Talladega is a pretty funny movie with outstanding gay content. You really should see it (although you will have seen some of the funniest parts in the trailer).
The recommendation comes from a guy who would not normally see a movie like this -- I only saw it because I like Will Ferrell and Amy Adams (her performance in Junebug was one of the best supporting performances ever). Nascar races are not my thing as you can imagine, but the movie is good -- you'll get all the crazy dumb stuff that Will Ferrell does so well (and they threw in a little cameo by Molly Shannon, who is hammered all the time -- hilarious).
In Talladega Nights, Will Ferrell is a Nascar driver who thinks that if you don't finish first, you finish last. He is a national sensation, married to a pretty blond, with two kids. His childhood friend, played by John C. Reilly, becomes his racing buddy; he always finishes second. All goes fantastically well on the surface of Will's life -- that is until sassy French F-1 pilot, played very well by Sacha Baron Cohen, comes along to defy the status quo.
Sacha's homosexuality is flaunted from the outset. Sacha mentions his husband (not partner, not boyfriend, husband -- played by Andy Richter) early on and challenges Will Ferrell to accept diversity.
Initially, the guys, including TV hosts and other cast members, shrug or find the husband part a bit weird. But nothing bad is really said. I think the guys thought that Sacha having a husband was more of an unusual circumstance, rather than necessarily weird.
Sacha teases Will Ferrell many many times during the movie and Will had many opportunities for gay bashing, name calling, but none of that takes place in Talladega Nights. Sacha is called names, but no gay related swearing occurs. That was nice. It really goes to show that Sacha's being gay was as natural as it could be in a Nascar setting. Sacha was just a great driver, who happened to be gay.
Sacha's character is eccentric and has many traits that plays to the gay stereotype -- he is flamboyant, jazz loving, refined, that type of stuff. He reads Camus behind the wheel for chrissake. But nothing bad, really. He is tough, and good at what he does.
One edgier trait we do see in Sacha's character is that he teases Will Ferrell a few times by sort of coming on to Will. In one early scene, Sacha tells Will that he would abandon the races in the US and go back to France if Will kisses him on the lips (you can actually see that very scene here). But I see that more of a way to tease Will the way competitive guys do, I don't think the movie really indicated Sacha's character was hot for Will Ferrell.
I must say that the movie does use Sacha's character for a cheap laugh a couple times (especially the first times we see that Sacha has a husband), but I'll take it -- nothing major.
A few factors make the portrayal of gays in this movie very important. The movie is clearly directed to a family, straight, and Christian audience. Yes, Christian. Will Ferrell is very religious in the movie, and so is his family. Will's mom even uses religious school to set Will's kids straight (they were annoying, potty mouth little brats).
So, we have a movie that was meant for families and straight guys, about the "Mediocre American Man" (in Will's own words), with a great amount of positive gay content. Way to weave Red and Blue together. Not apart. Gotta love that. I love Will Ferrell even more now (he co-wrote the screenplay).
I will talk about one more great light thrown for the gays in the movie, but that will spoil part of the plot. Read on or go see this movie right now.
Remember that in the clip above Sacha defies Will Ferrell to kiss him on the lips and Will says that he would never kiss him? I was not at all offended by that answer of course, Will is straight in the movie and has no business kissing Sacha (although that would not hurt him, of course -- I kissed many many girls in my life). But towards the end of the movie, Will Ferrell kisses Sacha. It's a long, wet, kiss, which the NY Times calls "the summer’s best on-screen kiss" -- there might even have been some tongue involved. Excellent. And what's best? The tons of straighties in my theater did not go "ewwww" or anything like that, no real shock, no disgust. Super nice.
I could not find a picture of Will kissing Sacha, but I did find this:
It's really important for straight guys to get over their icky factor with man-on-man action, and Talladega helps in that direction. That is an important step for the acceptance of us gays. We are not disgusted with straight sex, and they should not be disgusted with gay sex. It's all just sex.
Now, seriously, go see this movie.