Film: Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Posted on November 9, 2010

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Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
Directed by Terry Jones (1983)
jusco’s Rating: ★


Sorry Pythons, it just didn’t work out for me this time. And don’t assume I don’t know how to appreciate British humour. On the contrary, it’s my favourite kind. From Blackadder to The Vicar of Dibley to Catherine Tate, even the Python sketches or the classic Holy Grail, and the list goes on… But The Meaning of Life was just disappointing.

Simply put, there is no coherent plot. As for the title itself, it’s handily summarised by a line (“It’s nothing very special” a lady says) in the very last scene (the rest of the film is totally unrelated) that ironically makes a whole lot of sense:

“Try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations.”

(Yes, it was disgusting.)

What were they trying to achieve? A compilation of sketches doesn’t quite work, as evidenced by this film. It ranges from the mildly humorous (‘Every Sperm Is Sacred’ is a well-known classic) to the downright absurd and disgusting (An obese man vomiting multiple times and eventually blowing up in a restaurant? Stand By Me’s vomit scene was by far superior).

But then again, that’s what the Pythons are infamous for – to stupefy, to bewilder, to disgust, to shock. On that note, it worked. It’s just unfortunate I couldn’t derive any enjoyable entertainment from it.

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Posted in: 1-star, film