Review Date: June 15, 2004
Director: Jared Hess
Writer: Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess
Producers: Chris Wyatt, Jeremy Coon, Sean Covel
John Heder as Napoleon
Efren Ramirez as Pedro
Jon Gries as Uncle Rico
Unfortunately, the film doesn't have too many inspired scenarios, spends a lot of time focusing on these hyper-real situations that don't sincerely reflect actual life (who walks around school with that type of zoned look on their face, how does one suddenly learn to dance so well in so little time, etc...) and ultimately didn't make me laugh as much as it wanted to. Also, this wasn't a problem in the film per se, but in what era was it set? The clothes seemed to come from the 70s, the tunes from the 80s and the Internet stuff from the 90s. That said, the audience with whom I caught the flick was in full "Napoleon mode", laughing at almost every two-bit word or look out of the chump, so if you're into lingering pauses by characters in film, and quirky situations that don't seem real, but might be funny to you, maybe you'll enjoy it much more than I did (read: arthouse). If, on the other hand, you like your comedies "straight" and don't see yourself getting into major-nerd characters who don't particularly win you over with their lame personalities, check out MEAN GIRLS instead. You also have to be in an "I don't give a shit" mood to appreciate this movie on its quirkier level...I was in "dicky" mood, so I didn't really connect. At some point, Napoleon's even bigger, nerdier brother (yeah, pretty much every single person in this film is a loser) hooks it up with a black woman and that situation turned rather humorous, and his uncle Rico was pretty damn consistently idiotic, sexist and goofy the whole way through (dug the time-travel bit), but again, the film as a whole didn't really blow me away, particularly since I'd been hearing such great things about it since Sundance. Check it out in theaters if it sounds like your kind of film, otherwise, video/dvd might just do the trick.