I am probably the last person here to have seen Napoleon Dynamite, but my daughter rented it on Friday, and I saw it twice over the weekend. I am still laughing. This movie has the infectious quality of Monty Python and the Holy Grail that makes it funnier with repeat viewings. And like the Holy Grail, it is very quotable. The funniest scene on first viewing was probably when the busload of children witnessed the shooting of a cow, but I cannot even begin to choose the funniest line. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the video scene quite a bit. Uncle Rico, Kip, and Napoleon are watching a home video of Uncle Rico throwing a football:
Uncle Rico: So what do you think?
Kip: It’s pretty cool, I guess.
Uncle Rico: Ohhhh, man I wish I could go back in time. I’d take state.
Napoleon Dynamite: This is pretty much the worst video ever made.
Kip: Napoleon, like anyone can even know that.
Jeremy has a pretty thorough post on the film way back in June, but I found only a couple of references to it in our comment archives. Of course, Rosalynde may worry that I am lowering Times & Seasons to the level of a teen chat room after her insightful interview with Neil Labute, and Eric may think that I am trying to divert our collective attention from his attempts to have us focus on LDS films for families. But I am willing to face those potential embarrassments because I have a question: has Napoleon Dynamite had a special influence on Mormon teens?
The youth in my ward are just coming around to it, but I had already heard many of the lines before I saw the film. Other than Napoleon’s “Ricks College” t-shirt, the Idaho setting, and the Mormon expletives (“Gosh!” and “frickin'” … or was it “flippin'”? Or both?), I didn’t notice anything uniquely Mormon about this film. Even so, I sort of like the idea that Mormon youth can claim something “hip … almost avant-garde” as a product of their own culture, and I am curious whether Napoleon qualifies for that role.