More Messages: Trading Places

Ribbing other publications about spelling errors can be dangerous. After all, I make them, too -- usually in the same piece in which I'm knocking others for misplacing their dictionary. But a botch on page one of the August 4 Rocky Mountain News is too good to ignore, because it suggests a way of improving a major movie in current release.

Specifically, the Rocky plugged its Spotlight section with the following: "Will-Powered -- Farrell's silliness goes round and round in new NASCAR comedy." However, the Will who powers Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, the highlighted flick in Spotlight, spells his name "Ferrell." The "Farrell" on big screens at present is Colin, who co-stars in Miami Vice.

A gaffe? Yep -- but the Rocky may have stumbled on a fine idea. Haven't seen Talladega Nights yet, so I don't know if it would've been improved had it starred Colin Farrell. But I recently suffered through the tedious Vice, and I can say categorically that I would have enjoyed it infinitely more had Will Ferrell been in it. Betcha he would have punctured the pomposity of the dreary affair, and maybe even gotten a super-serious Jamie Foxx to crack a smile. He wouldn't have been too cool to don a leisure suit or drag out his pet alligator, either.

So don't consider the Rocky's front-page slip-up to be a mistake. Look at it as inspired casting advice. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts