Director: Adam McKay
Writers: Will Ferrel, Adam McKay
Starring: Will Ferrel, John C Reilly
Release: August, 2006
Talladega Nights is a slapstick comedy about the life and career of Nascar driver Ricky Bobby. Bobby is riding high and at the top of the world when a French formula one driver comes to Nascar to challenge Bobby. Bobby is tested when his world starts to crumble before his eyes.
This film is simple, in your face, style of comedy. There aren’t jokes you have to read into to understand. The goal of the film is to make you laugh and achieves its goal in every way. It relies on the script and the physical acting of the characters for the comedy and nothing more.
Some of the funniest scenes in this film are purely script, it doesn’t require the actor to do anything except for sit in a chair at the dining table. This particular scene revolves around Bobby, his best friend Cal, his wife, his sons, and his father in law. The exchanges between the group are pure comedy and I find myself crying laughing every time I watch this scene.
There are also scenes where it does require the actor to do some kind of goofy stunt to really sell the scene. One in particular is when Bobby ends up in his underwear running around the track screaming that he is on fire.
This film uses multiple styles of humor but mostly relies on affiliative humor. There are parts of the movie where other styles of humor are used such as aggressive and self-defeating, for example, there are scenes in the film where you laugh at Bobby’s misfortune. There’s also scenes where Bobby trash talks opponents which results in a laugh from the audience.
One of the reasons this film is so funny is because of the outrageous antics of Ricky Bobby. I could come up with countless examples but there’s a few that are impossible to overlook. In one scene Bobby is running around the racetrack in his underwear screaming that he is on fire. Another is when he stabs a knife in his leg because he has convinced himself that he is paralyzed.
The cinematography, editing, and sound design, have very little to do with the comedy in this film. As I said before this film relies almost solely on the actors for the comedy in this film.
This film was not given the best reviews but did well financially. It was ranked number one for its opening weekend and made 47 million. Film critics didn’t respond exceptionally well to this film however, giving an average review score of around 70%. It did however do well with audiences and sits at an 89% audience rating.
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. (2006, August 04). Retrieved from https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0415306/
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=talladeganights.htm
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/talladega_nights_the_ballad_of_ricky_bobby