Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Simp-sons...

It's awfully tempting to use Jeff "Comic Book Guy" Albertson's slightly amended catch-phrase to describe The Simpsons Movie: Best. Movie. Ever. Certainly that's an apt description. (Especially if you've never seen "Krull" or "Real Men"). And it's fitting with the Simpson-verse to use it, especially if it's not true and merely hyperbole. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that. I can say with confidence, however, that it's the funniest movie I've seen all year. And in a year that's already given us Hot Fuzz and Knocked Up (not to mention Superbad around the corner), that's a bold statement indeed.

This movie broke me not once, not twice, not even thrice. Five times. Five times this movie made me laugh so damn hard I lost myself.The gags in this movie and fast and furious, and rarely do they stop. And the one time it does stop, the movie gives us a moment more genuine and heartbreaking than you'll see in most of the live action films this year. I won't lie to you, I welled up. (To be fair, I was crying from laughter a lot, too, so the tears were already primed to go).

My god is this movie funny. I still crack up just thinking about scenes in it. I wish I could describe them, but it's nearly impossible to do without ruining anything. I will say that the eleven credited writers, most culled from the "golden age" of Simpsons production, have taken the time to craft a movie they are proud of, that truly defines The Simpsons. And you can tell that they're not pandering to people, either. They genuinely want to entertain themselves first, then the audience. It shows.

The plot is typical of most Simpsons episodes, with the stream of consciousness leading from one event to the next. It's not as non sequitur like the past couple of seasons have been (or like Family Guy now has become). It's a classic story of the family in need of each other. It starts with Homer and Bart having a game of "Dare", and like any good movie, it ends with an explosion. There are far too many gags in between that keep you in stitches the entire time. The rating for "irreverent humor" is well earned. It includes nudity and Marge finally breaking down and swearing. It's not for kids, even though it's animated.

(Although, you could have fooled me with the jerk kids in the theater I saw it in. Between them and the teens who wouldn't stop talking on their phones- DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY EVEN TELL YOU IN THE MOVIE TO TURN OFF YOUR PHONES- it almost made me enjoy the movie a little less. Almost. Stupid teens, always checking their MySpace pages on their phones. Buncha jerks.)

All the voice work is perfect, but my favorite has to go to Julie Kavner as Marge. Hands down, this is the best Marge has ever been. Everyone else is great doing their roles, as good as they've ever been. But Kavner takes the cake.

Bottom line, The Simpsons Movie delivers. It's not an epic motion picture event, unless you love The Simpsons. Truly love them, too. Obsessive nerds like me. Comic Book Guys everywhere can unite and declare it. But you can't deny the fact that this movie is downright hilarious and well worth the 18 year wait.

PS- Do yourself a favor and stay through the credits.

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