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Monday, May 26, 2008

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (2004)

A real indie oddball of a project that turned its prototypical High School ‘outsider-makes-good’ narrative tropes to the limit. The co-creators, Jerusha & Jared Hess, are careful not to make their classroom geeks too heroic and they come close to maintaining a consistent tone of whining misery, but they’re unable to resolve their narrative set ups and character relationships without cheating. So, the comical losers, whom we naturally root for against the cooler gang in ‘Nowheresville’ Iowa, get to win it all in the end . . . or get the girl . . . or achieve their dream. Whatever. The film was a big hit, but all thru the prom dance sequence, I kept hoping for a forgotten bucket of blood from CARRIE to tumble out of the rafters, just to jolt everybody off their marks.

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