Why isn’t ‘42′ the answer to the question ‘Why do people find “Napoleon Dynamite” so funny?’

Because, in my mind, “42” makes about as much sense as any other answer to that question…

I put “Napoleon Dynamite” in my Blockbuster movie queue thinking I might as well see it to see what all the fuss was about. Critics and “kids” love it. My first warning sign should have been the MTV logo at the beginning. To be fair, MTV has co-produced a couple of decent movies. “The Perfect Score” was a decent flick, even though it had a shade of “Breakfast Club” to it.

I’ve seen some incredibly funny movies over the years, but I just don’t get why people think “Napoleon Dynamite” is so freakin’ hilarious. I’d give you the plot, but, well, there really isn’t one. The entire movie is about following the main character, Napoleon, through his life at high school. Who is this Napoleon Dynamite, you ask? Well, think back to your high school days and picture the dorkiest, geekiest kid in school. Now, mutliply him by a factor of about 20, and there you have it.

You can’t really place where or even when the movie takes place. A lot of the clothing/cars/etc have a late 70s / early 80s feel to them. Most of the music is clearly 80s. Yet, there are some more modern elements thrown in. Or, maybe I just haven’t met anyone who is still living in that time period… : 0

You could argue that this movie has some deeper meaning. By creating this extreme caricature of dorkiness, it allows us to identify with the inner dork residing in each of us. Or, it could be the movie makes a great drinking game. Take a shot every time Napoleon has a fit.

So, unless you’re under 22, or if you’re looking for a new drinking game for you and your buds, I’d skip out on “Napoleon Dynamite.”

So what on earth does 42 have to do with anything? Well, anyone who is anyone knows that the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is 42. Or, at least, anyone that has ever read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” knows… : )

Does that mean that “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a much better movie? Well, yes and no. For the most part, the movie resembles, but is not entirely unlike, the book by the same name by Douglas Adams. He actually co-wrote the script and had a hand in the making of the movie before he died a few years ago.

I’ve always been a bit worried about trying to make these particular books into a movie or movies. I know the BBC has made a couple of mini-series out of them. But still, the thing i believe makes these books so interesting has everything to do with Adams’ unique writing style. So, how do you capture that style in a visual format?

The movie does it with a combiniation of visual elements and a voiceover, which basically repeats elements from the book. This actually works for the most part, because, after all, the movie is about a book — a unique encyclopedia about life, the universe and everything.

I think they did a pretty good job of creating the characters and the environments in the book. Alan Rickman is perfect as the voice of Marvin, the manic-depressive robot. The special effects are very impressive as well.

But, if you’ve never heard of or have read “The Hitchhiker’s Guide,” you’ll probably sit through most of this movie thinking “Huh?” much like I was while watching “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Obviously, the purists of the world are going to hate that the movie did not adhere to the books word per word, but these are the same folks who are still pissed that Peter Jackson left out most of the singing in “Lord of the Rings” and really aren’t worth bothering about.

In my opinion, they did a pretty good job of recreating the core elements of the book, even if they had to stray from some of it.

So, if you’ve read the book, then the movie is definitely worth a rental. If you never heard of it, or if you just didn’t “get” the book, then you probably won’t like the movie.

What should you see then? Hmm… if you like romantic comedies, “Love Actually” was actually pretty good. If you want to see a truly funny movie, then get out of the house and go see “The 40 Year Old Virgin.” Now, THAT movie was funny. : D

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