City of Roses
Indeed Hollywood and the world has offered us many great comedy classics that keep us laughing, from the cross-dressing fiasco of "Some Like It Hot" to the monster success of "There's Something About Mary".
But not all classics have the all-star casts or big production budgets that often exercise the interest of movie-goers everywhere. Some just "become" classics naturally.
I thought in honor of our favorite cult comedy classics, I would start off with the newest inductee that was released last year on a $400,000 production budget but went on to prove box-office longevity and become an even bigger DVD smash, "Napoleon Dynamite"
Jon Heder plays Napoleon Dynamite, a lanky and maladroit, yet charming and colorful Idaho teenager, who lives in his grandmother's house along with his 32-year old brother Kip. With his messy red fro, thick spectacles, moon boots, his notable lack of smile and some skills in his pockets, he goes on a series of little adventures, from trying to impress a chick to go to the school dance to learning some hot dance moves to help his Hispanic friend Pedro win the student body presidency election.
Meanwhile, Napoleon faces obstacles of his own. When her grandmother has an accident at the sand dunes when leaping off one on her quad runner, Uncle Rico comes to watch over Napoleon and Kip while she's recuperating, whose shady business scams and yearning to go back in time to 1982 when he was the backup-quarterback to win state for Preston, Idaho and become the professional football player he's desired to be many years, provides a meddling character that challenges Napoleon throughout the film.
The delivery of one-liners and the noticeable intentional oddities that define cult classics makes the movie especially entertaining.
When Napoleon goes up to greet Deb in the cafeteria during lunch, noticing she's drinking from a 1% milk carton, he says, "I see you're drinking 1%, is that cuz you think you're fat. Cuz you're not, you could be drinking whole if you wanted to!"
In another scene, where Napoleon is in the locker room and talking to others about his summer experiences, when asking what he did, Napoleon says in a haughty tone, "I told you, I spent it with my uncle in Alaska hunting wolverines.". Then, when asked, "How many did you kill?" in the same tone, Napoleon replies, "About fifty of them. They were attacking my cousins, what the heck would you do in a situation like that?". Then when asked what type of gun he used, he says, "A freakin' 12-gauge, what do you think?" LOL!
But the school dance scene and the suprise wedding scene at the very end of the movie following the credits are the two most memorable scenes of all, where Kip and his chat room lover La Fawnduh get married and Kip sings a karaoke version of "Always & Forever" to her with his own lyrics like, "But I still love technology!" (giggles)
And there's a number of other interesting things to note out about this film:
* Jon Gries (Uncle Rico), who eats steak all throughout the film, never swallows any of it and actually spits it out after each cut.
* The scene where Kip demonstrates the durability of the bowls he and Uncle Rico are selling by driving Uncle Rico's van backwards over it and it breaks, was never supposed to happen. In the original script, it was never supposed to break, but the breaking it and driving away thing struck director Jared Hess as hilarious so the kept it.
* When Napoleon asks Pedro how he's going to ask the stuck-up Summer to the school dance and Pedro responds, "Build her a cake or something!", according to Jon Heder it is actually known to be a tradition in areas of Utah and beyond that to win a girl's heart, baking a cake is a way to do so.
* The dance moves Napoleon demonstrates are a mix of Backstreet Boys, Michael Jackson and Saturday Night fever moves put together, with a little of Jon Heder's own improvising.
* Jon Heder actually drew all the drawings for "Napoleon Dynamite", including the Liger.
* "Napoleon Dynamite" was based off of another Jon Heder original, a short-film titled "Peluca" with many notable similiarities to the film.
* "Napoleon Dynamite" made a domestic box-office profit over 100X its production budget of $400,000.
Share your thoughts on "Napoleon Dynamite", as well as many other cult comedy classics.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"