Talledega Nights

So I bit the redneck bullet and went to see The Ballad of Ricky Bobbie today. Before I go any farther let me say, “Yes, the funniest parts are in the previews,” but that still leaves some pretty funny stuff scattered around the movie to make it worth the effort. The key to watching this movie is to decide right from the beginning that you are going to find it funny–especially Will Ferrel. This movie is almost one long Will adlib. There are places in the movie where you can see him making up new lines, and the actors around him struggling to keep up with him.

But all of that aside, I wasn’t looking to write a review. I actually think that this is a movie with several spiritual points, or at least several things that I could build lessons around. I wish I could buy an edited version of this movie (just for the couple of cuss words that appear) right now so I could theme my fall Bible study around this. Anyway, here are the things that I would take from the movie. Warning there are mild spoilers ahead.

1) There is a great scene based on saying grace before supper where everyone gives their idea of Jesus. It is funny in its own right, but what made it so funny to me (almost in the floor laughing funny) was how much people actually do this. The spiritual idea that I had was that most of us revamp God into our idea of Him. We keep the parts we like and throw out the parts that we don’t.

2) There is a scene where a girl is telling Ricky Bobby that he was born to race and that he can’t give it up because it is what he was made to do. This is a recurring theme for me because I believe that God has created each of us with a passion that when we find it we are unleashed to serve Him with all that we are.

3) There is a theme running through the movie of using performance to try to win people’s love. Use this to talk about how we already have God’s love so we can stop trying so hard to win the love of others.

4) There is this “embrace the fear” idea that I would love to use when talking about witnessing or trying to live for Jesus. It isn’t really all that spiritual, but it would work and it is funny.

5) There are some beautiful scenes about child raising that would be great in a parenting class

I guess that is about all. I feel like there was one more, but I can’t put my finger on it. This is the kind of movie that needs to come out on DVD because there are too many quotable lines to remember from just one watching. One more cool thing, the little red-headed kid (Texas Ranger) is from my wife’s home town. Meredith’s little brother even got to go watch a special showing of the movie with his family. I am now sort of related to someone who knows someone who is related to someone who is in a movie. I RULE! 

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