MOVIE OF THE WEEK: The Simpsons Movie

For decades now, The Simpsons, America’s, no, the world’s most famous animated family, have become a household name. The dysfunctional family spent the last 20 years making television viewers accidentally spray water from their mouths and brought tears to their eyes as they laughed severely to Homer’s dumb jokes, or to Lisa’s crazy rants, or to Bart’s hilarious pranks. There is an awful lot to laugh about in the each of the long-running show’s episodes, as well as in their first appearance big screen, The Simpsons Movie (indeed, a very unpredictable name), as the characters continue to be as crazy, as funny and as yellow as they always are.

The Simpsons Movie depicts the family, along with the other equally humorous and famous characters of Springfield, ignoring the almost unsolvable pollution of the town (which allegedly killed the band Green Day). This situation is only altered when Lisa Simpson, in the style of Al Gore, raised an environmental campaign. Yet, when Lisa’s ever-insane father Homer Simpson dumped a tank of pig litter (yes, he got a pet pig) into the lake, the government is forced to intervene. Springfield was sealed inside a giant glass dome and erased from the map, jeopardizing the lives of its yellow-skinned people and making Homer and his family local pariahs. From there, “the greatest adventure ever” begins.

One impressive thing about the movie is that its uniquely funny style, the style employed in the TV episodes, continues to exist in the movie. As always, The Simpsons depends solely on the active execution of animations and on the unpredictable humor of the lines instead of focusing on cinematic technicalities most filmmakers tend to emphasize on. Thankfully, the movie’s crew did not focus on eye-popping visuals, or on state-of-the-art sequence editing, or on a dramatic Oscar-winning screenplay. If they did, the movie’s essence, which exists on its humor obtained through its imperfections, could have been depleted. Sometimes, perfection can just be boring.

The movie’s plotline, on the other hand, does not impress as much as its style, as it is a little clichéd. It somewhat copies typical hero-movie plotlines and employs an almost happily-ever-after style ending. The story goes like this: man does something awful, becomes hated by the community, escapes, hears that the community needs him, saves the people, and lives happily ever after. Nothing in its structure is really different.

"At these times, I wish I were an acrobat."

Sure there is a dome, and a quicksand and an old Eskimo woman who helps Homer meditate, but if one would look closely to the movie’s structure, he would see several similarities to earlier movies. And nothing is necessarily wrong with the ending, but a little creative manipulation would have exemplified the entire movie. But then again, this structure has long been reproduced by earlier movies, and so people should not disregard this movie just because of this flaw.

Furthermore, the little problem with its plotline is not necessarily that big of a deal, since the abundance of humor, intelligent and dumb, satirical and spoofed, makes up for it. One could just not help but laugh to Homer’s absurd punch lines, or even to Maggie’s miniscule gestures. The humor, in a way, overshadows the plot, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Well anyway, this movie was not made to be a tight Oscar contender, but to be an absolute bringer of laughs to people. Thus, the story is not as important as it should be in hardcore dramas, for once you laughed at one of The Simpsons Movie’s irresistible jokes, the movie has already done its job.

You don’t even need to ask if I would recommend The Simpsons Movie’s DVD (though at first, the film crew said that it will only be shown in theaters, which is unrealistic) to people, for I certainly would. One warning, the movie has some, maybe even a lot of dirty humor that I bet would not be suitable for very young audiences. Well, they would not understand the humor anyway, so why bother show it to them. Also, if you are quite conservative, you would not like this movie. But if you are not too young and not too conservative, get the DVD and watch it with friends and some popcorn. With the intense laughs you will get, it will definitely be worth the buck.

I want to hear from you, guys! Did The Simpsons Movie made you laugh like crazy or did it just bore you to death (I really don’t think it did)? Leave me a comment below.

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