I bought into it.
How could I have? Seriously, how?
I never buy into hype, I never listen to what critics say even though I am one, and I make sure never to listen to internet surfers who think they know what a good movie is. Mind you, I associate myself with people who love American Idol, think “Benchwarmers” was one of the funniest movies in the last three years, thought the “Dawn” remake was better than the original, and think “Laguna Beach” is genuine reality. Seriously, they think rich, white, blonde, blue eyed, teenage models living in condos and bickering are what reality is made of.
But you can imagine my crushing disappointment upon putting on “Napoleon Dynamite” and sitting there without a single grin. I didn’t laugh once, not a chuckle, not a teehee, not even a scoff. But what astonished me was that people loved it! They were crazy about it! They said it was the funniest comedy in years (wrong!), they said Napoleon was hilarious (wrong), and they even loved that stupid dance scene with him in the auditorium. I’ve never been so much in pain.
Why do people like crap? I’m just curious. Hell, even MTV hyped this film up and Jared Hess became a potential Hollywood cash cow for making a piece of crap. But I know a million directors famous for making pieces of crap, so that’s a bad example.
I recall arguing with someone about the movie, and the argument ended up being as dumb as the movie:
“You didn’t like Napoleon Dynamite?!”
“No. I hate it.”
“You didn’t think it was at least funny?”
“I thought it was crap.”
“What about when Napoleon throws the steak to his uncle’s face?”
“That was dumb.”
“Come on, it’s funny to watch people get hit in the face with things!”
This is the extent of the intelligence the argument reached towards, and I couldn’t take it anymore. So I left. I’d like to have an argument with someone intelligent about the film just to see if they prove a point, or lead me down this road once again. Tater tots in pants, learning how to dance, the repeated Liger jokes, and–worst of all–throwing an action figure outside his bus window with a string attached to it. This is supposed to be funny. This is what the fans are finding so hysterical.
I really continue to over estimate the intelligence of American movie-goers even when shit like “Date Movie” and “White Chicks” make considerably large profits. Maybe I’m just optimistic that they’re not as stupid as I perceive them, because I live here. It’s embarrassing. I live in a country filled with morons, it’s not exactly worth bragging about if I ever travel overseas.
But then these are people who enjoy watching an entire show about a bunch of guys stapling their nuts to their legs, and will fork over large amounts of money to watch a bunch of guys throwing up on each other on the big screen.
I recall that day, being excited and anxious to watch what I thought or was fooled into thinking would be the funniest movie in a while. And then ten minutes into it, Napoleon Dynamite mutters “I’ll do whatever I want, gawd!” And instantly I said aloud without a single spark of amusement, “Oh shit, what the fuck did I get myself into?”
I’m not a bully, and I would never pick on anyone, but I wanted to beat Dynamite down to the ground until he was a bloody stump. And I bet you’re saying “Dude, that’s like so totally the point!” What is? What’s the point of Napoleon Dynamite? He’s likable because he’s unlikable? He’s cool because you want to beat the shit out of him?
Hey, Tina Majorino is cute I love her work in “Veronica Mars”, and Haylie Duff is cute in a weird kind of way, but I’m shocked that such stupidity would be considered comedy gold. I’ve seen it twice, and I just can’t sit through it. And the sad fact is that John Heder seems to be building his career around this character, which won’t last long.
You can only go so far on one character’s success. Alfalfa knew it, The Beav knew it, and Vin Diesel knows it. So far, out of Heder’s roles he’s played a stoner in “Just Like Heaven” and a mental midget in “Benchwarmers” both of which were obviously modeled after Napoleon Dynamite. When I hear people talking about it with such passion and love I think to myself “Was I watching the same movie?” I mean, I didn’t purposely try to hate it, I was actually excited about it. So why do people love it and I despise it?
They’re stupid. That’s probably the only solution. But seriously, what is so apppealing about this crap? I can’t understand it. Is it the hair, the glasses, or the fact that no character is remotely funny, so that’s what makes them funny? How is it that Hess uses the same niche he used for this on “Nacho Libre” and that was hacked to shreds, while this remains untouched?
Might want to take a second look there, geniuses. Hess used the same brand of comedy. So either Dynamite sucks ass and Libre was too good to understand or both films suck, just in different wave lengths. I’ll go for the second choice. I enjoy films that boast characters who are proud to be nerdy and don’t take too much shame in it, and if “Napoleon Dynamite” were actually worth watching, I’d say it was a well done testament on that philosophy.
It’s funny because MTV says so, or its funny because its so unfunny you must not get the jokes, therefore it’s funny, or–I gather–there are others whom are only laughing at “Napoleon Dynamite” because they don’t want to look like they don’t get the joke, much like Joey in “Friends”. With these odd successful comedies people are often too afraid to say they don’t like it because then they’re told that they just don’t get it. Problem is that I understood what “Napoleon Dynamite” was striving for. It just wasn’t funny. It was stupid.
And I’ve never had an intelligent argument concerning this movie. It’s always “Wasn’t it funny when (insert scene here)?” almost as if people are hoping that if they keep repeating the scenes and describing them to me, eventually it will be like striking oil and a burst of laughter will come from me.
“You know, I didn’t think it was hilarious the first time, but now that you’ve described it to me ten times, I’m starting to see your point!”
Posted on July 31, 2006 in Blogs by Felix Vasquez Jr.
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- NEW NAPOLEON THIS FRIDAY
- ANAKIN DYNAMITE
- JARED HESS SETS OFF “NAPOLEON DYNAMITE”
- NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (DVD)
- NAPOLEON DYNAMITE
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