Special Olympians Find No Problem with Knoxville's "Ringer"

by Scott Weinberg | Monday, Nov. 28 2005

While the concept might sound more than a little tacky (a con man poses as a mentally handicapped man to defraud the Special Olympics), the officials for the actual games find no problem and take no offense with "The Ringer," the new Johnny Knoxville comedy set for release on December 23rd.

As reported by Variety: "The trickiest end-of-the-year marketing campaign isn't for an Oscar contender.

Fox SearchlightFox Searchlight faces a daunting marketing challenge with the long-simmering Farrelly brothers laffer "The Ringer," a feel-good comedy about ... a guy pretending to be mentally challenged to enter the Special Olympics.

Pic, which stars Johnny Knoxville and is directed by Barry Blaustein, hits theaters the Friday before Christmas amid all the year-end kudos heavyweights.

As with most pics in the Farrelly ouevre, auds can expect the usual quotient of suggestive quips and bawdy behavior. But Searchlight also promises a comedy that's uplifting as well, and has been playing up the pic's endorsement by the Special Olympics.

That org's Web site exhorts viewers to "grab your popcorn and head to your local theater" to see "The Ringer," which it describes as "off-the-wall, irreverently indelicate and yet ... inspirational."

It's not the first time the Farrellys have trod down this path, having dealt with the intellectually and physically challenged in "Dumb and Dumber," "There's Something About Mary" and "Shallow Hal." Still, the biggest affliction in the most recent Farrelly production, "Fever Pitch," was being a fan of the Boston Red Sox.

Special Olympics spokeswoman Kirsten Suto says the org endorsed "The Ringer" to help dispel negative stereotypes, particularly among young people. "We're working hand-in-glove with Fox Searchlight," she adds."

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