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But, don't worry. I've got some good news for you.
And, no, I didn't just save a boatload of money on my car insurance.
There's a movie sweeping the nation right now, capturing the imaginations of young Americans, making them laugh and entertaining them – and doing all that without sex, violence, obscenity or profanity. There's nothing politically correct about it. There's no deep message in the film. It's not intended to be socially redeeming. And, unlike the biggest box-office hit of the hour, there's nothing even offensive about the name of the film.
But it is funny.
Very, very funny.
Very strange and very, very funny.
This independent film was made on a budget of $400,000 and has grossed more than $44 million.
When the DVD was released for Christmas, Fox shipped 2.5 million copies – about twice the number you would expect for a movie that grossed $44 million. It sold 1.35 million copies the first day, making it the top-selling DVD for Christmas week. As a result, Fox ordered another million copies.
Yet, when I tell you the name of this movie, many are going to say: "Never heard of it."
Are you ready?
Ever hear of it?
If you haven't, your kids have.
And it might be a good idea to buy the DVD, sit down and watch it with them.
It's just good, clean fun.
Grown-ups are not supposed to get the humor in this movie. And some of them clearly don't. When it was released, stuffed-shirt critic Roger Ebert described it as "a kind of studied stupidity that sometimes passes as humor." Another critic said it "may be the most condescending comedy ever ..."
Like I always say: There's no accounting for taste.
I admit this is a very different kind of movie – and not for everyone. But I have seen it three times now and I could easily watch it four more. I laugh a little harder every time.
The appeal of the movie is that it captures life in high school. Yet, aside from a few language quirks peculiar to this particular generation, there's transcendency to "Napoleon Dynamite." This 2004 glimpse of high-school life is strikingly similar to my own experiences some 35 years ago.
Don't ask me what happens in this movie. The only answer is "not much." That's not the point. It's not about plot. It's about characters – funny, goofy, recognizable misfits of all ages.
Imagine "Seinfeld" set in a suburban high-school environment. If you can picture that, you may begin to picture what you are in for when you rent or buy the DVD this weekend.
I don't recommend movies often. I only watched this one because my 18-year-old daughter brought home the DVD and asked her parents to watch it with her. I'm glad she did.
Your son or daughter might not bring it to your attention.
Why don't you get the jump on them and bring it home yourself?
If you do, here's my advice:
- See it with an open mind.
- Don't let me raise your expectations too high and ruin it for you. (After all, nothing much happens in this movie.)
- And tell me if you don't think there is something redemptive about this geeky movie.