• Looking back – the 2006 comedy from McKay has many of the elements of his authorship from the opening ridiculous fake quote by Eleanor Roosevelt to the celebrity cameos (Earnhardt Jr, Elvis Costello, Mos Def)
setting the tone– fake or real- McKay’s work starts with an absurd quote
no small roles- like all of McKay’s work we have a talented sprawling ensemble and celebrity cameos
  • Absurdism broader than the lampooning by Bunel but it’s there- if you look at the Sacha Baren Cohen character he says, of Ferrell’s Ricky Bobby—“Ignorance and pride” and “Sir, you taste of America”— Ferrell even calls himself a “Big American winning machine”—this is from the director of Vice and The Big Short
  • the narrative movies- and there are different storytelling vehicles here (a flashback, news cast) but McKay isn’t yet at the montage as art stage of his career with the editing
  • More than anything though these are just talented writers and comedians—Ferrell and John C. Reilly have an obvious chemistry— the dinner scene is epic—hilarious
  • Molly Shannon steals every scene she’s in
  • Everything is sponsored by PowerAde or Applebee’s–  again- it’s not a Bunuel-level insight but it’s there and funny
  • A great actress of course, but the Amy Adams character and storyline is a weakness- she’s not really in the movie for the first hour— just feels tacked on
  • Recommend but not near the top 10 of 2006