A university professor is paid to find the last undiscovered tribe of New Guinea. When he fails to find the tribe, he comes home, and rather than admitting that he's failed, he gives a lecture about the Shelmikedmu tribe (named after his children: Shelly, Mike, and Edmund) and then has his family dress like "Shelmikedmus," so that he can film them as proof of his discovery. Written by
Daniel Aubrey White <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The name "Krippendorf" comes from Klaus Krippendorf, a renowned communications scholar best known for his work on the role of communication in social construction and design. The movie is based on a novel by Frank Parkin, who was himself a highly-regarded sociologist. See more »
University professor anthropologist James Krippendorf (Richard Dreyfuss) returns after failing to find the undiscovered tribe of New Guinea and the death of his wife. Veronica Micelli (Jenna Elfman) is an eager young professor and a fan of his work. She begs to join his team and he relents. Ruth Allen (Lily Tomlin) is a jealous rival. The university expects a lecture after giving him the grant. He decides to fake a tribe named Shelmikedmu for his children Shelly (Natasha Lyonne), Mickey (Gregory Smith) and Edmund to avoid jail time for misuse of grant money.
Krippendorf is an unfunny grumpy character. The only thing remotely comical is his relative height to the towering Jenna Elfman. There are no good laughs for most of the movie. There are a few chuckles like showing the circumcision scene in the lecture. However the lie annoyed me for some reason. That diminished any fun from the comedy. It tries to turn into a screwball comedy but I don't actually like Krippendorf.
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