Napoleon Dynamite may not be funny, but it’s not unenjoyable

Did people fall in love with this movie because they thought it was funny, or because they related so much to it?


The discussion of Napoleon Dynamite starts at 3:10.

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Laci and I discussed the 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite on Load Bearing Beams. As she explains, Laci first saw this movie when she was 20 and was utterly confused by it. Wanting to understand what all the fuss was about, she watched it again and again, trying to “get” it, and ultimately kind of/sort of/but maybe not really fell in love with it. Revisiting it after so many years, her reaction was mixed, as was mine. This is a movie that has the guts to go for it, and there really is nothing like it. But does it work? I’m not so sure. And yet I haven’t stopped doing Napoleon impressions since we watched it.

Napoleon Dynamite

Director: Jared Hess

Napoleon: Jon Heder
Kip: Aaron Ruell
Pedro: Efren Ramirez
Uncle Rico: Jon Gries
Deb: Tina Majorino

Released: June 11, 2004

Box Office: $46.1 million



Napoleon Dynamite was based on a short film made by director Jared Hess and actor Jon Heder when they were in film school.

Show Notes


The Other Movie

Blade Runner

What other movies have we been reconsidering? 

Put The Bucket List on your bucket list!

The Bucket List (2007) | Directed by Rob Reiner | Starring Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, Sean Hayes

Welcome To the Dollhouse is the best movie ever made about how awful it is to be a kid

Welcome To the Dollhouse (1996) | Directed by Todd Solondz | Starring Heather Matarazzo, Brendan Sexton III, Eric Mabius

The first Rocky is weirder and better than you remember

Rocky (1976) | Directed by John G. Avildsen | Starring Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers

Why do I hate The Goonies so much?

The Goonies (1985) | Directed by Richard Donner | Starring Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman

Ever After is the best Cinderella movie ever (after)

Ever After (1998) | Directed by Andy Tennant | Starring Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, Dougray Scott

The first X-Men movie gets the superhero movie really right

X-Men (2000) | Directed by Bryan Singer | Starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen

The original Jumanji is admirably dark, but not very fun

Jumanji (1995) | Directed by Joe Johnston | Starring Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Kirsten Dunst

I get why people love Empire Records, even if I don’t

Empire Records (1995) | Directed by Allan Moyle | Starring Anthony LaPaglia, Liv Tyler, Rory Cochrane

Back To the Future Part II isn’t trying to predict the future

We don’t connect our own futures with the gloomy future we predict for the world.

The Austin Powers series is one funny and incredibly charming movie, and two dreadful movies

Austin Powers Series (1997, 1999, & 2002) | Directed by Jay Roach | Starring Mike Myers, Seth Green, Michael York