Ok, let me say I really really enjoyed the movie ‘The Muppets’. If you saw my Facebook comment on it right afterwards, I called it ‘The best movie of all time’. After a bit of reflection and being talked down to earth by my wife, I will have to say that it is now just one of the best movies I have ever seen. Really, you might ask? Yes, really. The movie made me laugh, cry, and laugh some more. I got such pure joy of seeing The Muppets on the big screen again, I am that excited. Now if you haven’t seen this movie yet, I highly recommend it (shock) for adults actually more than kiddos. However, if you have been a smart parent like me and you have educated your child on the three seasons of ‘The Muppet Show’ on DVD or taken them to see ‘Muppet Vision 3-D’ at Disney Hollywood Studios in the Walt Disney Resort in Florida, then the kids will be fine. We saw a 7:30 pm show and the theatre was filled with a lot of college students. For those who have not seen the movie yet, may I say ‘spoiler alert’ even though I hate that phrase.
Let me first give thanks to Jason Segel, for bringing his dream of making another Muppet movie to life. It was 12 years between movies with Muppets in them and he didn’t want to go any longer. It really is a classic story of how a group of friends need to get back together to remember why they are so special. That’s the basic premise of the movie. Add the fact that Jason plays Gary who grew up with his brother Walter (who is a Muppet) as the biggest Muppets fans on the planet. Gary and his girlfriend Mary (lame but funny name) who is played by Amy Adams are supposed to go on a getaway toLos Angelesto be alone on their anniversary but Gary bought an extra bus ticket for Walter, so all three go. This starts the first musical portion of the movie, ‘Life’s a Happy Song’, and you see a peek of the cameos that are coming as Mickey Rooney has one. I didn’t read any of the reviews on the movie other than knowing it was supposed to be awesome, so I had no clue who else I would see in this movie. Boy would I be in for more surprises.
The threesome decides they are going to tour Muppets Studio first when they arrive inLos Angelesand they find it old and run down. The tour guide suggests to Walter that Kermit’s office is the best place to see and he sneaks off to see it. While there, Tex Richman and the bad guys come in and say they are going to tear down the studios because there is oil below it. Walter, who is now hiding under the desk, hears this and a screaming scene happens until he calms down and to tell Gary and Mary that they need to get the Muppets back together. They go visit Kermit and after some coaxing and another song, he agrees and they are off in a car driven by an 80’s robot.
They find Fozzie Bear in Reno playing with a bad Muppet tribute Band called ‘The Moopets’. Good to see Dave Grohl playing drums as their version of Animal. They also find Gonzo who makes toilets, Animal who is in a mental rehab place with anger management issues, and travel by map to get Miss Piggy in France. She originally turns them down but because of another song, later decides to join them.
The Muppets, now together again find out they only have like two days to get the ten million dollars needed to save the studios. They decide they need to do a telethon and pitch the idea to the networks. The last network they visit has a two hour cancellation that same time, so they get their air time for the show. Of course they clean the theatre to music and kidnap Jack Black to be their celebrity host. Before the telethon begins, Mary decides to go back home and leaves Gary with Walter hours before the telethon. The best song of the move comes next. ‘Man or Muppet’ is where I get this blog title. Garydecides he needs to be a man to get Mary, but he still needs to be fun loving and youthful so he is a Muppet of a man. Walter decides he needs to be strong yet be the Muppet he was meant to be; hence he is a very manly Muppet. The human version of Walter is played by Jim Parsons, who stars as Sheldon Cooper on ‘The Big Bang Theory’. Love that show. The whole theatre is laughing hysterically at this point.
The Muppets Barbershop Quartet performs ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, Gonzo gets a bowling ball stuck on his hand and Camilla and the Chickens perform ‘Forget You’. This was laugh out loud funny to me because I saw Cee-Lo Green’s award show performance earlier this year when he performed with knock off Muppets, if you saw it you would understand. Anyway, Kermit and Miss Piggy make up and perform ‘Rainbow Connection’ as a duet and Walter decides to perform ‘The Whistling Caruso’ and he is recognized now as a Muppet. Mary and Gary make it back in time to save the show from the bad guys. (Gotta love traveling by map.) The bad guy says they were too late and the stars all walk outside saddened but are greeted by thousands of fans who welcome them back and cheer them on. Gary asks Mary to marry him and she answers with ‘Mah Na Mah Na’ The rest of those who have cameos join in and all is well after Tex Richman decides to give the studios back to the Muppets after Gonzo hits him in the groin with the bowling ball that just became unstuck. Gotta love the happy ending.
You absolutely gotta love the fact that a well written musical made over $30 million opening weekend. But remember, this is ‘The Muppets’. I think they are relevant again if they never were before. I believe the Muppets never went away and they will never go away. I love them all, but I think the cook and comedian in me makes ‘The Swedish Chef’ my favorite. I am fine with the fact that I am a big kid. I am fine with the fact that I am youthful inside and have come to grips that I am a Muppet of a Man…