Monday, November 1st, 2004
I’m not sure there was any sort of plot to Napoleon Dynamite. It seemed more an hour and a half of loosely related, desperately quirky sight gags and non sequiters. The characters are so over the top awkward that you can’t help but laugh with or at them. Jon Heder as the titular character and Efren Ramirez as his sidekick Pedro both seem to have been given “autism” as their main bit of direction. Either way, the results were often amusing and on occasion laugh-out-loud funny, particularly Napoleon’s grand finale dance-off.
It’s guaranteed to be a cult movie hit, and therein lies my main reservation – it felt like it was made to be a cult movie hit. Like the thing was put together deliberately and calculatedly (is that a word?) to appeal to the indie/geek demographic. But, that’s a minor complaint and even if that’s the case, it was still a fun, if slight, film. And I enjoyed hearing When In Rome’s “The Promise” over the closing credits, in a completely unironic sense. I really liked that song – my brother even had the 12″ with all the unnecessary remixes. Honest. Footnote – Even though “Napoleon Dynamite” was a pseudonym Elvis Costello used in the 80s, writer and director Jared Hess says that he got it from someone he met while on a mission for the Church of Mormon.
The Stars show at the Mod Club has been confirmed for December 18.
np – J Mascis & The Fog / More Light