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Harry Dean Stanton,
"The Stupids" is essentially a comedy of ideas, and, praise the Lloyd, the ideas are all quite funny, sometimes brilliantly so. The characters are lovable and unforgettable, innocent idiots who make you laugh whereas real-life idiots just make you angry. The plot is twisty-turny and ridiculous, with a happy, certain, positive message. There are two worlds, the imaginary world of the Stupids, and the real (though still stupidified) world inhabited by the other characters. The ingenuity of the writers, as in Cervantes and Shakespeare, involves the unifying of both worlds into one linear stream of events, each event having unforeseeable effects in the other world, and pushing the plot towards the glorious point at which the conflicts in both worlds are simultaneously resolved. In this respect, it could be compared to the best, most recent films of Roberto Benigni, films like "The Monster" and "Life is Beautiful" in which the clear, warm glow of the imaginary world outshines the dark, mean-spirited murk of the real one. "The Stupids" gave me, more than once, that "Yeah, THIS is what life is all about!" feeling, something I never expected to find when my little cousins insisted we rent it. Even discounting all that sugary garbage, it's fun to watch, the pieces of the plot fall cleverly into place with beautifully-timed coolness, and they even throw in a great song, JUST BECAUSE IT'S GREAT!
Much as I love it, and always will, "The Stupids" is not perfect. Despite its general goodness and high quotabilty, some of the dialogue could've been tweaked, although 90% of the lines are exactly as they should be, advancing the plot, developing the characters (adding subtle layers of stupidity to their psychotic personalities), and being funny. Certain characters, like the pets (well, only the pets), I found to be superfluous and tedious, seemingly added on the whim of some evil, Senderesque movie-tyrant who thought it could use just a bit more cuteness to appeal to the something-or-other age bracket. The sight gags are all well conceived, but often poorly executed. I can't help the feeling that maybe some in-charge people didn't have enough faith in the film (or, anyway, in its financial success) to justify spending a leetle bit more time and effort (and $) on making it perfect.
Faults notwithstanding, it remains a happy escape and a surprising hidden treasure for those who take the time to watch it and to savor it, and to laugh at how stupid it isn't.
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