadelphia is my favorite Hank’s film,and it also made me actually appreciate opera for the first time in my life.

  4. Ready to Hurl

    My 15-year-old daughter saw Talladega Nights twice.
    She thought that it was funny the second time, too.
    30 seconds of Will Farrell on The Larry King Show was enough for me.

  5. Dave

    30 seconds of anything on Larry King’s show will cause nausea in most people. Example of tough LK question to terrorist: What did you feel like when you wired your 6 month old baby boy with a detonator. I mean – did you think back to his first word, first steps, or what?

  6. Brad Warthen

    I never saw "Philadelphia," and I’ll admit I’ve sort of avoided it, for pretty much the same reason that I avoided "Schindler’s List" for the longest time — promotions for it looked so amazingly depressing that I had trouble catching myself in the right mood.

    My favorite Hanks movies range from the awe-inspiring ("Saving Private Ryan") to the silly-but-hilarious ("Volunteers") to the just plain, all-around entertaining ("That Thing You Do").

    By comparison, Will Ferrell’s career thus far has been rather underwhelming. I did enjoy "Elf" a lot more than I thought I would, and not just because it had Zooey Deschanel in it. And I’ll admit to taking a certain guilty pleasure in watching "Old School." But I still approach his work with a certain wariness.

  7. bill

    “Philadephia” and “Schindler’s List” are pretty depressing and not the kind of movies you want to buy for repeated viewings.I heard good things about “Elf” but still haven’t gotten the nerve to rent.My favorite comedy of all time is “Serial Mom”.It’s pretty juvenile but Kathleen Turner gives a great performance and I’ve watched it more than any movie ever made(talk about guilty pleasures).Seems like most SNL alumni do their best work on the show when you only have to take them in small doses.

  8. Capital A

    I just wish someone could explain why Turner “turned” into a man over the last twenty years. She used to be a mega-hottie and now…is that really her? Cybill Shepherd suffers from the same phenomenon.
    Christopher Walken could be considered an honorary SNL alumni. His cameos can make any film watchable. I rented Domino just for his “…too many rednecks…” and “…like night…of the living dead!” lines.
    Blockbuster Online is a good thing.

  9. bill

    Turner was incredibly “hot” in “Body Heat”,but she hasn’t aged real well(lotsa women don’t),and that raspy voice just keeps getting raspier.Most of her recent work has been on stage and I’ve heard she’s pretty incredible in the remake of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”.It’s kinda sad,though,how Hollywood chews up and spits out women.

  10. bud

    Some women in Hollywood age well. Jane Fonda for instance still looks great. It must be that koolaid she drank in Hanoi.

  11. Uncle Elmer

    I haven’t seen Talladega nights yet…NASCAR parodies itself so often I’m not sure I want to. My favorite comedic movie has to be “Murder by Death.” What other movie features Truman Capote, Nancy Walker, and Alec Guiness all playing the same character? And the combination of the blind butler with the deaf/mute maid is too hysterically unPC to be believed.

  12. kc

    Turner was incredibly “hot” in “Body Heat”,but she hasn’t aged real well(lotsa women don’t),
    Of course all men age beautifully.

  13. bill

    kc,Don’t get me wrong,what I’m saying,is that the ugly old men still get plenty of work in Hollywood.I was using the term “hot” sarcastically because of Cap A’s somewhat sexist post about how Turner used to be a “mega-hottie”.She’s actually a much better actress now due to her years of experince.

  14. bill

    I’ve seen recent pictures and she’s actually still a beautiful woman.But this is a culture obsessed with youth.

  15. Capital A

    Of course all men age beautifully.
    Posted by: kc | Aug 15, 2006 11:12:44 AM
    I’m not attracted to men or else I would have commented accordingly. It’s sexist to state your preference in women?
    I’m sure Ms. Turner knew the ins and outs of her chosen career path and properly benifited from her beauty (once upon a time) as well. As clever as she seems in interviews, I’m sure she’s no (hot) “babe in the woods.” If anything, this proves the cyclical nature of life.
    To me, Lauren Bacall was the “hottest” actress of all time. This is based on my perception of her physical beauty and perceived wit. You don’t find actresses with the edge she once brandished anymore.
    Of course, homosexual men would never be catty enough to go on at great length about the inanity of an obviously-aging Matthew McConaughey playing the role of a 35-year old man in his most recent offering, Failure to Launch. No, I didn’t overhear that conversation at the water cooler in the last week since gay males are so much more progressive and unaffected by a person’s attractiveness than we simply straightforward men.

  16. Capital A

    Apologies, kc. My post was directed at bill.
    That’ll teach me to try to cut, paste and think in a hurry. Maybe I failed on two accounts there…

  17. pete

    Since we’re talking about movies, I like the “mad face.” It reminds me of the Mr. Potatohead scene in Toy Story II

  18. Capital A

    Sorry to get your hopes “up”, Dave, but, alas, it isn’t.
    Also, it isn’t as terrible as it was reviewed upon release. It was enjoyable.
    Ultraviolet, on the other hand… I actually stopped the film at the 41 minute mark and began catching up on files.
    Mila Jovovich has aged well, however, if you’re a fan of the flat-abbed, death-pixie type.

  19. bud

    Capital A, I have to disagree. I hated Failure to Launch. It was so predictable and campy. This was a true 7-step formula Chick Flick. The sequence goes as follows: (1) Character A deceives Character B; (2) B falls for A; (3) A eventually falls for B; (4) B finds out about A’s deception (5) A appeals to B for forgiveness (6) B trys to fight it but evenutally comes around and all is forgiven. (7) Everyone lives happily ever after.
    The Lake House, another Chick Flick, was a pleasure to watch.

  20. Capital A

    bud, I totally agree. FtL was formulaic as it could be, but it didn’t annoy me for some reason. I saw all players involved as enjoyable. I also prefer it when true Southerners play the role of Southerners as opposed to casting someone like Jude Law affecting an accent most akin to someone speaking after a recent brain aneurysm.
    I’ll check out The Lake House with my girlfriend. Lord knows I owe her for all the samurai/ninja/cowboy/superhero/tales of revenge flicks I’ve made her sit through.
    bud, does the twist of The Lake House bend plausible rules of time travel? I have a couple of guesses at its possible conclusion, but feel free to spoil it for me.
    I’m thinking she sends a letter that prevents some tragedy in his life which then leads to/allows them to meet up at a later date.

  21. Capital A

    Oh, what was the deal with the animals attacking the protagonist in FtL? Was this the spirit of his dead fiancee trying to guide him to happiness? I didn’t “get” that.
    Maybe I’m thinking too deeply about a shallow pool of a sailing movie.

  22. bud

    Capital A. The Lake House certainly had time parodox issues. But it was just quirky and original enough to be entertaining. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for Sandra Bullock.
    And yes, I think you may be thinking too deeply (about FtL), but I could be wrong. Anyone else want to weigh in?

  23. bill

    I’ve been thinking about former SNL alumni and have concluded that Christopher Guest is the most talented to come out of the lot.”Waiting for Guffman”,”Best in Show”,”A Mighty Wind”,are all incredible comedies(especially the first two).Chis Rock comes in second for his stand-ups on HBO,definitely not his movies.For a great Chick Flick,try out “Hysterical Blindness”(Uma Thurman is fantastic),another HBO movie avaiable on DVD.It’s a masterpiece.

  24. Brad Warthen

    In terms of broadness of talent, possibly so. Steve Martin and Bill Murray have a much greater genius at what they do. But Christopher Guest, like Harry Shearer (maybe even more so) can do many things.
    I hate to say it, though: I found Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind all to be kind of flat in comparison with This is Spinal Tap. On those others, Guest and company may have cranked it up to 10 at times, but Spinal Tap goes to straight to 11, and stays there.

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