And Now for Something Completely Different (1971) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: PG for Suggestive Humor, Nude Images, Some Mild Language and Violence (probably PG-13 today)
Running Time: 88 min.
Cast: John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam
Director: Ian MacNaughton
Screenplay: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam
Review published October 20, 2000
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT isn't so much an original movie as it is an anthology slapped together of a recreation of some of the best sketches of their television show from their first two seasons. The film is probably pointless to the legion of fans that own and have watched these sketches on DVD or just plain old television already, so it's probably best suited for people mostly unfamiliar with their television work. As such, how you feel about the movie is going to be influenced in large part with how much you find it funny, and this film will probably rate anywhere from one star to five stars depending on your personal tastes. I fell somewhere in the middle, finding the seemingly never-ending imagination of the troupe interesting, but the times I laughed seemed scarce when you consider how much comic energy is employed for the 90 minute running length.
There are some classic sketches such as "How Not to Be Seen", "The Dead Parrot", "Nudge Nudge Wink Wink", "The Lumberjack Song", and many other classic sketches drawn from Monty Python's Flying Circus. All in all, it's a good encapsulation of their early work, and the team do work very well together in their energy and shared interest in all things absurd. At 90 minutes, there is a point where tedium sets in, so sometimes it might be best to take in small increments than trying to digest as a whole. Or maybe you should just watch the TV show.
Your mileage will definitely vary on how much you like the movie. Some will see it as pure comedic genius while others will see it as a nonsensical mess. Regardless of where you stand, if you are curious in the slightest as to whether or not Monty Python humor is right for you, AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT makes for the perfect starting point (or ending point for some) to test yourself out.
©2000 Vince Leo