We'd imagine the pitch session for Talladega Nights
went something like this: Adam McKay walks into the offices of Elf
producer Jimmy Miller, who happens to have a lot of cash. He kicks the door down, bottle of whiskey in hand, and says six words, "Will Ferrell as a NASCAR driver." He then proceeds to piss on Miller' secretary while popping a few "black betties" to get his morning off right.
The second collaboration between Adam McKay and Will Ferrell (their first film being a little known ditty called Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
) is based on such a solid premise, and plays so well to Ferrell' strengths, that they could have done anything they wanted with it and it still would have rocked. And rock it does.
We really shouldn't go into too much detail about the plot, since it basically boils down to Will Ferrell as a racecar driver, but here it goes: Ricky Bobby (Ferrell) is destined to be first. After all, his father (Gary Cole) was doing 120mph in his muscle car while Ricky was born in the backseat. At career day, Mr. Bobby tells his son, "If you're not first, you're last," and from that point forward Ricky' got a one-track mind.
Years later, he becomes a racecar driver, gets a hot wife, sires two kick-ass sons (Walker and Texas Ranger) and spends every waking hour with his best friend and teammate, Cal Naughton, Jr. (John C. Reilly, or "that guy from