Collaborative Blogging, Film Reviews

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, or: The Last Hapsburg Returns

This month is brought to you by a return of Blog Free or Die Hard because we do what we want.  Also we don’t want to watch anyone slowly die of cancer this month.  Christa’s kicking it off with the new Pee-wee Herman film.

(Cons of post-30 Rock Paul Reubens include I can’t think of him without picturing him as the last Hapsburg.)

The Film:

Pee-wee’s Big Holiday

The Premise:

Really, you guys.  Really.  Pee-wee Herman returns for a…holiday.  Could be big.

The Uncondensed Version:

Pee-wee has been experiencing strange dreams about an alien inviting him to leave Fairville, but he resists.  Could this mean Pee-wee is subconsciously yearning for adventure outside of his hometown?  Spoiler (already revealed in title):  YES.

However, Pee-wee reads nothing into these dreams as he’s happy, well-liked in the community, and rich in those disgusting root beer candies.   The local librarian really likes him as she always gets him the latest Scuba Cop book (and either the Fairville Library doesn’t believe in spine labels or the librarian actually buys him the new book, which is probably the equivalent of half a day’s pay).  Nothing ever changes in his world, and he’s quite content with this arrangement (TBH, I really relate to this).

That is, until the day things do change.  Specifically, the breakup of his band when all of his bandmates begin to take on more responsibilities and no longer have time for practice.  Pee-wee doesn’t take the news well, and ends up reading alone with a certain level of angst in the diner where he works.

A man working in a diner's kitchen holds a musical instrument.
I mean, musical instruments are a pretty big investment.

Suddenly, a really cool biker strides into the diner—none other than Joe Manganiello (who looked vaguely familiar but, I’ll be honest, I had to Google.  Whatever, I’ve never lied about my primary interests being ice cream and hiding from other people).

Pee-wee and Joe have a rather immediate and intense connection, and I kind of wondered if this was actually the porn parody of Pee-wee a few times.  The two share a passion for those vile root beer barrel candies, which I strongly suspect are made of inorganic matter and earwax.  (I occasionally daydream about living in an earlier time, but then I think about what people considered candy back in the day.)

A man who is conventionally attractive sits at the counter of a diner holds a chodolate milkshake.
Seriously, tell me this isn’t how a porno starts.

Joe inspires Pee-wee to leave Fairville and travel to NYC for Joe’s birthday party in 4 days.  As you might expect, Pee-wee’s trip doesn’t go entirely smoothly, and he encounters trouble almost immediately.

Because this is a journey film, there are a lot of obstacles.  Said obstacles include:

  1. Getting hijacked by 3 women who are thieves/bank robbers/criminals in general.  They steal his car and leave him tied up in a motel room, but not before having a pillow fight with male strippers.

    Three women with '60s inspired hair and makeup look angrily off-screen in a motel room.
    Girl gang.
  2. Meeting a salesman who decides they should make a stop at a snake farm despite Pee-wee’s fear of snakes.
  3. Stumbling upon a kindly farmer whose 9 daughters all want to marry Pee-wee.
  4. Hitching a ride with a group of friends traveling to a hair styling competition and receiving a makeover (I guess this one isn’t so much an obstacle as an interesting thing that happens).

    A man in a gray suit and hair styled to resemble a helicopter speaks to a woman with her own elaborate hairstyle.
    Spoiler:  the makeover involves literal helicopter hair.
  5. Crashing back to Earth in the flying car of a woman who is basically the eccentric millionaire version of Katharine Hepburn.
  6. Almost reenacting Ravenous when a man who lives in a cave rescues him from the wilderness.
  7. Entertaining the Amish with his hobby of blowing up balloons and slowly deflating them (my cat HATED this part of the film)

Throughout the film, Pee-wee imagines how much fun the party will be with Joe, but also begins to doubt that Joe will even notice if Pee-wee fails to make it in time.  I guess that’s pretty relateable, but at the same time not really something I worry about.  And not ENTIRELY because I don’t get invited to parties.

The Rating:

3.5/5 Pink Panther Heads

The extra ½ PPH is mostly because librarians get some representation in this without shushing anyone.  This is a reasonably sweet film, but it’s a bit mild for my tastes.  It’s possible I’ve overdone it with the bad horror movies (actually it’s not).

Is Christa inviting this one to the party or will she cry if she wants to?  Does that question even make sense?  Find the answer to at least one of those questions here!