Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
Directed by Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amy Adams
Ricky Bobby (Ferrell) is one of the top drivers in NASCAR thanks to his love of speed and his good friend Cal Naughton Jr. (Reilly). At the top of his game, his confidence is shaken by the arrival of Jean Girard (Cohen), a French Formula 1 driver. After a series of accidents Ricky Bobby is hoping to return to his winning ways.
If this sounds a bit ridiculous, it is. This is one of a handful of comedies from the last decade that I’ve enjoyed more than once. The cast includes Ferrell (Everything Must Go), Reilly (The Thin Red Line), Cohen (Les Miserables), Amy Adams (The Master), and a bunch of other familiar faces. They came together nicely for this silly story, making the laughs more consistent than some movies from the same period. Director Adam McKay (The Other Guys) did a great job with the script, taking advantage of the many stereotypes associated with NASCAR.
I don’t need to spend a lot of time with this one. It’s not realistic, and the story really pushes all the stereotypes it can. Still, the acting is good and the comedy is constant. It also avoids being overly gross in the process, keeping it more family friendly than movies like Step Brothers. They also managed to get a lot of NASCAR personalities involved in the film. In some ways it feels like a comedy version of Days of Thunder.
If you like silly comedies I would suggest taking this one in. It was never bound for major awards, but it does earn some good laughs. I think the family can sit down and enjoy this one together. I give this one 3.6 out of 5 stars.
Running Time: 108 minutes