Watching The Ringer produced the exact effect that the organizers of the Special Olympics must have intended when they collaborated with executive producers the Farrelly Brothers: I now have zero desire to make fun of retarded people. Which is a shame, because I still have 270 words to write for this review.
Johnny Knoxville plays Steve, who poses as a 'tard named Jeffy to win big bucks at the Special Olympics. By the end of the film, Steve would have punched me out for calling Jeffy a 'tard in the previous sentence. During his classic Hollywood awakening—in which Steve learns a little something about life—his gang of wacky and sassy Special Olympic peers discover that Jeffy's not so special after all. But they decide to keep Steve/Jeffy's secret for a while, just so he can beat the arrogant Special Olympics champ, Jimmy (Leonard Flowers), who travels with Nation of Islam security and has a limo with vanity plates that read "SPESHL J." So the zany crew helps Steve train to win (even though they're Olympians, he can still kick their ass in a foot race... or can he?), and Steve falls in love with Lynn (Katherine Heigl), the babe-alicious volunteer with big tits and a heart of gold.
As is widely publicized, the Special Olympics were fully on board with this movie—and it feels like the Farrellys relinquished all creative control to the Special Olympics board (who are not retarded, by the way), screening it relentlessly for families of the handicapped and removing all the offensive parts. This isn't the total kiss of death; it's just that instead of being a sick, twisted comedy, The Ringer's merely an uplifting comedy with a few good laughs. At least there's a really funny retard who absolutely kills me with his big line: "When the fuck did we get ice cream?"