Slate takes a spoiler-filled look at Will Ferrell's Talladega Nights. We enjoyed the movie, and it's consistently funny, but the thing that really struck me as unusual about the movie was its assumption of intelligence on the part of the audience. Many parts of the setup were fast-forwarded through, with the presumption that we didn't need the love interest or backstory spoon-fed to us.
With these kinds of dumb comedies, it's usually the practice to crawl through a tired series of expository scenes, and I was really struck by how willing the moviemakers were to skip through the preliminaries. And of course, (spoiler queens, beware!) any film that ends with two NASCAR champions in an extended liplock has my vote. I'm pretty sure that was the pitch: "Give me $100 million -- I'm making a movie about NASCAR guys kissing."