I took the eldest DD to see The Simpsons movie today at the Eye.
The good people at “MyKidsTime” had provided me with the wherewithal for this outing on the understanding that I write a review.
"What’s the point in writing a Simpsons review?" I protested. "Everybody’s seen it already surely".
"Well”, they responded, “you can only go if you write a review”. “Otherwise, you’ll have to stay here", they said.
I didn’t want to stay here (I was sick of here) so I was beginning to weaken. The deal was finally sealed when they threw in the contents of the office change jar (€7.57) the better to buy popcorn and Ben & Jerry ice cream. Nice people.
I’m something of a lapsed Simpsons fan, truth be told. I do dip in now and again but it holds little of its former charm these days. I’m not sure why. Maybe I heard one “Doh” too many during the nineties. It became ubiquitous, de facto great, people started wearing Homer ties and socks. Enough was enough so I drifted out.
But, just lately, I’ve been drifting back in. The kids have started to enjoy watching it so – especially as a respite to the tv programmes they normally subject me to – it’s been great.
So to the film … which you’ve, no doubt, seen already.
I thought it held together really well. The pace was just right and it had a typical Simpsons plot which they managed to prolong to movie length without making it feel, well, prolonged, I suppose.
The hour and a half fairly whizzed by and was peppered with some sublime moments and great gags. Funnily enough I seemed to be laughing more than anyone else and wondered a few times if I was annoying people. This has been known to happen, believe it or not, although rarely in a cinema. Normally people annoy me in cinemas.
On the way out I interviewed several people and they told me how much they loved the film and how funny it was.
Actually, I didn’t really interview anyone. I had suggested this idea to “MyKidsTime” but they told me under no circumstances to interview anyone. I was to come straight home afterwards. Perhaps the budget didn’t run to paying people for interviews. So, biddable as ever, I didn’t. I just eavesdropped on their conversation. Which is free.
And everybody I didn’t interview thought it was great. So why was nobody but me laughing? I’ve no idea. Perhaps it was ‘smile humour’ to proper Simpsons fans.
I think I laughed loudest during the church scene near the start of the film. A sign outside the church says “Thy Shall Turn Off Thy Cell Phone”. The Simpsons are late but Homer isn’t worried. “Those pious morons are too busy praying to their phoney-baloney God”, he blares. Everyone has heard him and they stare silently. As he apologetically approaches the front of the church he delivers his heroic – Homeric! – line,
Not a typo here (despite the insistence of my spell checker), after years of going to church our hero doesn’t know Jesus name. Jebus! Tremendous! We mere mortals can only dream of this level of incompetence.
The DD sat wide-eyed throughout the film and said she really enjoyed it. I wondered though if she had enjoyed it more as a visual feast rather than appreciating the humour.
I know that The Simpsons has a unique quality to provide something for everyone from toddlers through to elderly people. For example, my Mum appears to base her immense enjoyment of the programme entirely on Maggie sucking her dummy. Never really understood exactly why but it cracks her up every time.
But, as is so often the case, the DD surprised me. On the way home, I asked her what her favourite bit was. She told me it was when Krusty tells Homer to kill “Spider Pig” and Homer replies “What! You can’t kill him if he’s wearing people clothes”.
It was indeed a funny line and I was massively impressed that a 6 year old would also find it funny.
As for Lisa’s Irish boyfriend Colin, well his “Oirish” accent made Grounds-keeper Willy sound positively Scottish. Why American movies insist on employing this cod Irish accent a la “The Quiet Man” is beyond me. Surely, they could have found an Irish person with an Irish accent for the job. Even if they’d drafted Gabriel Byrne in that would have improved matters. Slightly.
I think I will start watching The Simpsons again. I’m reborn. I don’t care how popular it is. I’ve been healed. Praise Jebus!