Tonight I watched Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, a new Will Ferrell movie. I really enjoy his films because its movies for guys, with humour for guys. And it was hilarious, on par with Anchorman. Will Ferrell’s dry humour is not for everybody but the physical comedy makes up for that.
Now this movie has a very important message for guys who grew up without a dad, like me. With divorce rates consistently around 50% even more boys will grow up without their fathers in the future. In the story Will Ferrell’s character grows up obsessed with speed and racing. In fact he was born in the backseat of he’s dad’s car, as he’s dad was rushing her to the hospital.
He’s dad disappears and then reappears in school on a career day. The attitude of his dad is a can-do attitude, a overly confident, no bullshit kind of dad. Love him or hate him. Eventually Ricky Bobby gets into Nascar racing and becomes the #1 driver for his team and wins consistently. Part of his drive comes from a statement he’s dad made on career day, “if you’re not winning you’re loosing…”
This serves him well until he’s confronted with some real competition in the form of a French Formula-1 driver, played by Sascha Baron Cohen. Ricky Bobby gets into the worst accident of his career and eventually ends up in physical therapy because he believes he is paralyzed in his legs. Turns out its all in his head or as the experts call it, a psychosomatic condition. Well a lot of funny things happen and eventually he and his kids moves back in with his mother. He’s dad shows up and gives him just the right kind of tough love.
So many guys do not know how to overcome fear. And they do not know how to build up their courage so that they can face their fears. The problem comes in that if you never had a strong male role model or didn’t play any team sports it will be very difficult for you to overcome your inner demons.