IHAO on ... the Simpsons Movie

Ah, the Simpsons.  Beloved icon of yesteryear.  Oh Bartman, where did you go?  Do the goggles do ANYTHING?  And who ever did shoot Mr. Burns, and how is he still alive?  Excuse me, I’ve just been handed a telegram.  It seems that the Simpsons are still running now.  Also, I’m supposed to stop acting like I didn’t know that now because the joke is over.  Well, with all that into account, let me take you back to 2007.

This movie coming out was a huge deal.  I remember seeing it in theatres the night it came out.  The place was packed with a bunch of comedy fans, Simpsons fans, and all sorts of my college friends who didn’t care, but didn’t want to miss a cultural phenomenon.  It was a huge deal.  For all of a single weekend.  Then it just kind of … dissipated.  No one cared, no one talked about it, no one bought the DVD that I know except the most hardcore Simpsons fan.  And I could barely remember the thing.  This was before I started trying in earnest to delve into film, before my love of the medium extended to owning a huge collection and working hard to come up with a system to share my opinions in the most straightforward way possible.  Which is not what I’m doing here, because I am instead rambling, because I didn’t like this movie.

What'd he say?  I wasn't listening.

The movie isn’t bad, by any means.  It does a lot of things really well, and the first act is just absolutely glorious, with jokes thrown at you from every angle, and Simpsons nostalgia all over the place, rewarding fans or even casual viewers who remembered that one joke and look there is a reference to it!  But then the plot comes in and … the whole thing just falls crazy short.  It just becomes a boring, almost jokeless sit.  The show is predicated on the love of this family, despite the apparent reasons that Marge shouldn’t be with this buffoon.  And the movie pushes it too far.  Homer is just terrible once they are out of Springfield.  It is almost as if the film left all the funny, all the caring, all the things that made it Simpsons in Springfield.  And when we return, it is for a terrible joke about culture breaking down, which by the way would have made a MUCH more interesting film than what we got.

Some of the jokes are still great, most are just fine, but in the end, the characters are either unlikable or not there enough, and all the nostalgia is trapped in Act 1.  I can’t recommend it.  But you already know if you are going to love it because it is the Simpsons.  And that is its biggest blessing.

Grade: C-

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