TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY
Ridiculing the Bible Belt and White Southern Christian Males
Release Date: August 04, 2006
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 105 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Director: Adam McKay
Producer: Jimmy Miller and Judd Apatow
Writer: Will Farrell and Adam McKay
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Columbia Pictures/MGM/TriStar/Screen Gems)
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Culver City, CA 90232-3195
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TALLADEGA NIGHTS stars Will Farrell as Ricky Bobby, a Southern good old white boy whose dope-smoking, white trash father has abandoned him, leaving Ricky with the immortal words, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Ricky grows up loving to drive cars fast, and he quickly becomes NASCAR’s top stock car driver. Ricky also loves to pray to the Baby Jesus at the family dinner table, but it is clear that he, his family and his best friend, Cal, don’t know much about Jesus or His teachings. Their Christian faith is completely mindless and self-serving. The movie tries to milk this for lots of blasphemous and borderline laughs.
One day, a French race car driver, Jean Girard, who also is homosexual, comes to America to challenge Ricky’s supremacy on the racetrack. The mindless, chest-thumping Ricky can’t bear to be shown up by a Frenchy, must less a homosexual. He drives recklessly to beat the Frenchman and ends up having a spectacular crash. The crash sends Ricky into shock and denial. Now that her husband is no longer able to race, Ricky’s wife abandons him for his best friend Cal, who resents Ricky for never helping him win a race. Only the reappearance of Ricky’s long-lost father can help Ricky recover his racing skills so he can challenge his archrival again.
TALLADEGA NIGHTS tries to mine comic territory that was better excavated in HAPPY MADISON, the golf comedy starring Adam Sandler. It doesn’t even try to balance out its satire. So, unless you’re a flaming liberal bigot who wants to make fun of NASCAR, Southerners, Christians, Jesus, and traditional views of American masculinity, or don’t know any better, you won’t find much to laugh at here. Even then, the jokes are hit or miss, with some of them just plain stupid.
TALLADEGA NIGHTS ridicules its conceited, Southern white protagonist. In one excruciatingly long scene, it also ridicules the protagonist and his family and friend for saying an inane dinner prayer to Jesus. This is one of the most blasphemous scenes in recent memory. It goes way beyond mere mockery of Christianity. The movie also ridicules traditional, heterosexual notions of masculinity in America and the South, including NASCAR. Taken altogether, the movie is one long politically correct, humanist attack on the Bible Belt and white Southern Americans. It also contains strong sexual references, excessive foul language and strong homosexual content.
A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reported that both Will Farrell and his writing partner, Adam McKay, the director of this movie, are pretty radical liberals who are angry at the Democratic Party for not being even more antagonistic toward its political rivals. Apparently, that also includes conservative evangelical Christians in the South who support more conservative candidates, especially candidates opposed to same sex marriage and opposed to the promotion of homosexuality and other perverse sex acts. To many such liberals, bigoted attacks on blacks, women, Latinos, and other minorities are evil, but bigoted attacks on white Southern Christian males are fair game. Hopefully, this double standard will be rejected some day. Only then, perhaps, will Hollywood stop making such movies as TALLADEGA NIGHTS.
Talladega, by the way, is a town in Alabama that has one of the most famous NASCAR racetracks, the Talladega Superspeedway.
TALLADEGA NIGHTS is an unending, politically correct ridicule of the Bible Belt, Southern white men, Christianity, Jesus Christ, the family, and American masculinity. Its constant jokes are either hit or miss, or offensive to a good many people, especially committed Christians. The movie also contains strong sexual references, excessive foul language and strong homosexual content. This truly is one of the most blasphemous, politically correct summer movies ever released by a major studio. Talladega, by the way, is a town in eastern Alabama with a famous NASCAR racetrack, the Talladega Superspeedway.