Written by Obes (@TheCSPod)
Welcome to Your Favorite Film is Trash, a weekly look at the flaws in some of your favorite movies. This week’s film is: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. How refreshing to have a movie that’s easy to trash after going through an existential crisis last week. A fun film about race car driving that’s also swimming in trash? What’s not to like? A lot, actually. Here are 3 reasons Talladega Nights is trash.
1. Why didn’t anyone realize Ricky and Cal were great drivers?
In the first racing scene of the movie, we see Ricky and his best friend Cal working on a pit crew for a NASCAR driver. We also see said driver get out of the car to take a piss in the middle of the race…and get a chicken sandwich (which makes me think, did he wash his hands before eating that sandwich? I lean towards no, anyways…)
Ricky then gets in the car in dude’s place and drives his way to a third place finish. Not long after, Cal is also a top driver.
So then…why didn’t anyone realize these two were great drivers before this? I’m not gonna pretend I know how NASCAR works (I most certainly do not), but I’d imagine if these guys were good enough to literally hop into race cars and start winning right away, they had to have driven sometime before. So, either Ricky and Cal are both wunderkinds who were missing their callings as drivers this whole time or NASCAR has a serious problem in identifying who can and cannot drive cars…maybe both, I literally do not know.
2. How did Ricky not see Cal’s betrayal coming?
Ricky and Cal’s relationship is one of the alpha and the beta with Ricky being a super alpha. We know his life motto is “if you’re not first, you’re last” and we also see that he’s willing to use Cal to that end. What’s interesting is that Ricky doesn’t seem to notice that Cal isn’t all that happy with this arrangement. Cal compliments Carley’s (Ricky’s wife) breasts in front of everyone at the dinner table. Lots of people lust after their friends’ wives (I’m sorry you had to find out this way), sure, but most of them keep it to themselves. This is a clear sign that Cal has the hots for Carley. But what’s most notable is that CAL CONFRONTS RICKY ABOUT HIS DESIRE TO WIN FOR A CHANGE AND RICKY TELLS HIM TO GO FUCK HIMSELF. Well, he doesn’t *actually* say that but that’s how it would come across to someone who’s been harboring feelings of resentment the way Cal has.
It should come as no surprise then that Cal would take advantage when Carley comes on to him. A real friend would have rejected Carley’s advances when it looked like Ricky’s career was over. Unfortunately for Ricky, he’d already put the knife in Cal’s hand. It’s strange that he didn’t see it until it was too late.
(sidenote: Cal lives quite the interesting life. What was he doing that made him so notable that he’d get offered to do Playgirl when he and Ricky were college aged? Redneck World’s Most Interesting Man: Cal Naughton Jr. Wow.)
3. How did Ricky’s life get taken so quickly?
After Ricky’s accident (and subsequent hospital visit) he returns home to find Carley has left him because she was afraid she’d have to go back to stripping.
Next thing we know, Ricky and his sons (why did they get kicked out with Ricky?) show up at his mom’s house because, as Ricky says, they’ve got nowhere else to go. Wait what? And then Ricky is forced to get a job as a pizza delivery man…Why?
Ricky was the best driver in NASCAR like hands down, winning lots of races. He also had lots of endorsements. The guy was a multimillionaire. Why is he broke all of a sudden? You might be thinking, “well Obes, the movie clearly states that Cal and Carley took everything”. They did that how, exactly? Unless Ricky signed everything over to them, that’s literally not possible. It’s also not possible that they’ve already been before their divorce lawyers to settle on who gets what. At most, she’d get half of Ricky’s money as his former wife and maybe the house and cars. That’s it. She’s with another millionaire now so she wouldn’t get spousal support, and the kids also seem to live with Ricky and his mom so she’s not getting child support either.
So…is he broke or not? Obes says NO.