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The Ringer, Dec. 27, 2005

I had hoped to see several movies over the holidays. It’s been some time since there were actually movies out I would even think about paying to see, but it looked like some decent ones had come along lately.

My plan was to at least see &uot;The Ringer,&uot; &uot;Fun with Dick and Jane.&uot; &uot;The Family Stone,&uot; and I also wanted to see that Truman Capote movie if I can find where it’s playing. For whatever reason, I made it to Harbour View only once during the weekend. My son and I saw &uot;The Ringer,&uot; with Johnny Knoxville.

It was nothing like we anticipated. Adam’s a big fan of Knoxville’s gross out idiocy on &uot;Jackass.&uot; We were very familiar with the Farrelly brothers’ past work that dealt with conjoined twins, amputee bowlers, etc, work that certainly at least bordered on offensive, and we had both seen and loved the hilarious South Park episode that Trey Stone and Matt Parker ripped off from the Farrellys in which Cartman fakes being mentally challenged to try to win the Special Olympics. So we had high anticipation of a film that would be so obnoxious and offensive that people would be leaving the theater.

We were disappointed, but in a good way. Instead of lots of &uot;retard&uot; jokes, The Ringer was a touching treatment of the physically and mentally challenged. The supporting Special Olympians, all of whom were genuinely challenged in some way, stole every scene from Knoxville and the other &uot;normal&uot; cast members.

After seeing the movie I saw some interviews with some of the cast members and advocacy groups for them. They were all supportive of the film’s portrayal of the Olympians. They just want to be treated like anyone else.

Even if it wasn’t as much mean-spirited fun as we had hoped for, The Ringer is still a good movie and appropriate for the entire family. I highly recommend it.