Movie theaters. My efforts to join this American institution have lessened as I have grown older. I attribute my waning interest in them to the inevitable presence of those pesky layabouts known as teenagers and the memories of sticky floors and sticky seat-neighbors that tend to be sticky teenagers. Still, with my historic distrust for teeny hangouts and overpriced entertainment, there are a few movies that lure me from my cold, pessimistic cave and out to mix it up with my fellow humans. The Muppets was one such movie.
As a man in his 30s, I still have a fond place in my heart for those felt, lovable characters that I grew up with. I have always been a fan of anything Jim Henson although there are a few servings that I usually leave out of the Henson conversation (Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, Ghost of Faffner Hall, and the Muppets Wizard of Oz). With that being said, you will never find a shortage of kids from the 70s and 80s who have a chip on their shoulder from all the remakes of their past memories that have been slung onto the big screen. For reasons unknown to me, I did not feel insulted by the news of the Muppets resurrection or stomach pains at the notion that Jason Segal would be leading this new adventure. After all, I did enjoy his puppet musical from Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which I hear was actually something he worked on himself and was then later added to the movie script.
After leaving the theater, I instantly felt refreshed and thankful for something so silly and so juvenile as this moment. Sadly, out of all of the movies that I have watched recently, a movie about the muppets is the one that spoke to me on a few levels. It was a simplistic movie premise that seemed to force a mirror up to myself; as you rediscover characters who traded in their magic in exchange for careers. Yep, sounds familiar. Characters that were eager to help others but were afraid to bet on themselves. Oh yeah. Right to the gut! Funny gags and catchy songs aside, this movie sprang to life by hitting on central topics like Love, Identity, and Risk and I left feeling inspired and hopeful. That there was more to this gig than my expected routine and I realized I had done the one thing that younger me swore not to do: I became comfortable with life.
Perhaps it had to do with where I was in my life when I saw it or perhaps Jason Segal really nailed it with this movie, but as a fan who grew up with these characters; it really rang true and made me feel happy. Jason Segal and Amy Adams do a great enough job at interacting with these guys and cameos abound in the tale of getting the band back together. I felt like they could have done more with Jack Black but his presence was still welcomed. Thank you Mr. Segal for handling these childhood characters with finesse and charm and ushering them into a new era in a true-to-the-source effort. To those who have not checked it out, I would recommend giving it a watch. You might be surprised by the wit and humor that this movie brings to your holiday season. I know it was contagious for me.
Emotional baggage is optional.
Recommend: People who know the words to Rainbow Connection and recall Saturday morning Muppet Babies
Do Not Recommend: Most guys I know who like to hunt and people who can’t have fun