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


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


, 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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