Sunday, June 27, 2004

Napoleon Dynamite

If the Pitchman were still living with me, I imagine we would have had a conversation this afternoon that would have sounded a little something like this:

Me: So, I went to see Napoleon Dynamite today.
Pitchman: Best movie ever?
Me: Best movie ever.

I'm actually surprised by how much I genuinely enjoyed it because I think, in years past, I might have taken exception to the way it treated its geeky characters. But, I felt like there really was a genuine affection in the way Napoleon, Pedro, Deb, Kip, and even Uncle Rico were portrayed. I think the scene at the dance was probably the most effective (and affecting), especially with the use of Alphaville's "Forever Young." The repetition of the line "don't you want to be forever young" played over one of the most archetypal scenes of high school horror really nailed the movie's affectionate slap on the wrists to those who romanticize their high school years. No, I don't want to be forever young, because that means there'd be no escaping situations like that. I couldn't help thinking throughout the movie of the line from Donnie Darko when Donnie grabs Cherita by the shoulders, looks her square in the face, and says, "I promise that one day everything's going to be better for you." I feel like that's what the whole movie was trying to tell the characters.

Best dialogue

Napoleon: (gingerly touching Deb's party dress) I like your sleeves. They're big.
Deb: Thanks. I made them myself.

Best scene

When Napoleon asks the big man on campus for a "Vote for Summer" button, regards it calmly for a moment, then hurls it down the hallway in defiance and runs away.

(However, the publicity shots they've got associated with the film at the IMDB are hilarious because you can tell all the actors are actively trying to look super-cool and hipstery so as to dissociate themselves from any potential geekerific typecasting in the future.)

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