Napoleon Dynamite

4 stars (out of 5).

Okay, I will tag Lizzie with this one. In fact, she wanted to see it so much, we ran out to the video store last night so as not to have to wait for Netflix to ship it out to us. And she wouldn't let me pull it from our queue afterwards -- so this is shaping up to be the winter that finally makes up for Napoleon's bad winter of 1806-1807.

It's not a bad movie at all. In fact, if you're a big Freaks and Geeks fan like me (that was the show Lizzie and I used to watch together each week, following Felicity, and prior to Gilmore Girls and Joan of Arcadia), the theme is somewhat familiar. With one huge difference.

In Freaks and Geeks, the geeks are more than sympathetic and fun to hang out with. (At least for me. :) In Napoleon Dynamite, by contrast, it hurts to watch them. Of course, this makes for some of the funniest moments in the movie: Napoleon trying out his Uncle Rico's time machine (he bought it on-line), for one, and his brother Kip's chat room romance, for another. But this is because they are that somewhat rare breed: geeks whose geekiness is not compensated for, either by intelligence or compassion. They are dumb, nasty geeks.

Even so, they (and the movie) have their moments. The humor is really dry, but compared to the target audience, I'm really old, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and three geeky stars.

If only this didn't remind me so much of my freshman year at MIT, I might have been a bit more generous. Some memories just die hard...

[GET IT]

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\*P.S. I'm relenting a week later and upping this to four stars. I'm also leaning towards Pedro for President in 2008.

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