Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Why I Love The Stupids & You Should Too

As busy as things are lately, I have been watching a lot of movies.  I have been waiting until everyone else is sleeping, and then watching a movie almost every night for the past month and a half.  I have mostly been focusing on movies I haven't seen before, but I've also had a growing desire to watch one of my favorite nutball movies of all time.

I'm not trying to say that this movie is one of the best ever made, because it clearly is not.  That's not what this is about.  The movie deals with death and the after life, time travel, aliens, postal conspiracies, talking foliage, pets that are smarter than their owners, illegal arms deals, assassins, daytime talk shows, and Tom Arnold.  There really is something for everyone.  You might not enjoy the entire movie, but if you watch the whole thing and can't name a single part that you liked, you do not have a sense of humor and should immediately rethink the direction your life is headed.

The Stupids is based on the children's books of the same name.  This series of books has been very controversial because if the title alone.  It's not nice to call people names! Stupid is a mean word!  Of course, in this instance it is their name.  Besides, it's unfair to call the characters in this movie stupid.  They are dumb.  They don't know any better.  Stupidity is when you know better and do it anyway.

Let's talk about the best parts of this movie, shall we?

1. Stanley Stupid is MAN-BUSH

Man Bush Nature's Greatest Wonder

After following the "garbage thieves" to their hideout, Stanley disguises himself as a bush.  After telling himself to think like a bush, he throws himself fully into the character.  He soon realizes he is a bush that has arms, legs, and can talk.  He is, indeed, Nature's Greatest Wonder.  After being seen by the garbage men, who ignore him, he breaks character with a sly grin, and saying, "poor fools thought I was a bush."

2. Mr. Sender

Christopher Lee is Mr. Sender

Over the course of the movie, we learn that Stanly used to be a mail carrier for the post office.  He wasn't very good at his job, but he did notice something strange: a lot of mail was coming back that was marked "return to sender".  This alarmed Stanley.  These people wouldn't receive their mail, and instead someone named Sender was going to get it.  This of course leads Stanley to believe there is a massive conspiracy, and all of the events up until this point have been a part of it.  We then get a wonderful clip of Sir Christopher Lee (yes, Dracula himself) as the evil Mr. Sender.

3. The Drive Bee


While searching for Stanley, the rest of the family try to stick a picture of him into the floppy disk drive of a computer.  This causes the computer to malfunction, giving them the cryptic "Fatal Error: Drive B".  This also causes all of the rest of the computer in the office to explode.  When Stanley calls his wife from the car phone (in the vehicle he got from the arms dealer), she tells him he must beware the Drive B, and that any error he makes with it could be fatal.  After an assassin plants an explosive device on the car, a bee flies in to the car and lands on the steering wheel.  After telling the bee to leave him alone because he is trying to drive, we get the single best moment in this movie.

The first time I showed this movie to my wife, she actually laughed out loud at this part of the movie, thus proving my earlier point about how anyone will at least like something in this movie.  On a side note, this actually happened while we were up at my Grandma's cabin for a weekend away.  My wife was in college at the time, and the morning after we watched this movie, while she was sitting on the floor next to me doing some homework, I sat up in my sleep and started flailing my arms in the air, trying to keep the Drive Bee away.

4. Stanley Is His Own Grandpa

Horrified Crowd

This is the single greatest thing about the movie.  While Joan and Petunia are causing problems for Jenny McCarthy on the set of a late night talk show, Stanley and Buster are wandering around a different part of the TV studio.  Stanley is mistaken for one of the guests on a daytime talk show where the topic is crazy family secrets.  The host goes down the line and has the guests tell her what their secrets are.  One man cheated on his wife's conjoined twin.  A woman was engaged to multiple cousins.  Then the host gets to Stanley.  You can immediately see the wheels turning in his mind.  Then he is struck with the perfect answer.  He announces that he is is own grandpa.  Not in a Phillip J. Fry way, but in a way that is more confusing.  Then, he breaks into a song about it.  Now, I know this song wasn't an original composition, but it was the first time I had heard it.  I think it was implemented perfectly.

Pure.  Gold.

That is only a sample platter of this movie.  I like so many of this movie's gags, both blatant and subtle, that it is impossible for me to list them all.

This movie has some surprisingly smart humor.  Again, this movie is far from a masterpiece, but if you have skipped this movie for whatever reason, watch it.  Just give it a chance.  And if you like goofball movies that you can watch with your kids and not worry about them being bombarded with swearing, you can't go wrong with The Stupids.  You could do a lot worse than this.