Did you ever have a favourite movie during your teens, that was downright stupid but you watched it nearly every weekend with your friends or family, and quoted it constantly? For me, it was Dude, Where’s My Car, which I still love to this day. I’ve always been aware of a movie called Napoleon Dynamite and knew my husband loved it, I knew his siblings tease him and call him Napoleon, but it wasn’t until our wedding night when him and his Sister stormed the dance floor to do ‘the Napoleon Dynamite dance’ that my curiosity got the better of me.
If you’ve never heard of it, Napoleon Dynamite is a super low-budget comedy about a guy called, well, Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder). He’s a big of an odd-ball at school, doesn’t have many friends, and lives with his 32-year old brother and grandma, who goes missing for a while, leaving steak-loving Uncle Rico (Jon Gries) to look after the pair.
There’s literally no plot to this movie whatsoever, and that’s just all part of the charm. Napoleon eventually makes friends with Pedro (Efren Ramirez), the new kid who Napoleon eventually helps to run for school president (that explains all the ‘Vote for Pedro’ t-shirts I’ve seen everywhere). The two of them work together to ask out a girl to the prom, with varying levels of success. Along the way, they become close with Deb (Tina Majorino), who runs her own glamour photoshoot business at home.
Literally every scene in this movie has something stupid about it, and I mean that in the most positive way. It’s that kind of humour that you either love or hate, and it tickled me endlessly. Sometimes it’s not even the lines that are funny, it’s the way they’re delivered. I think my favourite line is when Deb first knocks on the door of the house and tries to sell Napoleon some of her crafts. She explains that she’s trying to earn some money for college, and Napoleon’s brother Kip (Aaron Ruell) shouts from inside ‘Your mom goes to college’. I guarantee it’s not funny now you’re reading this, but I had to pause the movie because I was laughing too hard!
Let’s not forget the most romantic line in movie history, “I see you’re drinking 1% milk. Is that cause you think you’re fat? Cause you’re not. You could be drinking whole if you wanted to.”
Not every joke lands of course, I’m still not sure what the scene with Napoleon and Pedro appraising cows and tasting milk was all about, but there’s enough here to keep you laughing from start to finish. It’s one of those movies that deserves a re-watch every couple of years for sure.
Of course, now I’m clued in, I can’t help but agree with my siblings-in-laws when they say how much my husband reminds them of Napoleon. I mean, in college his hair was exactly the same of course, and he was a skinny little thing who loved to dance! (He still loves to dance now, but I’ve fattened him up a bit with my home cooking). In fact, now that I think about it, before we started dating he drew a picture of me and gave it to me as a gift...I need to ask him about that one!