The Simpsons Movie
Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”
Is it possible to consider this film any other way than as a fan of The Simpsons? It begins the fanservice even before the studio bumper is over. So many of us have loved the show at one time or another that the movie arrives in your hometown theater with the cultural goodwill of a visiting wartime president. Much like the writing-staff alumni that made this film, it unites us; the newspapers could proclaim, "Today, we are all Springfieldians."
But is it funny? It can't live up to the glory years that broke so much ground (what can?), but for a series in its eighteenth year, this is some pretty triumphant comedy. It riffs tirelessly on pop culture, American foibles, its own rich characters, and general weirdness, with so many different comedic styles that no one can't find something to laugh about. Some movies never find their comedic center and give you the impression they're throwing every joke at the screen in desperation; The Simpsons has such a massive comedic center that these many varied styles bounce around inside it comfortably.
Like any good movie arriving at the end of a long trail of hype, it suffers from being too short. Eighteen years they worked on this, and they couldn't crack a 90-minute running time? But it's eighty-seven terrific minutes while it lasts, a true comedy for everyone. Let's hope it's not 2025 when we see the next one.