Sunday, October 02, 2005
Napoleon Dynamite was one of the best movies from last year, and it's the funniest movie I have seen dealing with high school since Sixteen Candles. Unlike most movies today, it is not filled with profanity, sexual innuendo or violence, which is refreshing. These aspects do not need to be present to have a memorable film. I have heard that much of the cast and crew are Mormon, and they have made a clean, yet inventive and intelligent movie. It didn't have a big budget, and it was not advertised much, but many know about it from word of mouth.
Napoleon Dynamite (yes, that's the character's name), is a nerdy high school kid from rural Preston, Idaho. He starts the movie with no friends and no girlfriend, and a strange family. He's the only boy in the happy hands club, which is an organization which performs sign language to music. He likes drawing, especially mythical creatures such as a liger, which is half lion and half tiger. His family has a pet llama named Tina. He wears snow boots every day, even in the summer. His parents are never mentioned, but he does have a grandmother who is seen briefly. His brother Kip is an uber nerd like Napoleon, and he spends his time chatting with women on the internet and dreams of being a cage fighter. The boy's uncle Rico sells Tupperware-like products and lives in the past, wishing to go back to 1982 where he was on the high school football team. As the movie progresses Napoleon becomes friends with Pedro, who is a new student in the school from Mexico. Pedro asks out Summer, the popular girl who is played by Hailey Duff, the sister of Hillary. She turns him down, but he gets a date to the dance with Deb, a shy but sweet girl who does glamour shot photography and sells boondoggle keychains to raise money for college. Napoleon has an interest in Deb and she seems to like him, and at the end of the movie there is a hint that the 2 of them may develop a relationship. Napoleon and Pedro are both active in future farmers of America, and Pedro runs for class president. In an unforgettable scene, Napoleon clinches the presidency for Pedro with an entertaining dance performance.
This movie has a sweetness and a quirkiness that is seldom seen today and I'd recommend it highly for all to see.