Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Charm of Underdogs

I'm headed off for a week in west Africa tomorrow, so my 12 year old son Andrew and I spent the day together today.

We went to the gym and played some hoop and then spent about an hour or two at a place called "Fat City" where we rolled some bowling balls and did some lazer tag.

When we got home we watched a rented movie Andrew wanted me to see. He told me "Napoleon Dynamite" would make me laugh.

He had that right. Lots of you have probably seen it, so I won't go into detail. But it's got to be one of the oddest and most sophisticated and creative movies I've run across.

Napoleon is a very strange high school student who tries to make it through life in what appears to be a small town in Utah.

The whole thing is a very funny tribute to the courage and strength and creativity of people who most of us--at first impression--would probably not want to hang out with.

Since those kind of people make up a pretty big chunk of the world, this is a movie with some emotional resonance.

Napoleon helps his Mexican immigrant friend Pedro become class president by disco dancing to a weird 70's tune in front of a class assembly in the gym.

At another point near the end of the movie, he tries to impress the girl he hopes will be his girlfriend with the line "I caught you a delicious bass."

It's harsh and funny in the way that real life often is.


Blogger Not Crunchy said...

Did you know that the filmmaker and actors are LDS? He is from Preston, Idaho (which is where the movie takes place) and a BYU film student.

6:36 PM  

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