Monday, March 31, 2014

The Muppets Most Wanted - A Movie Review

At Christmas in 1979, I was a junior in college and a dear friend of mine gave me a 45 (remember those?) of a song that I just loved from a movie. We were at his Fraternity Christmas party where everyone was exchanging gifts. He was not my date. But the fact that he knew I was so fond of the song and remembered me I will never forget. The song - The Rainbow Connection. The movie - The Muppet Movie. To this day I think about Sam every time I think about that tune.

Fast forward 35 years and I found myself standing in line to buy a ticket for the 4th Muppet movie, Muppets Most Wanted. The lines were long (not for this movie but for several other films that had just been released). I was chatting with the gentleman in front me. He asked me which movie I was there to see and I told him, thinking to myself that he must think I mad at my age (with no small children in sight) standing in line to see a movie mainly cast with puppets. I did not want to tell him but I seen much worse.

He immediately smiled and said, "Oh, I remember the first one they made in the 70's. I'll never forget Kermit sitting there strumming his banjo singing that song. You know that is not an easy song to play on the banjo. I have tried." "Oh, I love that song. And that was a great movie." 

We stood there silent for a moment or two. Then it came to me. I looked at him, "Rainbow Connection!" "That's it, that's the song! Like I said that was a great movie." OK, so I now I had bonded with a total unknown adult male stranger in a ticket line about a child's Muppet movie 35 years ago. My life has come to that.

Back to the movie. It is worth going. The story is cute, funny, and well written. The cast in addition to the Muppets is loaded with Star Power. Look for Hugh Bonneville, Celine Dione, Tony Bennett, Sean Combs, Lady Gaga, Tina Fey, Zack Galifianakis, Josh Grobin, Selma Hyak, Usher, Ricky Gervais and the list goes on. I had forgotten how much I missed Animal and his drum solos, and other characters with their idiosyncratic personalities. I did not see the 1984 nor the 2011 Muppet Movies, but this one is worth your time.

And, if you read this and say, "Whatever!", then move along. You would not appreciate the witty writing, the embedded puns, and running jokes.  Every once in a while it is good to stop, take a breath, sit down and watch a frog who one time stole my heart strumming a guitar singing, "Someday we'll find it, the Rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers, and me." 

The Rainbow Connection the Academy Award nominated song from the original Muppet Movie in 1979.

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