Monday, January 31, 2005

movie night

Am I the only person in America who didn't really like Napoleon Dynamite? (Well, no, I'm not, because Mark didn't like it either...) I mean, I get the attraction to the "geeky guy makes good" storyline, and the flat affect is--interesting, at least, for a while, but I found it hard to get really invested in the outcome of a story involving a guy who looked like he had his eyes closed half the time.

The next night we watched Gregory's Girl, which Nick dubbed "the worst movie ever made" because it was "no action, just kissing." That's a fair assessment from a seven-year-old, I suppose, but I thought it had pretty much the same storyline as ND, and I liked it a lot better. I especially liked the scene where the three girls hand off Gregory, one to another, until he ends up with one who actually liked him and whom he ends up liking as well. The cooperation between them was refreshing--unlike stereotypical depictions of competitive girls (you know, like Cinderella, or Mean Girls, that sort of thing). And it was sweet.

Maybe it was just my mood. Enlighten me, if there's something terrific I missed.


sam said...

I doubt you're the only person in America. But I really liked Napoleon. I watched it several times in the theatre this summer, and we've watched it over here countless times for nostalgic reasons.

For me, I think, the attraction wasn't to the storyline. There wasn't really much to it. But the characters are fantastic. I think it was the most realistic picture of high school that I've ever seen in a movie. Maybe part of it is the "flatness" you mentioned. I loved how the movie made the most boring things seem hilarious.

And the script...ah, the glorious script! There's the long awkward breathing when Napoleon phones Kip, the off-handed "I made like an infinity of those at scout camp," "I spent like three hours doing the shading on your upper lip. It's probably the best drawing I've ever done," and "Bow-staff skills, nunchuck skills; girls only like guys who have skills."

So maybe I just identify with the film a lot. So many of those lines seem right out of my youth, and I think I'd forgotten them until I saw Napoleon. (It's kind of like last year when a friend of mine called something "grody" and we all delighted in that word that we had forgotten about.)

Most of my friends who also liked the movie said similar things. It was just one of those rare things that resonated, and I'm not sure why.

Libby said...

Yeah, thanks, Sam. I think you're right, it's spot-on, and I think in another mood I might have enjoyed that more. Frankly it just made me so glad that high school is long past, and reminded me of how much I didn't enjoy it at the time. Sigh. Adolescence is pain.

anon said...

You know, I thought it was an average movie -- a little too sweet at the end -- but what I thought remarkable was the strong sense of place in it. Apart from plot, it had a very rare western wasteland feel -- a nice antidote to the typical disembodied / displaced story of teen angst.

Libby said...

Yep, HLB, that's it. The verisimilitude was just...too much for me, I guess.