Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Number one NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby stays atop the heap thanks to a pact with his best friend and teammate, Cal Naughton, Jr. But when a French Formula One driver, makes his way up the ladder, Ricky Bobby's talent and devotion are put to the test.

  • NASCAR stock car racing sensation Ricky Bobby is a national hero because of his "win at all costs" approach. He and his loyal racing partner, childhood friend Cal Naughton Jr., are a fearless duo -- "Shake" and "Bake" by their fans for their ability to finish so many races in the #1 and #2 positions, with Cal always in second place. When flamboyant French Formula One driver Jean Girard challenges "Shake" and "Bake" for the supremacy of NASCAR, Ricky Bobby must face his own demons and fight Girard for the right to be known as racing's top driver.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY is a Will Ferrell comedy -- really an ethics lesson re the Bush Administration, deeply embedded in satire, parody, toilet humor, a sick appreciation for the Nascar lifestyle, and a European acceptance of certain terrible realities about the American Dream. This overlong, narcissistic, self-relecting, but astonishing and frequently funny film follows a fictional NASCAR racing driver, a psychologically damaged manchild named Ricky Bobby, who lives his life according to the adage that "If you're not number one, you're last." This ideology causes problems with his best friend and co-racer (Cal Naughton, Jr., played by the wickedly talented John C. Reilly), who must always come in second to maintain his close friendship with Ricky. But Ricky gets his comeuppance as he must face an attempt to depose him by the very gay French racer Jean Girard (who reads L'Etranger while beating Ricky Bobby on the track), an intensely passive-aggressive betrayal by boyhood pal Cal, who breaks up his marriage and moves into his home, and, mostly, his own inability to understand the provenance of his problems with relationships. This movie should also win an award for product placement, although with a backdrop like Nascar, was there any other way but the American Way?

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