I saw Napoleon Dynamite yesterday afternoon. This is good, because now I only have one thing left to do before my trip. This is also good because I really, really liked it. It’s bad, though, because I have no clear idea how to express what about it I liked. I mean, even to myself. It has everything I don’t like in a movie. Deliberately framed shots that scream ‘look, I’m a movie over here!’ Characters in which I have no legitimate interest. Slice of life reality as the setting. A plot resolution that came essentially from nowhere. And yet, there’s some kind of perfect storm thing going on, because I thought that the combination of all the elements was great, such that none of them really even bothered me during the few times I wasn’t actively enjoying myself.
Perhaps it’s because everything touched by Mormons is pure gold.
Probably not, though. I know it was funny, but funny isn’t really enough to make me want to see it again and recommend it to people, by itself. Lots of things are funny. Most things don’t leave me with a goofy smile on my face just thinking about bits and pieces of it, or having a similarly goofy conversation last night with a friend who independently saw it for the first time the same day, with the whole ‘”Do you remember the cow?!” laugh of hilarity while everyone else stared at us’ thing going on. This did, though.
And, yeah, I eventually came to care what happened to a few of the characters. This is unusual, in movies where I don’t care during the first ten minutes or so.
You may note I haven’t described the plot. This is because I don’t even really know what that was, although I know a little better than I know why I liked it so much. In short, it’s about this kid in high school in Idaho, the template upon which high school geeks are drawn, and a snapshot of a few weeks in his life during which Things Change. Which still doesn’t say a lot, since that is (except for the character and duration being specified) that point at which any story should be told, if it expects to be even mildly interesting.
In short: Weird scenario, but funny. Mormons. Good, but I can’t say why exactly. Is this review worthless? I think it is.