Wes Anderson and the Suckitude of Napoleon Dynamite
I've long ago stopped trying to figure out why people liked Napoleon Dynamite, but never been able to verbalize it without sounding obnoxious and condescending. I just don't think its funny, and it seems to miss the mark. I've watched it twice, and the result is the same:
It's not funny.
But this article from the Onion AV Club makes it crystal clear:
In spite of his status as one of the few directors who's often a bigger draw than the actors in his films, Wes Anderson has never really made a major commercial hit. The closest he's come is Napoleon Dynamite, a pale imitation of Anderson's most obvious mannerisms, co-written and directed by Jared Hess. While Anderson is generally sympathetic to the oddball characters inhabiting his films, Napoleon Dynamite suggests that audiences prefer filmmakers to hold eccentrics at arm's length; it's easier to mock them and feel the warm, uplifting surge of superiority that way. Also, wouldn't it just be hilarious if the hopelessly nerdy main character did a really wacky dance at the end? Let's see Anderson top that with a wistful Faces song!
The whole article is here, including more than a few stinkers that inversely show what a great director Anderson is, despite the fact I thought his last movie sucked balls.